Original post: April 2, 2016

FINALLY!!! The RTD A Line from Union Station to Denver International Airport opens on April 22nd! The 38th & Blake Station, literally right behind our beer garden, will be the site of a giant block party on April 23rd to celebrate. Of course, we'll be throwing a giant beer-filled and fueled party all weekend! Join us for a ton of festivities at the brewery and within the surrounding blocks that weekend!

Our amazing food truck partners for the weekend:

Fri - Maine Street BBQ 3pm - 9pm

Sat - Wong Way Veg 11am - 7pm | Maine Street BBQ 4pm - 9pm

Sun - Basic Kneads Pizza 11am - 8pm

Live Music:

Sat - Retrofette on the pallet stage (time TBA)

  • Official River North Art District 38th & Blake Grand Opening Party - Details
  • Denver Flea Block Party - Sat & Sun (one block south) - Details

38th & Blake Street Station


Original post: March 6, 2016

Any Wes Anderson fans reading this blog post? If so, I hope you got the relatively obscure reference before this post. Please watch this short clip for a little back story...

Moonrise Kingdom - "New Penzance" Clip

New Penzance & Black Beacon Sound / Black Beacon Storm

Black Beacon Sound on Nitro

Black Beacon Sound

Black Beacon Sound - our Imperial Red Rye Stout - a beery tribute to the amazingly creative film director Wes Anderson - is currently pouring on one of our two nitro taps. This beer was brewed back in Sept, '15 on a cool, crisp fall day. With the leaves starting to change and the days getting shorter, we wanted to brew a robust and full-bodied beer for the unavoidable Winter days to come. We employed 10 different types of grains totalling the heftiest amount of grist we've ever stuffed into the mash tun to create one of the most hardy and sturdy beers that we've brewed to date. By incorporating nearly 10% rye into the malt bill, and pouring the beer on Nitro, we were able to create a dark, rich, and bold beer while still maintaining a nice creamy & silky mouthfeel. The beer might be unexpected from what you've come to know about Black Shirt Brewing Co, and that's just the point.

In addition to pouring Black Beacon Sound on tap, we put quite a bit away into freshly dumped Bourbon barrels for a future release. It is currently resting gently inside those barrels picking up an added complexity that is sure to set you back in your seat. Is there a Black Beacon Storm coming?! We'll see. I wouldn't count it out. Or a possible Sept release!


Original Post: January 29, 2016

Last September I was able to visit the Pacific NW on a hop selection trip. While on that trip, cruising through Portland for a day and a half, I had the pleasure of visiting The Commons Brewery - a "European-inspired" brewery in a really amazing space. While there, I chatted with the friendly and informed bartender and had several of their low-gravity, dry, effervescent ales. As I was only in town for a short bit and had a long list of places to hit (Cascade Barrel House is just a couple of blocks away as is Hair Of The Dog!) I didn't linger too long but grabbed several bottles to take home.

Once back and well-rested, I opened a bottle of Petit Classique - a low abv Saison brewed with pink peppercorns. It was simple, playfully rustic, highly-carbonated, dry, and ultra refreshing. It was a spark. An inspiration point. When the time was right, we would create a fun, light, flavor-packed, low abv, delicious table beer that was snappy, lively, and bright. Introducing Semitone, our brand new Petit Saison brewed with sweet orange peel.

Semitone - "also called a half step or a half tone, is the smallest musical interval commonly used in Western tonal music." What a fitting name for our new "table/session/petit" Saison, right?! The beer is composed of a pretty simple malt bill, designed to fill a supporting role only. Hops are very restrained - just enough to bitter the beer without actually showing up in the glass. An abundance of sweet orange peel from a citrus farmer in Florida added to the whirlpool lends a beautiful bright and juicy character. The true spotlight of the beer, however, is the yeast. We employed one of our favorite rustic, yet refined, Saison yeast strains that produces a wonderfully dry & complex aroma, flavor, and mouthfeel. We allow the yeast a lot of time to finish it's job, and the results are undeniable.

The beer is copper-colored, slightly hazy, and topped with a pillowy off-white head. At first blush, the distinct aroma from our yeast strain evokes a different place, perhaps a different time. It smells of spice - white pepper & Ceylon clove come to mind; hints at fruit - nectarine and white peach; and draws you in so magically. On the palate, the beer is decidedly different than our "normal" lineup - it's lighter in flavor and body, with an understated elegance; it's soft but full of character. High carbonation allows it to resemble the famed Champagnes of Northern France, with subtle malt sweetness and a vibrant, snappy finish. Semitone concludes with a deceptively delicious taste that will draw you in for many more. It's a stunner. I'm warning you! Hope you enjoy the beer as much as I do! - Branden

Here are a few more pictures from that Pacific NW trip, just for fun...



Original Post: January 3, 2016

We've heard it for a long time...why won't you fill my growler?! The answer has always been complex; originally we didn't make enough beer; then our desire to make sure the beer you take home would be of the highest quality, and growlers are a bit of a ticking time bomb; certainly not the least of our reasons was that our tap system was too short, and most growlers wouldn't fit under the taps to be filled. We have fixed this and are excited to show you our new Crowler system!

About a month ago, we tore out the old tap system and replaced it with a brand new, 12-tap, glycol-chilled, long-draw system. All of this to say, a pretty damn nice set of taps!!! In doing so, we raised the height of the taps to accommodate growlers and have recently begun filling them. In addition, we decided that instead of ordering any more glass growlers that can very easily be broken, we would change to a Crowler filling brewery. A Crowler is a 32oz aluminum growler, filled off the taps just like a growler, and seamed right at the bar. We are doing our best to ensure that the beer you take home is as exciting and vibrant as it was directly off the tap. This means rinsing the Crowler with water prior to being filled, purging with CO2, pouring from the bottom up to minimize foaming and loss, and capping immediately on foam. This being said, we are recommending that the Crowlers filled from the taps be consumed within 2 days to ensure the beer is still delicious and not flat and/or oxidized.

2015 IN REVIEW...

Original Post: January 2, 2016

We looked back at 2015 with amazement and gratitude to our guests, the musicians that donned our stage, and our outstanding staff that keeps this place on its course. Those of you who know us well have figured out that we are always working on something. This year we really concentrated on delivering the best experience we could offer to our guests. Our 2015 Summer Concert Series was a huge undertaking that allowed us to combine two of our favorite things, elevate and showcase the local music scene, and hopefully gave you a look at the amazing talent that calls this city “Home.” We worked behind the scenes and after hours on a new tap system that is individually regulated, glycol cooled, and pushed with a mixture of Nitrogen and CO2. We’ve installed 2 new nitro drafts and now offer 16 different beers to explore and showcase the potential of our creativity within The Red Ale Project. The new tap system is now tall enough for us to fill your growlers too! We’ve also installed a canning system that allows us to pour your favorite beer into a 32oz to-go can called a Crowler. You don’t have to remember to bring in your glass jug or purchase a glass jug just to take home one of our newest offerings anymore. We’ve installed a new menu system to accurately show you what is on tap at all times. Each time a new beer is tapped, our facebook page, beer menus page, and website is updated in real time. Have you tried our Imperial Red Rye Stout, Electric Currantcy (Sour w/ whole currants and cranberries), Galaxy Red Farmhouse, or Red Evelyn? We offer cured meat and cheese plates, Real Dill Pickles, and locally made kettle corn and beef jerky to make your sensory experience with us even better. We are now playing live concerts, staff music video playlists, and skiing and snowboarding films on our projector. Oh, one more thing; we are now open 7 days a week from 11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. and on Friday and Saturday nights until 11:00 p.m. Thank you all for a great 2015 and hopefully we will be seeing you soon!

- Chad Miller, Co-Founder and CEO


Original Post: December 16, 2015

You probably know that we are huge supporters of the music scene in Denver and we have played host to an incredible lineup of bands over the years. Some of these bands are total beer geeks like us and we have gone to the next level and made beer with or inspired by them. We always try to make these collaborations very unique and very authentic. It's important. The beer scene, the music scene, the arts in general make up a big portion of our culture here in Denver.

One other way we support the local music scene is through our collaborative side project titled Now Playing with Denver Film Company & Evergroove Studio. By shining a light on, and telling the story of, the music scene, we are gaining national recognition like never before. We film these live shows either at Black Shirt or at other venues around town, sit down with the bands and chat, and then Evergroove Studio mixes and masters the audio, and Denver Film Company edits these amazing videos. The results are played on our Youtube page as well as weekly on Colorado Public Television.

In the latest releases, we filmed sudden success-filled Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats as well as long-time music legends Devotchka. We are so excited and proud to release these videos from musicians we've been listening to for well over 10 years. It truly is an honor. Enjoy!

Nathaniel Rateliff and The Night Sweats - I've Been Failing You (Live)

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats rock the Fillmore Auditorium in Denver, CO performing "I've Been Failing You." This is an excerpt from the TV show "Now Playing" which will combine live music and interviews with Nathaniel in two 30 minute episodes dedicated to Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats.

Has Success Changed You? With Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats

An excerpt from the interview with Nathaniel Rateliff at To The Wind Bistro.

Devotchka - Such a Lovely Thing (Live)

Devotchka played an incredible show at the Fillmore on Valentine's Day. If you want to have an amazing time, never pass up a performance. This is an excerpt from the TV show "Now Playing" which will combine live music and interviews with Nick Urata in two 30 minute episodes dedicated to Devotchka.


Original Post: December 5, 2015

You may have seen something new in the tap room post-Thanksgiving. The artwork on the walls? No. Sara's cool pop art has been gracing the walls quite a bit lately. The new tap system? Sure. It's brand new and so badass! However, I'm specifically talking about our new glassware. New glassware?! Blasphemy, a few of you have cried. Maybe. The Offero slanted rim glass has been a signature at Black Shirt Brewing Co. However, we are always seeking to make your experience at Black Shirt extraordinary, and there's always been a little resistance to the slanted rim glasses!

Offero slanted rim glass in beer garden at Black Shirt Brewing Co.

If you've spilled beer on your shirt or blouse at Black Shirt or if you just don't like the damn glasses, then you'll be happy to know that we are now pouring our beer in more traditional glasses. We are also offering many more styles of glasses to more appropriately express our beer. No more slanted rims. Well, if you adored the Offero glass, and many of you did, then you can still order your beer in one. Just ask. Otherwise, no more slanted rims!

New Snifter Glass

The 10 oz snifter will be used for anything over 8% abv, as you would expect a bit smaller pour for the high abv. This snifter's shape, in particular it's flare near the rim, expresses beer aroma very well. Beers served in these will be on the bigger, more robust end of the spectrum.

New Tulip Glass

The 12 oz tulip glass will be used to serve any of our "farmhouse" beers. Think anything sour, wild, or rustic in nature; Electric Currantcy, Black Dog, Galaxy Farmhouse, etc.

New Pint Glass

The 16 oz Pint Glass will be used to serve our "warehouse" beers. Basically, anything fermented with American Ale yeast - IPAs, Pale Ales, Porter, etc.

The new glasses are a combination of style, tradition, excellent glassmaking, and...as always...function. The glasses we have chosen were chosen very specifically for their shape, size, elegance, and their ability to showcase our beer. We also have a "proper" pint glass for those who "just want to have a beer." Logos are now on all glasses, which is something you all have wanted since day one. You can purchase any of these glasses too in the tap room, just ask your server or bartender and we'll wrap some up for ya.

All of this to show you that we still care, probably too damn much, and are always seeking to make your experience at Black Shirt extraordinary. We want you to feel comfortable. We want you to relax. That's what having a beer is all about, afterall. Cheers for being on this ride with us and for all of your continued support!

- Chad, Branden, and Carissa


Original Post: November 1, 2015

Wednesdays just got a lot more exciting! Each Wednesday at 5:00 pm we will tap a keg of one-off beer. We are talking pico-sized batches at their finest. Don't miss out, don't be late!

Often times, we incorporate ingredients into our beer that might be more familiar to a high end kitchen than a brewery. These culinary-inspired beers are often one-off beers, just to try them out, and to see and taste what the results will be. These beers are not geared to become large batches, rather they are a snapshot of a moment to be shared and enjoyed with an open mind. Beer purists need not apply. Adventurous palates welcomed!

The first One Keg Wednesday will launch on Weds, November 4th with a yet-to-be named beer created by cellarman Steve and bartenders Alexis and Courtney. The beer incorporates fresh lemon, lactose sugar, and vanilla-infused Bourbon. It's as close to a slice of lemon meringue pie in a glass that you'll ever taste! See you then!


Original Post: October 7, 2015

In September, I had the opportunity to go to Yakima, WA for the first time to take part in hop harvesting, processing, and ultimately hop selection. To say the trip was transformational would be a giant understatement. The chance to see a valley that is responsible for 75% of the hops grown in this country was an incredible treat; and to try and wrap my head around the future of this industry in light of the recent merges, acquisitions, and sell-outs while standing in a field rubbing hop cones and chatting with a 4th generation hop farmer was a big challenge. It was in that moment that I sensed a giant disconnect between how Black Shirt sees its future and how many breweries in this country see theirs. The idea of growth for growth's sake has never sat well with me. After the trip, and seeing the industry from the raw materials side, it cemented my thoughts about that very subject. It also cemented the fact that the beer industry has a long way to go in terms of educating our guests, connecting the brewers and the beer drinkers to the land, and developing a deeper connection to beer than a simple slug of suds and an Untappd check in.

The drive from Seattle to Yakima is spectacular. Leaving the bustling city and entering into the giant forest and mountains that stand in the distance takes only a few short minutes. The good thing is that I was able to get KEXP (one of the best radio stations in the country) on my rental car stereo clearly until the backside of Snoqualmie Pass. I stopped off at Snoqualmie Falls on my way, which is an incredibly powerful waterfall near the summit of the pass, and a must-see for anyone traveling through the area.

On the other side of the pass, the landscape changes from the thick, damp forest into one of the driest prairie deserts I think I have ever seen. It was a big surprise to me, and I remember thinking "how the hell did they determine this area would be good for hops?" Upon arrival to town, I spied some vast acreage of what I assumed were hops and set off to go see some bines. Interestingly enough, I drove around for 3 hours in endless apple orchards and through the small, sleepy town of Yakima before even seeing the word "hop" on anything, let alone a bine, hop yard, or big processing plant. If I didn't know this was the center of the hop universe, I'd never believe it.

Finally, I gave up on my instinctual hop hunt and used Google to direct me to the goods. As it turns out, the interstate and the mighty Yakima river, pretty much separates town and the endless apples from the over 30,000 acres of hops and major hop processing plants to the east. I arrived on the back end of harvest, with a lot of acreage already done and a majority of hops already processed, though I still found a lot on the bine and crews working around the clock to get them down.

In the morning, I sip a little coffee, eat a quick breakfast, take part in an introductory meeting, and then I'm off to Yakima Chief Hopunion's headquarters to take part in the selection process. Before long, we are breaking open packaged hop cuts and are tearing apart cones, examining lupulin glands, smashing and rubbing hops in our hands to excite the oils in the hops and make the aromatics shine. It's interesting, same breed hop varieties harvested from different fields, at different times, and put through different processing techniques yield incredibly different aromatics. In hindsight, this seems obvious. Though, until I could actually see and smell the difference in person, like this, it didn't really make sense to me. A tomato is a tomato, right? Far from. Citra that had been harvested earlier and subjected to ever-so-slightly gentler processing seemed to yield more tropical fruit characters - bursting with mango, passionfruit, lychee, melon, and grapefruit; while the later harvested Citra seemed to be more dank with petrol, diesel, almost onion, and garlic notes. The fruit was still in there, but had been overwhelmed by these other more dominant overtones. The same held true for the other varieties we smelled (Cascade, Centennial, Simcoe, and Mosaic). As I've battled with hop differences in the past, this new revelation both relieved me a bit, and reinforced the importance of making the trip up here yearly to not only connect with the growers, but to have a bigger voice in the selection of the type of hops we are after here at Black Shirt.

After selection, we headed out to Loftus Ranches where 4th generation hop farmer Patrick Smith showed us around the fields, the new experimental varieties they are working on, the older varieties that are being pulled out due to their susceptibility, and the entire processing facility. It's world class. It's what happens only when your family has been doing it, and perfecting it, for generations.

There is a fury of activity inside the plant with tons of machinery removing cones from bines, separating hops from the discard, and moving them into the kilns where they are heated to remove moisture and enhance oil concentration. Trucks are lined up outside bursting with freshly cut hop bines filled with beautiful cones. The field hands are working as fast as they can, around the clock, to ensure that these hops are getting from the field to the bale as quickly as possible and in a way that best shows their full potential. It's exciting and crazy. I have to imagine it's dangerous as hell by looking at the machinery. It's back-breaking and can be a thankless job for so many. I'd personally like to thank each and everyone that has a part in the process of growing and harvesting these beautiful hops for us to use in our beer. Cheers to you all!

After a day of analyzing and selecting hops, touring the fields, getting to know the farmers, and seeing the plant, it was time to get a beer. Luckily for me, Loftus Ranches has built a brewery right in the middle of a field of Cascade hops called Bale Breaker Brewing Company, so a cold refreshing beer was just around the corner.

There are a lot of parallels that we draw between industries, music and beer for example. It's pretty obvious the deep connection and similarities that we draw between these two at Black Shirt. We brew in harmony with our surroundings, driven by rhythms and vibrations. One thing I've always admired about the wine industry, and thought beer had a long way to go with, is a deep connection to the vineyard. Every wine drinker knows that wine is made from grapes. They probably even know that Napa is the center of wine in North America, and perhaps they even know a thing or two about Bordeaux. However, most beer drinkers have no idea what hops look like, nor where they come from, even though IPA is quite easily the most popular beer style in America. It's part of our plight at Black Shirt to interest and educate our guests about the ingredients, the process, the care, the passion, and the love that go into our beers. Hopefully this story has helped you learn a bit about the agricultural aspect of beer, and the hard working and determined people it takes to make a spectacular IPA.

Thanks for reading!

Branden Miller


DENVER, CO 80205

(303) 993-2799

© 2019 Black Shirt Brewing Co. LLC




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