Black Shirt Brewing Company – Denver, CO

Black Shirt Brewing Company is located in the River North (RiNo) district in Denver, near the intersection of Walnut and Downing. Just north of the brewery, maybe a couple hundred yards away, is a stop for RTD’s A-Line Light Rail line. Many travelers either heading out to DIA or coming from DIA to Denver, stop at Black Shirt Brewing to try a fresh Colorado craft beer. Due to their unique location, Black Shirt has loyal fans all over the country that enjoy stopping in when they visit Colorado. Black Shirt is one of the must-try breweries in the Denver area whether you live nearby or you’re planning to visit from another state.

History:
Black Shirt Brewing Company’s story began in 2011 when brothers Branden and Chad Miller along with Chad’s wife, Carissa, decided it was finally time to realize their dream of owning a brewery. The siblings had the idea to make this happen as far back as 1999, but like they say, “good things take time”. With help from Carissa’s brother, Aaron Holstad, they worked long hours to transition the old brick building into a functioning brewery. The building is thought to be from the 1920s and there are varying stories as to its exact history. From a furniture store in the 50s to a disco in the 60s-70s, to a brothel sometime along the way (not confirmed), the building had a lot of history.

The owners worked hard to begin the next chapter for the building as it transitioned to a brewery. For nearly two years (one year, 9 months) Branden, Chad and Aaron worked to renovate what they could as they were paying for improvements as they went. Due to the fact they had a small budget, every single piece of the brewery was touched by one of the three. There are some really cool touches to the construction that have unique stories. For instance, the barn wood was brought in from Branden and Chad’s hometown.

Black Shirt Brewing Owners Branden and Chad Miller are Colorado natives, having grown up in the Southern Colorado town of Westcliffe, CO. They will proudly tell you that they are in fact, 5th generation Coloradans. The brothers gravitated towards skateboards and the music of Johnny Cash, while preferring their clothes to be black. It wasn’t what all of the popular kids did, it was what Branden and Chad did. When they decided to open the brewery, Branden and Chad thought it was important to stay true to their style and design things to fit what they liked. When you walk in Black Shirt Brewing, you quickly notice pictures of Johnny Cash and many references to music on the walls. You will hear music playing and it might just be coming from the back patio.

The Beer:
One of the questions we like to ask at Colorado Craft Brews is what makes a brewery unique from the others. For Black Shirt this is an easy question to answer. Black Shirt specializes in Red Ales, a style of beer that is an uncommon focus among most breweries. Sure, most breweries brew a Red IPA from time to time, or a Red Ale for a seasonal, but very few focus on primarily brewing Red Ales. When we asked Branden Miller why he chose to brew Red Ales, he quickly told the story of his dad and the fact he believes it’s best to one thing and do it better than everyone else.

Branden and Chad decided to pursue brewing Red Ales for a number of reasons. Colorado is a Spanish adjective that means “red”. Early Spanish explorers named Colorado for the red that could be found around the state. A great example of this is the area in Southern Colorado where Branden and Chad grew up. This area is known for being the home of the Sangro de Christo Mountains. Sangre de Christo means “the blood of Christ” in reference to the red hues of the mountain range. Branden thought Red Ales were being done well but there was definitely room for improvement. Ultimately, it seemed fitting that in a state known for its red soil and red rock formations, he could brew Red Ales and brew them better than anyone else.

We sampled a number of Black Shirt’s beers and were impressed by the variety and quality of the samples. While difficult to pick a favorite, we thoroughly enjoyed the Frontmaniac IPA. Hop lovers will enjoy this big, bold IPA with a smooth finish. The Baritone Black IPA stood out for the earthy, piney notes – definitely a beer we will be trying again. The Colorado Red Ale (Black Shirt’s flagship beer) has floral and citrusy notes that make it a favorite for American IPA drinkers. If you prefer lighter, less hoppy beers, the Semitone Saison, Common Red Kolsch are great options. One thing we noted in trying some of the higher ABV (alcohol by volume) beers was that they were not overpowering, each was smooth and balanced. Often times, higher ABV beers can be either too hoppy or too malty. Overall, we enjoyed the tastings and would recommend Black Shirt’s beer to anyone from craft beer fanatics to those that are looking to try craft beer for the first time.

Beer List:

  • Born to Hula (Nitro) – Sour Ale: 6.5% abv – Sour Ale conditioned atop Pineapple and Coconut, dry-hopped w/ Citra
  • Common Red – Kolsch: 5.5% abv – Crisp, clean, and crushable
  • Semitone – Saison: 5.4% abv – Petit Saison brewed with sweet orange peel
  • Stringender Saison – Saison: 7.5% abv – An amplified, resonant and expressive Saison
  • Timekeeper Rye Pale Ale – American Pale Ale: 6% – A precise, balanced and crisp Rye Pale Ale
  • Colorado Red Ale – Amber Ale: 7.3% abv – The flagship beer, a floral citrusy Red IPA
  • Frontmaniac IPA – IPA: 7% abv – Hopped to a rate of over 5 lbs per barrel of Citra, Simcoe and Mosaic hops
  • Blood Orange – Double IPA: 8% abv – Double IPA conditioned atop fresh blood oranges and double dry-hopped w/ Mosaic and Amarillo hops
  • Ocean of Noise – Gose: 5.4% abv – Gose brewed w/ Yuzu, Lemongrass, Hawaiian Red Gold Sea Salt, dry-hopped w/ Equinox and Hallertau Blanc
  • Fourtrack Porter – Porter: 6.3% abv – American Porter w/ notes of milk chocolate, caramel and toffee
  • Baritone – Black IPA: 7.5%: Dark and brooding Black IPA inspired by the original man in black Johnny Cash. Warrior, Chinook and Simcoe hops
  • Black Beacon Storm Nitro – Imperial Stout: 8.5% abv – Imperial Rye Stout aged in a variety of bourbon barrels.
  • Frontman IPA – IPA: 7.3% – A mic’d up, hoppy and loud IPA brewed w/ Chinook, Simcoe and Mosaic Hops.

Black Shirt Brewing distributes their beer in many liquor stores around the metro Denver area. You can also find Black Shirt in a handful of mountain towns including, Buena Vista, Gunnison, Salida and Crested Butte. If you want to find a location near you that sells Black Shirt’s beer try their beer locator. The best way to enjoy a Black Shirt beer is to visit the taproom. If you can make it on the first Wednesday of the month, you’ll be able to try a new release beer and help raise money for local charities. $1 from each sale of the special release beer is donated to a local charity. If you are not able to make it on the first Wednesday, you can still try the new release beer for the entire month, until the next special release (and your purchase still helps raise money for charity).

Events:
We mentioned that you may hear music coming from the beer garden at Black Shirt. They have a stage in the back that is a hot spot for artists in the local music scene. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, Black Shirt hosts live bands on the stage and welcomes fans to enjoy music with a fresh craft beer.Be sure to check the schedule as there are many events going on throughout the spring and summer.

We would like to thank Branden Miller for taking time to chat about Colorado craft beer. It was apparent in our discussion how passionate Branden is about brewing high quality beer. We encourage anyone reading this to make a trip to Black Shirt Brewing to enjoy a delicious beer, you won’t be disappointed. If you would like to learn more about how they got their start, you can see Black Shirt in a craft beer documentary called Crafting a Nation.

Black Shirt Brewing Company
3719 Walnut St.
Dener, CO 80205
(303) 993-2799

Snowmass Mammoth Fest: June 13-15, 2014

Snowmass-Mammoth-FestThe Snowmass Mammoth Fest, formerly Snowmass Chili Pepper & Brew Fest, returns for its 11th year on June 13-15, 2014 in collaboration with Snowmass Tourism. Tickets are on sale now.

The Colorado summer festival season kicks off in Snowmass Village at this year’s Snowmass Mammoth Fest. Snowmass Mammoth Fest is proud to announce that Chris Robinson Brotherhood, and Leftover Salmon, will headline the event this summer. Additional musical artists include Xavier Rudd, Les Claypool’s Duo De Twang, The Motet, Nathaniel Rateliff, Bonerama, Houndmouth, Royal Southern Brotherhood, Wheeler Brothers, The London Souls, Miner, and local DJs Berkel Beats, and Echo Da Funk.

Snowmass Mammoth Fest will include great music and food, but don’t forget about the brews! Come celebrate the Grand Tasting on Saturday, June 14th from 2:00pm to 5:00pm in the festival grounds where 25+ breweries will participate with over 50 different beers. Come sample some tasty brews from your favorite breweries on Saturday afternoon while listening to great music in Snowmass Town Park.

Mammoth-Fest-Brewery-ListThere are options of staying in a local hotel near the event, or you can camp at the event. Snowmass Mammoth Fest is coming up pretty soon, so be sure to check out avialability at local hotels here. Snowmass Mammoth Fest is a unique opportunity to be able to camp out at a festival with great music, food, and of course, craft beer. If you’re more interested in camping, check out the options here.

Snowmass Mammoth Fest – June 13-15, 2014
Snowmass Town Park
2835 Brush Creek Road
Snowmass Village, CO 81615

Breweries

Brewery-List-HeaderColorado Brewery List — to inform beer enthusiasts about all of the great Colorado Craft Beer the state has to offer. To locate the breweries below, check out our Colorado Craft Beer Map! Colorado, “The State of Craft Beer!”

53 Peaks Brewing – Littleton, CO

4B’s Brewery – Cedaredge, CO

105 West Brewing Company – Castle Rock, CO

7 Hermits Brewing Company – Eagle, CO

10 Barrel Brewing – Denver, CO

3 Freaks Brewery – Highlands Ranch, CO

300 Suns Brewing – Longmont, CO

38 State Brewing – Littleton, CO (Read our blog here)

12 Degree Brewing – Louisville, CO

AC Golden Brewing Company – Golden, CO (Read our blog here)

Alpine Dog Brewery – Denver, CO

Amicas Pizza & Microbrewery – Salida, CO

Animas Brewing Company – Durango, CO

Asher Brewing Company – Boulder, CO

Aspen Brewing Company – Aspen, CO

Avalanche Brewing Company – Silverton, CO

Avery Brewing Company – Boulder, CO

Backcountry Brewery – Frisco, CO

Baere Brewing Company – Denver, CO

Barnett & Son Brewing – Parker, CO

Barrels & Bottles Brewery – Golden, CO (Read our blog here)

Beer By Design Brewery – Northglenn, CO

Berthoud Brewing – Berthoud, CO

Beryl’s Beer Co. – Denver, CO

Bierwerks Brewery – Woodland Park, CO

Big Beaver Brewing Company – Loveland, CO

Big Choice Brewing – Broomfield, CO

Black Bottle Brewery – Fort Collins, CO

Black Shirt Brewing – Denver, CO

Black Sky Brewery – Denver, CO

Blue Moon Brewing Company – Denver, CO

Blue Spruce Brewing Company – Centennial, CO

Boggy Draw Brewery – Sheridan, CO

Bonfire Brewing – Eagle, CO

Bootstrap Brewing – Niwot, CO

Bottom Shelf Brewery – Bayfield, CO

Boulder Beer – Boulder, CO

Breckenridge Brewery & Pub – Denver, CO

Brewery Rickoli – Wheat Ridge, CO (Read our blog post)

BREW Pub & Kitchen – Durango, CO

Briar Common Brewery & Eatery – Denver, CO

Bristol Brewing Company – Colorado Springs, CO

Brix Taphouse & Brewery – Greeley, CO

Broken Compass Brewing – Breckenridge, CO

Broken Plow Brewery – Greeley, CO

BRU Handbuilt Ales – Boulder, CO

Brues Alehouse – Pueblo, CO

Buckhorn Brewers – Loveland, CO

Bull & Bush Pub & Brewery – Denver, CO

Butcherknife Brewing Company – Steamboat Springs, CO

Call to Arms Brewing – Denver, CO

Cannonball Creek Brewing Company – Golden, CO

Can’t Stop Brewing – Denver, CO

Carbondale Beer Works – Carbondale, CO

Carver Brewing Company – Durango, CO

Casey Brewing & Blending – Glenwood Springs, CO

Caution Brewing Company – Denver, CO

CB & Pott’s Restaurant & Brewery – Fort Collins, CO

Centennial Beer Company – Fort Collins, CO

Cerberus Brewing Company – Colorado Springs, CO

Cerebral Brewing – Denver, CO

Chain Reaction Brewing – Denver, CO

City Star Brewing Company – Berthoud, CO

Cliffhangers Brewing – Littleton, CO

CO-Brew – Denver, CO

Colorado Boy Pub & Brewery – Ridgway, CO / Montrose, CO

Colorado Mountain Brewery – Colorado Springs, CO

Colorado Plus – Wheat Ridge, CO

Comrade Brewing Company – Denver, CO

Coopersmith’s Pub & Brewing – Fort Collins, CO

Coors Archive Brewing Company – Golden, CO

Copper Club Brewing – Fruita, CO

Copper Kettle Brewing Company – Denver, CO

Crabtree Brewing Company – Greeley, CO

Crazy Mountain Brewery – Vail, CO

Creede Brewing Company – Denver, CO

Crooked Stave – Denver, CO

Crow Hop Brewing – Loveland, CO

Crystal Springs Brewing Company – Boulder, CO

Dad & Dudes Breweria – Centennial, CO

Dead Hippie Brewing – Sheridan, CO

Declaration Brewing – Denver, CO

Deep Draft Brewing – Denver, CO

De Steeg Brewing – Denver, CO

Denver Beer Company – Denver, CO

Denver ChopHouse & Brewery – Denver, CO

Diebolt Brewing Company – Denver, CO

Dillon Dam Brewing Company – Dillon, CO

Dodgeton Creek Brewing – Trinidad, CO

Dolores River Brewery – Dolores, CO

Dostal Alley Brewpub – Central City, CO

Dry Dock Brewing Company – Aurora, CO

Durango Brewing Company – Durango, CO

Echo Brewing Company – Frederick, CO

Elk Mountain Brewing Company – Parker, CO

Eddyline Brewing – Buena Vista, CO

Eldo Brewery & Taproom – Crested Butte, CO

Elevation Beer Company – Poncha Springs, CO

Equinox Brewing – Fort Collins, CO

Estes Park Brewery – Estes Park, CO

Factotum BrewHouse – Denver, CO

Fate Brewing Company – Boulder, CO

Fermaentra Brewing – Denver, CO

Fiction Beer Company – Denver, CO

Fieldhouse Brewing Company – Colorado Springs, CO

Finkel & Garf Brewery – Boulder, CO

Flood Stage Aleworks – Brighton, CO

Florence Brewing Company – Florence, CO

Flying Dog Brewery – Denver, CO

Former Future Brewing – Denver, CO

Fossil Brewing – Colorado Springs, CO

Fort Collins Brewery – Fort Collins, CO

Front Range Brewing – Lafayette, CO

Funkwerks – Fort Collins, CO

Glenwood Canyon Brewing Company – Glenwood Springs, CO

Golden Block Brewery – Silverton, CO

Golden City Brewery – Golden, CO (Read our blog here)

Goldspot Brewing – Denver, CO

Gold Camp Brewing – Colorado Springs, CO

Gore Range Brewery – Edwards, CO

Grandma’s House – Denver, CO

Grand Lake Brewing Company – Grand Lake, CO

Gravity Brewing – Louisville, CO

Great Divide Brewing Company – Denver, CO

Great Storm Brewing Company – Colorado Springs, CO

Green Mountain Falls Brewery – Green Mountain Falls, CO

Grimm Brothers Brewhouse – Loveland, CO

Grist Brewing Company – Highlands Ranch, CO

Grossen Bart Brewery – Frederick, CO

Gunbarrel Brewing Company – Boulder, CO

Gunnison Brewery – Gunnison, CO

Halfpenny Brewing Company – Centennial, CO

Hall Brewing – Parker, CO

Hideaway Park Brewery – Winter Park, CO

High Hops Brewery – Windsor, CO

Hogshead Brewery – Denver, CO

Holidaily Brewing Company – Golden, CO

Horse & Dragon Brewing Company – Fort Collins, CO

Horsefly Brewing Company – Montrose, CO

Industrial Revolution Brewing – Erie, CO

Iron Bird Brewing – Colorado Springs, CO

Ironworks Brewery & Pub – Lakewood, CO

J Wells Brewery – Boulder, CO

Jak’s Brewing Company – Peyton, CO

Joyride Brewing Company – Edgewater, CO

Judge Baldwin’s Brewery – Colorado Springs, CO

J. Fargo’s Restaurant & Microbrewery – Cortez, CO

Kannah Creek Brewing Company – Grand Junction, CO

Kokopelli Brewing Company – Westminster, CO

Launchpad Brewery – Aurora, CO

Left Hand Brewing Company – Longmont, CO

Living The Dream Brewing – Highlands Ranch, CO

Liquid Mechanics Brewing – Lafayette, CO

Locavore Beer Works – Littleton, CO

Lone Tree Brewing Company – Lone Tree, CO

Lost Highway Brewery – Denver, CO

Loveland Aleworks – Loveland, CO

Lowdown Brewery – Denver, CO

Lumpy Ridge Brewing – Estes Park, CO

Mad Jack’s Mountain Brewery – Bailey, CO

Mahogany Ridge Brewery – Steamboat Springs, CO

Main Street Brewery & Restaurant – Cortez, CO

Mancos Brewing Company – Mancos, CO

Manitou Brewing Company – Manitou Springs, CO

Meadary of the Rockies – Palisade, CO

Mockery Brewing – Denver, CO

Moffat Station Brewery – Winter Park, CO

Moonlight Pizza & Brewery – Salida, CO

Mountain Toad Brewing – Golden, CO

Mountain Sun Pub & Brewery – Boulder, CO

Mu Brewery – Aurora, CO

Nano 108 Brewing – Colorado Springs, CO

New Belgium Brewing Company – Fort Collins, CO

New Image Brewing – Arvada, CO

New Planet Beer – Boulder, CO

Nighthawk Brewery – Broomfield, CO

Oasis Brewing Company – Denver, CO

Odd 13 Brewing – Lafayette, CO

Odell Brewing Company – Fort Collins, CO

Odyssey Beerwerks – Arvada, CO

Old Colorado Brewing Company – Wellington, CO

Old Mill Brewery – Littleton, CO (now called Cliffhangers Brewing)

Old Mine Cidery & Brewpub – Erie, CO

Ouray Brewery – Ouray, CO

Ourayle House Brewery – Ouray, CO

Our Mutual Friend Malt & Brew – Denver, CO  (Read our blog here)

Oskar Blues Brewery – Longmont, CO

Pagosa Brewing Company – Pagosa Springs, CO

Palisade Brewing Company – Palisade, CO

Pateros Creek Brewing Company – Fort Collins, CO

Paradox Beer Company – Woodland Park, CO

Peaks N Pines Brewery – Colorado Springs, CO

Phantom Canyon Brewery – Colorado Springs, CO

Pikes Peak Brewing Company – Monument, CO

Pints Pub – Denver, CO

Platt Park Brewing – Denver, CO

Post Brewing Company – Lafayette, CO

Powder Keg Brewing Company – Niwot, CO – Niwot, CO

Prost Brewing Company – Denver, CO (Read our blog post)

Pug Ryans Brewery – Dillon, CO

Pumphouse Brewery – Longmont, CO

Rally King Brewing – Fort Collins, CO

Ratio Beerworks – Denver, CO

Red Leg Brewing Company – Colorado Springs, CO

Renegade Brewing Company – Denver, CO (Read our blog here)

Resolute Brewing Company – Centennial, CO

Revolution Brewing – Paonia, CO

Riff Raff Brewing Company – Pagosa Springs, CO

River North Brewery – Denver, CO (Read our blog here)

Roaring Fork Beer Company – Carbondale, CO

Rockslide Restaurant & Brewery – Grand Junction, CO

Rock Bottom Brewery Denver, CO

Rock Cut Brewing Company – Estes Park, CO

Rocky Mountain Brewery – Colorado Springs, CO

Rockyard Brewing Company – Castle Rock, CO

Royal Gorge Brewing – Canon City, CO (no longer serving their own beer)

Saint Patrick’s Brewing Company – Littleton, CO

San Luis Valley Brewing – Alamosa, CO

Sanitas Brewing Company – Boulder, CO

Seedstock Brewing Company – Denver, CO

Shamrock Brewing – Pueblo, CO

Shoes and Brews – Longmont, CO

Silverton Brewing Company – Silverton, CO

SKA Brewing Company – Durango, CO

Skeye Brewing – Longmont, CO

Smiling Toad Brewery – Colorado Springs, CO

Smuggler’s Brewpub – Telluride, CO

Snowbank Brewing – Fort Collins, CO

Some Place Else Brewery – Arvada, CO

Southpark Brewing Company – Fairplay, CO

Spice Trade Brewing – Arvada, CO

Station 26 Brewing – Denver, CO

Steamworks Brewing Company – Durango, CO

Storm Peak Brewing Company – Steamboat Springs, CO

Storybook Brewing – Colorado Springs, CO

Strange Brewing Company – Denver, CO

Suds Brothers Brewing – Fruita, CO

Telluride Brewing Company – Telluride, CO

The Baker’s Brewery – Silverthorne, CO

The Brew On Broadway – Englewood, CO

The Eldo Brewery – Crested Butte, CO

The Library Sports Grill & Brewery – Winter Park, CO

Three Barrel Brewing Company – Del Norte, CO

Tivoli Beer – Denver, CO

Tommyknocker Brewery & Pub – Idaho Springs, CO

Trinity Brewing Company – Colorado Springs, CO

Triple S Brewing Company – Colorado Springs, CO

TRVE Brewing Company – Denver, CO

Twisted Pine Brewing Company – Boulder, CO

Two22 Brew – Centennial, CO

Two Mile High Brewing Company – Leadville, CO

Two Rascals Brewing – Montrose, CO

Upslope Brewing Company – Boulder, CO

Ursula Brewery – Aurora, CO

Ute Pass Brewing – Woodland Park, CO

Vail Brewing Company – Vail, CO

Verboten Brewing – Loveland, CO

Very Nice Brewing Company – Nederland, CO

Walnut Brewery – Boulder, CO

Walter Brewing Company – Pueblo, CO

WeldWerks Brewing – Greeley, CO

Westbound & Down Brewing Company – Idaho Springs, CO

WestFax Brewing Company – Lakewood, CO

West Flanders Brewing Company – Boulder, CO

Westminster Brewing Company – Westminster, CO

Whistle Pig Brewing – Colorado Springs, CO

Wild Woods Brewery – Boulder, CO

Wiley Roots Brewing – Greeley, CO

Wit’s End Brewing Company – Denver, CO (Read our blog post here)

Wonderland Brewing – Broomfield, CO

Wynkoop Brewing Company – Denver, CO

Yak & Yeti Restaurant & Brewpub (Spice Trade Brewing) – Arvada, CO (Read our blog here)

Yampa Valley Brewing Company – Hayden, CO