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BLACK SKY BREWERY, DENVER
Specialty: Unique spins on true-to-style beers
Humble Beginnings: Black Sky Brewery is the undertaking of Harry Smith, who already had 11 years under his belt as a brewer at Breckenridge Brewery when Black Sky shredded into Denver’s craft beer scene in September 2013. Though he’d been fiddling with refreshing one-off brews at Strange Craft Beer Company for their One-Barrel Wednesday series in his spare time, Black Sky would become the permanent home for Smith to perfect new takes on classic styles of beer.
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Fun Fact: Black Sky’s tribute to heavy metal culture is exemplified in the form of beer collaborations with heavy metal bands. During one visit, Caveman Kolsch (4.0 percent ABV) was on tap, an effort Black Sky shared with the New York-based band Skinless.
Don’t Miss: Daring drinkers shouldn’t forego the Demon Phoenix Ale (5.7 percent ABV, brewed with sweet potato, green chili, Socorro and Mosco peppers) or the Chocolate Mint Pistachio Stout (4.2 percent ABV). If you’re looking to keep it simple, try Black Lite or Petal to the Metal (both 4.3 percent ABV).
What to Expect: Their interior skips the frills and sticks to raw concrete walls and floors; thrills are saved for the electric guitars strung along the fenced, off-limits hall on the second floor. Since Black Sky is a self-styled heavy metal establishment, the adrenaline-evoking sounds of Metallica, Slayer, and the likes will be your accompaniment. The wide-open, warehouse-style space is embellished with dark art from local artists and a few fitting arcade games near the entrance. The south side of the building hosts a patio with a multitude of tables and chairs and seems to remain open as long as the sun is shining. With one modest television atop the fridge at the end of the bar, it’s apparent the brewery prizes community, music, and conversation above cheap entertainment.
When it comes to service, you can expect a few quick, friendly, and engaging beer-tenders to help quench your thirst and feed the beast in your belly. Boasting 23 taps (which includes housemade and guest brews) and a well-rounded menu that highlights New Haven-style pizzas, Black Sky appeals to a breadth of personalities and preferences.
Make a Night of It: Santa Fe’s First Friday Art Walk is contained mostly within 6th and 14th avenues, which makes Black Sky an excellent jumping-off point or finale for such an evening. During chillier months, though, visit this area’s bevy of more specialized and under-the-radar boutiques, restaurants, bars, and galleries, some rich in the Latino culture that has resided in this neighborhood for decades.
Indulge yourself at El Noa Noa Mexican Restaurant, Renegade Brewing Company, El Taco de Mexico, or Swift’s Kitchen, or plan to catch a film or theater performance at Su Teatro. If your New Year’s resolution involved upping your health efforts, stop in to Awaken Gymnastics Strength Training for a class before rewarding yourself with a hearty pint.
Visit: Black Sky Brewery is located at 490 Santa Fe Drive, Denver.