Since Black Shirt Brewing Company’s inception in 1999, its been operating under the mantra that “good things take time.” For the co-founders and owners—Chad Miller, his wife Carissa, and his brother Branden—creating their dream brewery was a manifestation of time and sacrifice, which is why the trio didn’t officially open the doors to its production facility and taproom in RiNo until 2012. On Wednesday, April 19, Black Shirt opened the doors to a brand new venture that has been a long time in the making: a full-service restaurant.

In fact, the brewery’s floor plans included a kitchen from the beginning. “We always said that once we got the brewery completely dialed in, we’d expand,” Chad says. Black Shirt tapped chef Matthew Kender, formerly of Pizzicato in Portland, Oregon, to lead the kitchen. Kender’s scratch-made menu incorporates beer right into the recipes. Kender even dries and mills spent grain from the brewery for use in his signature pizza dough, giving the crust deep, rich flavor.

Black Shirt’s kitchen debuted with six menu items, and will add more dishes down the road. Diners can dig into fresh, entrée-size salads such as the Line, a hearty mix of chimichurri flank steak, charred corn, roasted red onions, romaine lettuce, and house-made pickles flavored with the brewery’s IPA. Three pizzas will come from the kitchen’s 600-degree brick oven. Our favorite is the Cash—a pie featuring barbecue sauce (made with the brewery’s IPA, of course), roasted chicken, Taleggio, mango, caramelized sweet onions, and peppery arugula. Pair it with the Timekeeper rye pale ale—the tropical and citrus notes in that balanced brew are a nice complement the pizza’s sweet-and-savory flavors.

3719 Walnut St., Denver, 303-993-2799