Visited on: Saturday 2nd June 2018
As Linda and I approached the Black Sky brewery along Sante Fe Drive, there was no doubt in our minds as to which genre of music is played regularly played inside.
The outside walls on either side of the building are canvasses for huge murals in the style so beloved by the practitioners of heavy metal. If you might still be in doubt the following three words: “Beer-Pizza-Metal” are emblazoned on the front wall.
Inside there was very little light yet we were able to discern that the most important feature, the bar counter was found on the left side. It is one large room and beyond the bar was a large area devoted to the brewery with its shining stainless steel equipment.
We took a table near the brewery and I observed that there was a band setting up there; were we to hear some metal? Well actually, no. I got it completely wrong as they were taking down and we’d missed them!
The inspiration behind Black Sky is Harry Smith who opened the brewery in September 2013. He’d been a brewer with Breckenridge brewery for over eleven years and before opening Black Sky had also worked for Strange Craft Brewery. His wife, Lila is the pub’s bar manager. Like two other local breweries, Renegade and Intrepid Sojourner, Black Sky is in the Sante Fe Arts District, which exists mainly between 6th and 14th Avenues.
There are twenty-three taps behind the bar and they are roughly divided between other local breweries and the home side. We tried five from Black Sky and here are our comments on them.
Commander Ryeker (4.0%) was very good indeed and quite a rarity in the USA, a session pale ale with medium bitterness. Scepter Dunkel (5.1%): I understood this was a Dunkelweizen but I could taste no wheat malt. It had a large amount of dark and roast barley and very little else.
We continued with Black Lite (4.7%), another strange one as it not black but a golden ale. It’s a very easy drinking beer with some citrus hop in the background. Carnivorous Steak Ale (6.9%) is an amber ale and was certainly the right colour, yet I found it to be too bitter for that style but very pleasant, nevertheless.
Our final tasting was of Demon Seed (6.7%). This is an American IPA and was true to the style; we liked it.
As can be imagined there is lot of live music going on here and when there isn’t they play metal: Sabbath, Slayer, Metallica and all the rest. The walls are covered with all the symbols in the form of paintings, poster, flags and all the rest. No doubt there are a few skulls lurking in there.
The kitchen turns out pizzas in the New Haven style. They have pin-ball machines and there’s a terrace for the warmer months, what’s not to like!
Black Sky Brewery, 490 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, Colorado 80204. Tel 720 708 5816
Hours: Sunday-Thursday 11.00-24.00; Friday-Saturday 11.00-02.00
Kitchen: Sunday-Thursday 11.00-23.00; Friday-Saturday 11.00-24.00
The best way to get here without walking too far is the No 1 Bus route.
It is basically an east-west route that just happens to run north-south through the Sante Fe Arts District.
In the City centre it runs along 17th (South) and 18th Street (North) in opposing directions.
Alight at the Galapago Street and West 5th Avenue stop. Walk forward in the direction of travel.
Then turn immediately right into West 5th. Avenue. The pub is on the right side.
Bus 1 returns northbound on Galapago Street from the Galapago & West 6th Avenue stop.