I’ve been a fan of Black Shirt Brewing since the beginning. Month after month I watched as its construction progressed, and I eagerly awaited the day the brewery would open its doors. Then, in October 2012, the day had come/arrived. As is easy to see from my original post from my first visit, I was head over heels for the beer. And 4 ½ years later, it’s still going strong—and even better than ever.
I was extremely excited last year when I heard about plans to open a kitchen that would serve food full-time in the taproom. Because not only do I love to drink local craft beer, I also enjoy pairing great food with it. Often when I’m trying to figure out where to grab a beer, food is a big consideration. In making the decision on where to go, I typically get online and look at each brewery’s website and/or social media pages to see if any of them have food trucks that particular day. Sometimes I can find that information, other times I can’t. And even if a truck is scheduled, there are many occasions where they are unable to make it for whatever reason.
So I am thrilled that one of my favorite Denver breweries now has wonderful, quality food that is available whenever the taproom is open (note: orders are accepted up until one hour before closing). And it isn’t just random bar food; chef and restaurateur Bill Greenwood and Chef Matthew Kender have worked together to create dishes that incorporate BSB’s beer into the ingredients. The debut menu features three pizzas, three salads, desserts, and more options coming soon. And in the near future, Black Shirt will expand its menu to include additional specialty and seasonal pizzas as well as weekend brunch fare (YES!). I attended a media preview earlier this week and got to try appetizers, salads, and pizza. And wow—was I impressed. Everything I tried was amazing.
The Sue, pictured near the top of this post, is probably the most unique salad I’ve ever had, and definitely one of the most delicious. Whole roast zucchini, fried egg, mixed herb salad, roasted walnuts, red grapes, and lemon herb vinaigrette come together to make an outstanding combination of flavors that is unlike any salad I’ve eaten before. Other salads include The Folsom: Roasted chicken, avocado, egg, Tender Belly bacon, Maytag blue cheese, buttermilk ranch, iceberg lettuce, and marinated cherry tomatoes. And The Line: Chimichurri flank steak, creamy Dijon dressing, roasted red onions, charred corn, cotija cheese, sweet gem, and red sorrel greens. Yum!
The pizzas are made with house-made malt flour and spent grain, creating the perfect crust. I had The Carter (pictured above), Black Shirt’s version of a margherita pie. It had just the right touch of garlic flavor and plenty of fresh basil. This one will be a favorite with vegetarians especially. While the menu states that substitutions or additions are not permitted, they are kind enough to omit ingredients due to dietary or food allergies. That’s excellent news for vegetarians like me, as I can still choose from any of the pizzas with a simple request to hold the meat. I haven’t yet tried the two other pizzas pictured in this post—which look incredible!—but I’m very much looking forward to ordering them sans meat during my next visit.
Looking for a beer to go with your salad or pizza? Choose your favorite, or look to the food menu to check out the suggested pairing. I love it when a restaurant/brewery provides an option they feel works well with a dish. Depending on my mood, I may go with it or I might decide on something completely different. There are no wrong answers when it comes to personal taste.
Black Shirt Brewing’s kitchen is open Sunday-Thursday from 11 a.m.-9 p.m., and Friday-Saturday from 11 a.m.-11 p.m. I suggest you get there as soon as you can; you won’t regret it, and I’m sure you’ll be back for more.