Harry Smith, a longtime brewer at Breckenridge Brewery, opened his own place today, just a block from his old employer and with its full support.
Black Sky Brewery, which dishes up Connecticut-style pizza along with more than ten taps of local beers, was a long time in the making, Smith says. "It doesn't even seem real yet," Smith said earlier today; the brewpub opened at 11 a.m.
Mechanical issues prevented Black Sky from having its own beers on tap for the opening, but Smith says at least three of them will be ready in the next ten days to two weeks, including Demon Seed IPA, an American pale ale and an imperial oatmeal pumpkin porter.
In the meantime, Black Sky is serving beers from Breckenridge, Strange, Renegade, Dry Dock, Prost, Hogshead, Wit's End and other local breweries.
The imperial pumpkin porter was brewed in collaboration with Todd Usry, the brewmaster and operations chief at Breckenridge, who was also on hand today for the opening. Also in the house to show support was the owner of Black Sky's next closest brewery-neighbor, Brian O'Connell of Renegade Brewing.
But they weren't first in line. That honor belonged to a couple of Smith's friends, who showed up at 9 a.m. and waited in line.
Black Sky has five employees, including Smith's wife, Lila Mackey, and will be looking to hire more soon. The brewpub will be open six days a week and closed on Mondays.
The brewery boasts a seven-barrel brewing system that includes some old pieces of equipment from Breckenridge, along with a patio, a parking lot and a mural. It also has a heavy-metal theme to its decor and beer names.
Eventually, there will be twenty beers on tap and three sodas.
"We looked everywhere, but this space had everything we needed," Smith says.
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