Beer Man

Black Bottle Brewery in Fort Collins will double in size and start bottling its beer

Fort Collins is home to two of Colorado's five largest craft breweries, but there are about a dozen other breweries or breweries-in-planning there as well, a sign of a growing depth and breadth that makes Fort Collins one of the best beer towns in the country.

One of those, the fourteen-month-old Black Bottle Brewery, will double its beer-making capacity this week and has announced plans to start earning the "Bottle" in its name, packaging two beers for distribution to Denver and the rest of the Front Range.

See also: Fort Collins Brewery plans major expansion, new beers, marketing push

"It has been an awesome ride," says Black Bottle sales director Sean Theis, adding that there is plenty of competition. "It's a tough market, but that's the fun of it."

The brewery/restaurant will take possession of seven new fermenters totaling 85 barrels and five new brite tanks, more than doubling its existing brewhouse. Black Bottle produced 718 barrels of beer in 2013, and hopes to break 2,000 barrels in 2014. This is the third time the brewery has expanded since it opened in December 2012.

In the summer, the brewery will begin bottling two of its popular sellers in 750-ml bottles on a four-head bottling line, Theis says. They are Just a Minor Threat, an 11 percent ABV imperial IPA, and Liquid Metal, a 10 percent ABV imperial rye stout. After that, Black Bottle plans to bottle its PDA Belgian Tripel as well.

"We are searching for black bottles," he adds, referring to the brewery's name. "But they are hard to find these days. So they will probably be dark brown bottles, and we will be capping and waxing the tops to give them the image of being black."

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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes