Black Shirt Brewing will tap its imperial rye IPA, Red Evelyn, tonight and tomorrow at 5 p.m. as part of Colorado Craft Beer Week, but it plans to reserve the rest of that beer for a new, limited growler program, which it will roll out on Easter Sunday.
The brewery will have 400-500 of the flip-top growlers for sale that day; all of them are screen-printed with Black Shirt's logo and will have been counter-pressure filled so that they will keep their carbonation for a few days and won't oxidize right away.
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"This a big beautiful IPA and its best to drink now," says Black Shirt co-owner Branden Miller about the beer, an 8.5 percent ABV double IPA made with rye, Belgian candy sugar, Colorado wildflower honey and five varieties of hops. "Don't hang onto it."
Until now, Miller says Black Shirt hadn't filled growlers because it simply wasn't producing enough beer: "If we had, we'd be back to being open only two nights a week. But now we are starting to catch up."
The growlers will be filled and exchanged in an unusual way, however, one that is different than how most breweries do it. "You won't be able to bring it back and just fill it off one of the taps," Miller explains. Instead, the brewery will exchange it for another beer that it has already counter-pressure filled to keep it from going flat.
"We want our beer to be just as spectacular at your house, or on your dinner table or on your back porch as it was right here," he says. "We are kind of sticklers about it."
Black Shirt will keep customers informed of what is available and what isn't and how many bottles they have on its Facebook page.
In the meantime, the party for Red Evelyn is planned for Sunday, March 31 from 2 to 4 p.m. The beer, weighing in at 90 IBUs, is named for Miller's grandmother.
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