Monday, December 3, 2012

Black Bottle Brewery opens to a full house

Owner/brewer Sean Nook of Black Bottle BreweryFort Collins' craft beer legacy just got bigger over the weekend with the opening of the new Black Bottle Brewery. Sean and Erin Nook, husband & wife, are the co-owners of the brewery. Sean, formerly in the automotive business, started brewing at his home in Timnath years ago and has perfected a wide variety of recipes. He had been planning this brewery for years and now it has finally become a reality.

Black Bottle Brewery is located just off the busy intersection on the SW corner of Prospect and College Avenue in Fort Collins, CO near the Chucky Cheese restaurant. On Friday, November 30th they held a private soft opening for invited guests. Then on December 1st, 2012 they officially opened their doors to the public and the turn out was even better than they expected. In fact, at times there was a line stretching out the door to get in. By early afternoon, every seat in the place was taken, even at the bar and in the spacious outdoor patio.

40 taps and a full bar selection at Black BottleBlack Bottle has stated up front that they don't want to brew ordinary beers. They are going to brew the kind of beer they like and create a wide variety of tastes. They don't like sticking to any particular style guideline and it shows. On opening day they had 4 of their own beers on tap as well as 36 guest beers on tap. Sean didn't ever want to run the risk of not having enough variety on tap. If you look at their selection, you'll notice that there isn't one flagship beer or macro beer on tap. They wanted to bring in the harder to get beers, the rare offerings and those beers you might not usually see on tap at other places.

Of the 4 initial Black Bottle Brewery beers on tap - here is a run down on each of them:

- Hipster - In India Pale Ale (IPA) at 6.0% ABV and 60 IBU. A brew with a wonderful citrus hop aroma and a great bitter taste that IPA lovers come to expect. This brew is available for growler fills. Cost is $4.50 for a 12oz pour.

Black Bottle's Rumsky Brett Wine- Rumsky Brett Wine - a sour Belgian-style blond aged a wine / rum / whiskey barrels. This beer has been aged in barrels for 8 months with Brettanomyces and is an excellent sour ale. 8.5% ABV. Tart and excellent. Cost is $4.00 for a 4oz pour. Limited supply.

- Black Bacchus - a sour Porter "infected" with brett. This is a dark brew that some would call a "sweet & sour" porter. Dark, sour, with a hint of roast. 7.8% ABV. The brett dominates this brew giving this a tartness not seen in other porters. Cost is $8.00 for an 8oz pour or $4 for a 4oz sampler.

Black Bottle's Bitches Get Stitches- Bitches Get Stitches - billed as an imperial rye stout aged in Makers Mark barrels and soured by Brett. Yup, a sour imperial stout. Again, the brett sourness dominates this brew and has a bit more dark roast to it. 8.2% ABV. Cost is $8.00 for an 8oz pour or $4 for a 4oz sampler.

Fermentedly Challenged favorite picks were the Black Bottle Rumsky Brett Wine and the Black Bottle Hipster IPA. If your taste is not for sour ales or IPAs, Black Bottle also had a wide range of guest beers available including styles like: Wee Heavys, Biere de Garde, Winter Warmers, pumpkin ales, pale ales, wits, triples, Belgians, Saisons, Ciders, meads, lambics, regular stouts, brown ales, barleywines and more.

Black Bottle brewhouseSean Nook provided Fermentedly Challenged with a personal tour of their brewhouse. All brewing operations take place downstairs in the sub-level. There they have a huge 11 barrel copper brew kettle, a mash tun, several 7 barrel fermenters, a brite tank cold storage room, a small pilot system, a keg cooler for their 40 tap lines and a grain / milling room. The brewery even has room to expand.

Black Bottle signed the lease on the place about 10 months ago, but the real demo work and build-out all happened within the last 4.5 months. Sean stated that the federal, state and city permits took longer than expected to obtain. The taproom has a large bar, 40 tap handles, two large flat screen TVs, seating for 60 or more, and seating for 30+ outside. The jaw-dropping bar is fully stocked with dozens and dozens of bottled liquors, wines, and other craft beers.

Black Bottle also has a full kitchen and is offering up some great looking pub food including flat pizzas, shrimp cocktails, waffle fries and a wide range of other dishes. Their starting menu will definitely change over time. They also offer small plates featuring: meat, garden veggies, dips, cheeses and more. Black Bottle came up with several food ideas to initially explore and will adjust their offerings to match what customers seem to like best.

Sean plans to keep adding to the number of their own beers they offer. They currently have two one-off pilot brews in the works and also plan to offer several lower ABV session brews in the future.

More photos >>

Black Bottle Brewery becomes the 11th brewery currently open within the city limits. They join: Odell Brewing, New Belgium, Fort Collins Brewery, Funkwerks, Coopersmith's, Pateros Creek Brewing, C.B. & Potts, Equinox Brewing , and recently Pitchers Sports Restaurant. Two other breweries are still planning to open in 2013 / 2014.

Black Bottle BreweryBlack Bottle Brewery
1605 South College Avenue
Fort Collins, CO 80525
(970) 493-2337 (beer)
Hours: Mon-Sun - 11am - 2am

(All photos from Dave Butler -

>> Continue viewing Black Bottle Brewery photo gallery.

Related articles:
- Sneak peak behind Black Bottle Brewery.
- High Hops Brewery celebrates Grand Opening on a high note.
- City Star begins to shine in Berthoud.

This article came from - a Colorado beer blog. Don't miss another article. Subscribe to Fermentedly Challenged by RSS today.