DENVER — Madonna, Bill Evans, Charles Bukowski, Steve Carell—all were born on August 16, but for the Black Shirt Brewing Company family, this auspicious date brings two things to mind: Evelyn Miller’s birthday and Red Evelyn Release Day.
The grandmother of Black Shirt’s co-owners, Branden and Chad Miller, Evelyn Miller was an inspiring matriarch who left an enduring mark on her grandsons. She was a fixture in the small, windswept town of Westcliffe, Colorado, where she ran a general store for 53 years. To honor Grandma Evie (pronounced EV-ee), Black Shirt brews its beloved Imperial Red Rye IPA, Red Evelyn, every summer, releasing it on her birthday. Made with copious amounts of rye and wildflower honey, and dry-hopped with Citra and Simcoe at five points in the brewing process, Red Evelyn is a bold and bodacious beer, much like Grandma Evie herself. Coming in at just under 10% ABV, it’s a beer that leaves a lasting impression.
“With over 2,000 pounds of grain, 120 pounds of honey, a huge pitch of yeast to handle the job, and 6.5 pounds per barrel of the very best hops we can get our hands on, Red Evelyn is not only an expensive beer to make but an intricate one,” said Black Shirt’s Co-Owner and Director of Operations, Branden Miller. “It pushes us and our brewhouse to the very brink. However, sitting down and enjoying a glass of this incredibly complex and outrageously delicious beer reminds us why we do this. The reward definitely surpasses the risk. We like to think Grandma Evie would have loved this beer, too!”
Making Red Evelyn is indeed labor-intensive, requiring meticulous oversight and more than a little luck. In 2015, due to numerous factors, the brewery had to dump an entire batch of the beer and rebrew it once a they had another production opening, which resulted in a December release. Such is the fickle nature of brewing these complex beers – despite best intentions, passion and skill, things can still go south.
Thankfully this year there were no such problems, and Red Evelyn is on schedule for its mid-August release. Pennies have been appearing around the brewhouse, which Black Shirt crew members take as a sign that Grandma Evie’s spirit is alive and well.
“It always happens when Red Evelyn is being brewed,” said one employee. “We find pennies in the oddest places.”
For the first time since the beer was introduced in 2012, Black Shirt will can Red Evelyn in 16oz four packs. Available only in the taproom, this beer will not see distribution. The release will kick off at 11 a.m. on August 16, with a special preview for SBS (Secret Beer Society) members on Wednesday the 15th. Four packs will run $18, limit one case per person. With the advent of the new cans, Black Shirt continues to grow its 16 oz offerings, which include Frontmaniac Double IPA, BONZO! Pistachio Lavender Rye Pale Ale, and Turbo Juice Hazy Blood Orange IPA.
About Black Shirt Brewing Co.
Craft Beer. Pizza. Music. Community.
Black Shirt Brewing Co. is a small craft brewery located in the RiNo neighborhood in Denver, Colorado, serving delicious hand-crafted beer and pizza every day starting at 11 am. We also host free live music every Friday evening & Saturday midday, as well as Think & Drink Pub Quiz every Tuesday.
3719 Walnut St | 303-993-2799 | www.blackshirtbrewingco.com.