East Tucson's BlackRock Brewers is easy to miss if you don't see the small sign at the street median.
Surrounded by industrial buildings at 1664 S. Research Loop there's no neon light to catch your eye. Just a black and white sign with the logo.
The large west-facing windows let in plenty of warm evening sunlight. Jugs with stalks of wheat serve as table centerpieces. The large black chalkboard clearly displays the tap offerings and Wi-Fi password.
BlackRock opened in April 2017 and has established a steady following.
"The tagline is 'BRB is Brewing Real Beer,' which highlights our approach of balanced, approachable beers that highlight flavor and quality," said Tony Williams, co-founder and president of BlackRock. "All it takes is a couple of bad beers to keep people from coming back. We really make sure to focus on quality for every batch."
The balanced beers match their styles with no over-aggressive characteristics, while maintaining no shortage of flavor. The taproom currently features 13 taps, eight of which feature flagship beers and four of which rotate. Tap 13 is their experimental tap with exceptionally small batch beers.
Current approachable offerings include the Arizona Pub Ale American wheat beer, Batch 42 Amber Lager, Tartan 99 true Scottish ale, Vanilla Porter, and rotating fruit cream ales which include Dreamsicle (blood orange and vanilla), Blueberry, Raspberry, and Peach.
This summer's offering includes El Heffe, a roasted green chili Bavarian hefeweizen with no heat, just flavor.
BlackRock's IPAs have also garnered attention since opening. Their west coast-style IPA Baja Sol earned the following medals:
Their English style IPA Admiration also earned local awards:
"We're excited and humbled that we were able to bring home the cup for best of show for this beer," Williams said. "We've been making some changes to it over the last year and it's great to get some professional feedback on it. It's an awesome experience to be able to compete with breweries from across the state. The AZ Craft Brewer's Guild and the Tucson Homebrew Club really did a great job putting this together."
BlackRock keeps their Facebook page and website updated, so guests can know when to expect food trucks such as Molecular Munchies or American Asian and events such as live music and Trivia Thursdays.
Operating hours are 1 - 6 p.m. Sunday, 2:30 - 9 p.m. Tuesday - Wednesday, 2:30 - 10 p.m. Thursday - Friday, and noon - 10 p.m. Saturday.
If you'd like a bottle of BlackRock beer, check the local shelves at Total Wine & More in Tucson.
BlackRock Brewers is located at 1664 S. Research Loop, Ste 200. Keep up with BlackRock Brewers on Facebook. For more information, visit blackrockbrewers.com.
Jackie Tran is a Tucson-based food writer, photographer, culinary educator, and owner-chef of the food truck Tran's Fats. Although he...