Black Hammer Brewing | Sparkle Pony
ABV: 6.9% | IBU: 24
Jim Furman used to work at a nuclear safety test facility for the Nuclear Power Institute of China (NPIC) in Chengdu in the Szechuan Province. Now Jim is the proud owner and head brewer of Black Hammer Brewing (BHB). True story. While Jim is brewing, you will often find Growler, Jim’s dog, hanging out in the tap room greeting customers. BHB opened just over a year ago in the SOMA neighborhood of San Francisco and is having great success. Their mission is twofold: Lager without limits! and Malt Forward! Sparkle Pony is one beer so popular that it pays the rent.
Sparkle Pony is an eye-catching name for a Belgian blonde ale that makes me chuckle when ordering. Of course the female in the tap room wants a Sparkle Pony, but honestly who wouldn’t? This beer clocks in at 6.9%. Sparkle Pony pours a true-to-style golden yellow with an inviting fruity Belgian nose. The flavor is sweet with notes of honey, yeast and slight Belgian funk. Sparkle Pony has a lot of flavor for a blonde ale and really lives up to the Belgian character. Also, Sparkle Pony has won gold at the Denver International Beer Competition in 2016 (Belgian Blond Ale) and silver at the New York International Beer Competition in 2016 as well.
Furman explained the origin of the Sparkle Pony name: “Well… it’s a Belgian blonde, and there is a name for a Burning Man-themed camp member that excels at being attractive, but whenever there’s manual labor to be done… they seem to just prance away into the desert. That person is affectionately referred to as a ‘Sparkle Pony.'” The beer’s recipe inspiration was based on research of Belgian breweries and typical Belgian blonde malt bills, yeasts and hop schedules. Sparkle Pony is meant to be a drier style of blonde than Leffe. Recently the recipe was adjusted to accentuate the dry Belgian character, and Sparkle Pony is tastier than ever.
For now, Sparkle Pony and all of BHB’s beer are available on tap and in growler fills only. Black Hammer Brewing is focused on rapidly expanding their tap presence in San Francisco. Within the tap room, there are constant upgrades of beer offerings. Furman seeks to keep the tasting room and brewing dynamic through nitro and hand-pumped cask ales, art shows and ambiance. Look for BHB beers to be bottled before the end of the year. If you are interested in visiting the tasting room, “kids, dogs and parrots accompanied by their parent(s) are welcome” and you can bring in outside food.
Black Hammer Brewing specifics
Monday-Thursday: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Friday: 11 a.m. – 12 a.m.
Saturday: 12 p.m. – 12 a.m.
Sunday: 12 p.m. – 10 p.m.
11 a.m. (12 p.m. weekends) – 2 p.m.
1$ off pints, $5 off pitchers
FOLLOW VICTORIA’S BEER ADVENTURES ON TWITTER & INSTAGRAM @TAPSWITHTOR.