"And His Daring Life of Crime, Made Him A Legend In His Time..."

Brewery and Country of Origin: Fort Collins Brewery of 1020 East Lincoln Avenue, Fort Collins, CO, 80524, USA

Date Reviewed: 1-25-13

First, before we get into this, let us tell you that we know the name of this Schwarzbier is slightly different from the upcoming subject matter. No worries, because we don't care. We're not sure why this beer's name is spelled with two d's, whatever. Anyway, let us tell you a little bit about a man not from Wheeling, West Virginia. William H. Booney, known to us modern folk as "Billy The Kid," was an American frontiersman and gun slinging outlaw born November 23rd, 1859. He is commonly associated with American tall tales and folklore, being mentioned as a sharp shooter who killed more than 20 people (though realistically he killed around 4-5 people). And despite a record of multiple homocides, Billy The Kid is a beloved American Folk Hero, known for his friendly demeanor, lithe stature, and of course, his ability to work a firearm. And all of this has made him quite a curious and widely portrayed figure. He is mentioned in countless films (mostly Westerns), dozens of books (both fictional and biographical), and numerous songs (other than Billy Joel's). Former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson even considered posthumously pardoning Billy The Kid of his crimes in 2010 as a way to close out a promise made by Governor Lew Wallace in 1879, two years before he was killed by Sheriff Pat Garrett. Unfortunately for him, Richardson announced on his last day in office that, due to "historical ambiguity," involving the original pardon. The announcement was made on Good Morning America. So in a way, Billy The Kid is still the troublesome gunman, who still has a record... who is loved by many. And in a way, this brings us to this Colorado beer. This is a dark lager, known as a Schwarzbier. It looks, smells, and tastes like a very dark, heavy, and full bodied beer, but feels like a light lager. Well, we know the paradoxical nature of Billy The Kid's story. To think that a serial killing outlaw can be as friendly and as celebrated as he is, is much like making the suggestion that a very dark and malty brew can drink like a light one. Which brings us to our next point. Much of what surrounds Billy The Kid's "legendary" aspects of his life are fictionalized. It's also a commonly held (incorrect) belief that all dark beers are heavy. Truth be told, these aren't the way things always are. Though if we're honest, it's better he only killed five people instead of 21. The Kid, not the beer, of course.
Date Sampled: 1-04-13 At: 7 Prescott Place, Allston, Boston, MA, 02134, USA
Beer Style: Schwarzbier
Alcohol by Volume: 4.50% (Currently 5.10%)
Serving Type: 12 oz Bottle, 16 oz Stange Glass
Rating: 3.07


Kidd Black Lager has a clear, filtered appearance with a very dark reddish color which shines in bright light. There is no sediment at the bottom, and the pour is smooth with a low amount of carbonation action. This produces a very thin, weak foam head with a low density, and a weak retention. A moderate amount of lacing occurs on the glass.


This beer has a somewhat strong aroma with a roasted malty overtone, giving it a sweet presence overall. There is some smoky character to the malt as well, producing some earthy notes. A slightly faint grainy aspect is detectable, as are some bread like biscuity notes.


This is a medium light bodied brew with a below average level of viscosity, a low amount of carbonation, and a slightly lower than average weight. This combination makes this a dull, yet smooth feeling beer which is easy to drink, but offers to crispness or refreshment. A slightly lingering finish is present.


Robust chocolate malty flavors are immediately noticeable as this beer is full of coffee and smoky tastes. There are some earthy and biscuity notes present, as well as a small amount of nuttiness. There are no grainy or grassy flavors here, and no alcohol is present in the taste. There are only subtle hops detectable throughout. A smoky, short lived aftertaste closes out.

Our Take

This beer's two sided nature makes it a somewhat unique beer, though the overall experience is very much in line with Schwarzbiers in general. We do have to applaud this beer's bold malty flavors which are nicely kept in check with a small amount of German hops, only present in the flavor towards the very end. There are also good things to say about this beer's rather powerful and flavor enhancing aroma, which shares characteristics of both maltier beers and traditional lagers. There are hints of a grain like aspect only in the aroma, as the flavor is mostly dominated with smoky and dark malt. But while we do say that this beer is the part of two worlds, it's not the best of either. A rather light body combined with a low amount of carbonation gives this beer a dull overall feel, and the effect is exaggerated when the beer drinks relatively lightly. Basically, this beer feels weak, and there isn't any crispness as you would want a lighter bodied beer to possess. Still, this is a cool beer which will appeal to many (except those who are only interested in hoppy beers), and it's lighter body and robust malty presence will make it a versatile meal accompaniment.