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Tomorrow is the Super Bowl. Or, what can also be called beer’s national holiday. With the game taking place practically in our own backyard, and pilots from Fresno’s own 144th Fighter Wing protecting the skies over Levi’s Stadium, there really is no better time to highlight a local craft brewery with a military hook. Let’s talk Black Ops Brewing.
No covert operations were actually necessary in starting the brewery, which friends Brandon Broussard and Ryan Rabbon did in 2014. At least not to this writer’s knowledge. They began making homebrew on the back patio of the engineering company where they both worked. From the beginning, their mission was simple: make beer they like to drink. A little while later a third partner, Justin Campagne, came on board, and on Jan. 2, 2015 they brewed their first batch of beer under the Black Ops name.
Currently on the loosing end of legal battle over that very name, which Broussard says is an homage to family members who’ve served or are serving in the military, Black Ops is in the process of rebranding. By April 30th, the Black Ops name will be no more. Lucky for us, the guys will continue to churn out gallons of Blonde Bomber ale and Valor IPA, among others, under a new, yet-to-be-determined name.
You can currently find Black Ops beer on tap and KuniSama (6825 N. Willow Ave., Suite 101, Fresno) and Goldstein’s in the Tower District (1279 N. Wishon Ave, Fresno). Their bottles are sold at The Fort (9415 Ft. Washington Rd., Suite 103, Fresno) and The Market (7088 N. West Ave., Fresno). Make it your mission to try some.
Here, Broussard talks about how Black Ops got started, the legal tug-of-war over the name and the process of coming up with a new one, and what military guys and gals think of the beer brewed in homage to them.