To enjoy a craft beer on its own is smart, but to pair it with food is wise.
Tips on Pairing Beer with Food
In honor of American Craft Beer Week (May 16-22, 2016), we’ve put together a list of 8 delicious beer and food pairings you can get from local breweries right here in Colorado Springs.
Taking notes from Greg Engert, a nationally respected beer connoisseur, we considered his seven distinct categories of beer (Crisp, Hop, Malt, Roast, Smoke, Fruit and Spice, and Tart and Funky) and matched them with some of our hometown favorites. He spoke about these categories along with pairing suggestions on NPR’s “The Splendid Table.” If you’re into beer and have seven minutes, it’s definitely worth a listen.
The Colorado craft beer industry is blossoming, and craft brewers are playing with flavors and techniques while staying true to the basics (we wrote a little bit about this on a recent blog post). Some breweries are outfitted with full kitchens while others rely on food trucks and nearby restaurants to pair their beer with flavorful fare.
There are literally limitless pairings between craft beer and local food, so we encourage you to create your own. To get your taste buds started, here are some of our favorites from around town!
Here you go! Our 9 favorite beer and food pairings all found here in Colorado Springs…
521 South Tejon Street, Colorado Springs, CO 80903
We recently talked about Fieldhouse Brewing Company on our blog post “Best Restaurants to Prepare and Replenish on Race Day in Colorado Springs,” because we really do think they’re great! They are one of those breweries that really stick to what they know: beer. And they leave the aliments to a variety of food trucks, which park out back throughout the week and weekend. For this pairing, we chose to feature Treehouse BBQ Food Truck, which visits Fieldhouse every Friday night.
1. Try this pairing…
Fist Pump Milk Stout with a Pulled Pork Sandwich
Engert’s Beer Category: Roast
1756 Lake Woodmoor Drive, Monument, CO 80132
Just take a short jaunt up I25 to find Pikes Peak Brewing Co. in the growing town of Monument. With more room than what appears from the outside, this brewery that was established in 2011 has a few different environments to sip and linger including a barrel room and an outdoor patio near Lake Woodmoor.
2. Try this pairing…
Devil’s Head Red and the Meat and Cheese Platter
Engert’s Beer Category: Malt
625 Paonia Street, Colorado Springs, CO 80915
A great brewery for those on the east side of town, Rocky Mountain Brewery is proud to have their own beer and ciders on tap. They really understand building community with their patrons and are continually hosting events like trivia nights and even yoga (“Pints and Poses”). With a rotating line of food trucks, we chose to feature Abuela’s Cuban Bistro for this particular pairing, which has been previously spotted there on Monday nights.
3. Try this pairing…
Smoked Hefeweizen with the Mojo Cuban Pork
Engert’s Beer Category: Smoke
1466 Garden of the Gods Road #184, Colorado Springs, CO 80907
Located on the west side of I25 near Garden of the Gods, Trinity Brewing Company promotes up-cycling with their bar made of beer bottles (consumed during construction) and their walls adorned with reclaimed Kentucky barn wood. Continuously pushing limits (and winning lots of awards!), this brewery is a must-see in Colorado Springs.
4. Try this pairing…
Sole Horkey Ale with the Warm Colorado Beet Salad
Engert’s Beer Category: Malt
2402 Waynoka Road, Colorado Springs, CO 80915
Nano 108 was the “Best New Brewery” in 2014 and has also won awards for their barrel-aged beer. Recently, they’ve been seen on the shelves of Whole Foods with their House IPA Colorado Beer Brats as a new local product. They have a variety of beer on tap and enjoy displaying local art throughout their tasting room.
5. Try this pairing…
Hop Elixir Double IPA with Island Tacos
Engert’s Beer Category: Hop
4005 Tutt Boulevard, Colorado Springs CO 80922
One of our favorite new breweries, Peaks N Pines has a laid-back and simple atmosphere, allowing their creativity in their beer to really shine through. Before this brewery opened, their Switchback Blonde won a Bronze medal at the 2015 All Colorado Brew Festival. Thankfully for them, Schnitzel Fritz is right around the corner and delivers for free, providing authentic and hearty German fare for anyone looking to complete the experience.
6. Try this pairing…
Ginger, Not Mary Anne (Amber Ale) with the Bavarian Bratwurst
Engert’s Beer Category: Fruit and Spice
3121 A North El Paso Street, Colorado Springs, CO 80907
Storybook Brewing is a Nano brewery that has fresh beer inspired by owner Pete’s international travels to places like Brazil, Japan, Bavaria, and Belgium. This brewery focuses on the details and makes sure everyone has a good time (especially if you get to sit in a barrel chair!). They love partnering with local food trucks, and for this pairing we’re featuring Bite Me Gourmet Sausage.
7. Try this pairing…
Für Lisa Kölsch with the Elk Brat (Jalapeño Cheddar)
Engert’s Beer Category: Crisp
725 Manitou Avenue, Manitou Springs, CO 80829
Visit Manitou’s only brewery located right in the heart of the central business district and in walking distance to other attractions like the Penny Arcade and natural mineral springs. If you’re a runner, swing by at 6:00pm on Wednesday nights for a 4.25 mile run through stunning Garden of the Gods – then enjoy discounted beer afterward!
8. Try this pairing…
High Ground IPA with the Incline Burger
Engert’s Beer Category: Hop
Really, these pairings just scratch the surface of the great brews and food available here in Colorado Springs! Try our recommendations or mix and match to find the perfect flavor combinations.