This is smart. Let’s have more of this.

by Billy Broas

What’s the market size for a $100 beer dinner? Pretty small.

Pairing good beer and food is a scrumptious experience but it’s one normally reserved for the connoisseur.

How about something for the average Joe? That’s why we need more of what New Belgium and Smashburger are doing. Good beer, thoughtfully paired with menu items in a fast-casual setting.

I had the pleasure of filling my belly with the entire menu last week (samples; I’m no Adam Richman). New Belgium’s sensory specialist Lauren Salazar and Smashburger founder Tom Ryan led us through six pairings for the launch of their new venture which will begin in Colorado and then branch out to other states.

So let’s do more mainstreaming of craft beer. White table-cloth dinners are great, but think of how many more people will be exposed to craft beer while grabbing a burger on Denver’s 16th street mall? So what if it’s not foie gras? It’s a green chile burger and it’s fuckin’ great.

Here are pictures of the pairings and the menu. Throw fast-casual into places that need better beer. At least someone has the right idea.

Menu of beer and burger pairings

Click for the large version

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Chris September 14, 2012 at 11:26 am

Great thanks for reminding me how much I love Smashburger. Mmmmm. What to do for lunch today?

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Billy Broas September 14, 2012 at 11:47 am

Want the truth? This event was my first time at Smashburger. Would’ve appreciated you filling me in there buddy.

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Sheppy September 14, 2012 at 2:17 pm

Well, as long as we are being truthful …

Whenever I see suggested food/beer pairings on a menu, I ignore them and drink whatever I am the mood for.

Perhaps I should start paying closer attention to these things.

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kat September 17, 2012 at 9:45 am

i also don’t get the $100 beer dinners! i’m not exactly vegetarian, but i’m not exactly into eating liver mousse which seems to make it on 90% of the dinner pairing menus in SoCal. i’ve been yearning for a regular food with good beers dinner like this…you know, something you can actually replicate for a dinner with friends!

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