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The 5280 Guide to Colorado Craft Beer

4 Must-Order Denver Beer and Food Pairings

Nothing against food trucks—but these Mile High City gastropubs are proof that great beer can be even more enjoyable when it’s served alongside elevated fare.


At: Brother-owned Briar Common Brewery & Eatery in Jefferson Park
Drink: Broken Bridge grapefruit hazy IPA
With: Duck confit tacos
Because: “Our favorite part of pairing a beer with a dish is when you can’t tell where the flavor of one ends and the other begins,” says co-owner Kent Dawson. “This hazy’s big citrus nose and crisp finish complement the orange-chile marmalade and lime crema in the tacos and somehow even make the duck confit seem light.”

At: Local-first Former Saint Craft Kitchen and Taps inside the Hyatt Regency Denver downtown
Drink: Oskar Blues’ G’Knight Imperial Red IPA
With: Herb-crusted lamb with butternut squash, cherries, Brussels sprouts, and mushrooms
Because: “This beer has a malty middle and hop flavors that play well with sweetness and earthiness,” chef Matt Rabelhofer says. “This dish gets sweet notes from squash and dried cherries and earthy ones from local Hazel Dell mushrooms.”

At: Sour-beer emporium Goed Zuur in Five Points
Drink: GZ Ultra multibarrel blended sour (a collaboration with Denver’s Black Project Spontaneous & Wild Ales)
With: Crispy pig head with house-made ricotta, pickled blackberries, and pistachio pesto
Because: “The pork and the ricotta are rich, so you need the beer’s light acidity and tropical sour notes to break that up,” says co-owner and chef Anthony Lopiccolo. “The beer restarts your palate, so every bite becomes a new adventure.”

At: Innovative oenobeer palace Liberati Restaurant & Brewery in Curtis Park
Drink: Recioto Denveris, an imperial Russian sweet stout
With: The Tiramistout (aka tiramisù)
Because: “We dip ladyfingers into a mixture of our Recioto Denveris and coffee,” says owner-brewer Alex Liberati. “The beer, brewed with Petite Syrah grapes, has chocolate-covered red fruit aromas and an acidity that matches the coffee notes in the tiramisù. The elements transport one another.”

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