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The phrase “brewery food,” likely evokes pizza, wings, and nachos smothered in cheese sauce. But here on the Front Range, there are more than a few dynamic brewery menus that offer standout vegan-friendly fare. Here, eight spots where vegans can find meat-free food that’s as good as the beer.
LowDown Brewery & Kitchen: Vegan items are clearly marked on the nontraditional pub menu at this laid-back spot. Pair the refreshing White Ale (with flavors of coriander, banana, and orange) with the hearty “They Call Me Portobello” sandwich. This baby features a mix of textures thanks to a meaty braised portobello mushroom, velvety edamame hummus, crisp pickled veggies, and toasted pumpkin seeds. 800 Lincoln St., 720-524-8065
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Vine Street Pub & Brewery: Looking for a hearty vegan meal? The satisfying tempeh Reuben at Vine Street Pub surely fits the bill. The protein-packed tempeh, (which is baked in beer!) has all of the classic seasonings you’d find in the meaty version. It’s topped with a tangy house-made vegan Thousand Island dressing, sauerkraut, tomato, and served on rye. Play up the smoky flavors by pairing it with the Isadore Java Porter, which is infused with organic, fair-trade beans from Conscious Coffee in Boulder. Tip: To keep it vegan, make sure you ask for the sandwich sans the melted Swiss that it would otherwise come with. 1700 Vine St., 303-388-2337 Also available at the Boulder and Longmont locations.
Yak & Yeti Brewpub: An award-winning beer list accompanies rich, traditional Nepalese and Indian dishes at all three locations of Yak & Yeti. Coconut or soy milk is used as a dairy substitute in the abundance of vegetarian entrées, many of which can be made vegan by request. Choose from sweet potato masala, mixed vegetable curry, or bhindi masala (seasoned okra cooked with tomatoes and onions), all of which are served with steamed basmati rice. To drink, try the Om Namah Pilsner, a northern German-style hopped brew. 9755 E. Hampden Ave., 303-751-9443 Also available at the Arvada and Westminster locations.
Wynkoop Brewing Company: The folks at Wynkoop Brewing recommend pairing the creamy Thai curry veggie bowl with the Mile High, a hoppy, aromatic pale ale. The Fresh Summit, Simcoe, and Citra hops hold their own against the bold spices in this vegan dish. Brown rice is topped with a mixture of vegetables, roasted garbanzo beans, coconut milk, lime juice, and cilantro. For a smaller bite, opt for the thick, rich veggie green chile sans cheese, available in either a cup or bowl. 1634 18th St., 303-297-2700
Twisted Pine Brewing Company: Just because you’re on a vegan diet doesn’t mean you have to give up the time-honored duo of pizza and beer. Twisted Pine’s herbivore artisan pizza takes a 10-inch, hand-tossed crust and tops it with beer-infused marinara sauce, garlic oil, red onion, carrot, spinach, fresh tomato, walnuts, and, by request, hummus in place of mozzarella. Want some heat? Spice things up with a pint of Billy’s Chilies, a wheat ale dry-hopped with five different peppers—jalapeño, serrano, Anaheim, Fresno, and habanero. 3201 Walnut St., Boulder, 303-786-9270
BRU Handbuilt Ales & Eats: Small plates are ideal for sharing and sampling a variety of dishes. Fortunately at this Boulder brewery vegans don’t have to miss out on the experience. Start with the chile popcorn, fermented vegetables with beer mustard, or the curry oven-charred cauliflower (sans the dipping sauce). Then move on to the heartier cauliflower and gold potato soup topped with pickled mustard seeds and roasted mushrooms. To drink, opt for the low-alcohol Bru-Merica American lager, which is brewed with red rice and flake corn. 5290 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder, 720-638-5193
12Degree Brewing: Located on Louisville’s iconic Main Street, 12Degree Brewing offers a welcoming community-inspired setting and Belgian-style ales. Enjoy your brew with twice-fried Belgian-style fries (just skip the garlic mayo). Pair the crispy delights with the Soleil Saison, a 2016 World Beer Cup medal winner. Other meat-free starters to enjoy with your friends include the house-made hummus served with veggies and flatbread and the beer-battered tempura fried vegetables, including mushrooms, tomatoes, zucchini, onions, and other seasonal veggies (just be sure to sub ketchup for the spicy dipping sauce). 820 Main St., Louisville, 720-638-1623
Oskar Blues Homemade Liquids & Solids: With a Cajun and Creole-inspired menu, it might come as a surprise that there are also plenty of delicious options for the meat-free folk at this Longmont staple. The balanced and hoppy Dale’s Pale Ale is the ultimate pair for the “There’s a Hippie in My House” sandwich, which is piled with roasted red peppers, hummus, arugula, avocado, and tomatoes (just ditch the pesto and mozzarella cheese). Or, for a lighter option, stick with the refreshing June Carter salad with baby spinach, arugula, strawberries, and Marcona almonds. 1555 S. Hover Road, Longmont, 303-485-9400