Colorado Brewers Guild hosts first monthly beer-food pairing at Bridgewater Grill

All beer-drinkers, be they casual consumers or complete beer geeks, pair food with brews. In the general public, that pairing is usually Bud Light and pepperoni pizza, Pabst and hot wings, or MGD and mixed nuts—not exactly the master chef’s ideal banquet. It’s a different story in Colorado, where beer is the equivalent of a gourmet meal and it’s considered sacrilegious to pair such beer with anything less than the best epicurean delight.

The Colorado Brewers Guild understands the necessity of proper beer/food pairings and–to slake the appetite of the beer connoisseur and to educate the budding beer geek–have started the Colorado Beer Tour, in which visiting Colorado breweries team up with the chefs of Bridgewater Grill (located in The Golden Hotel) and create dishes that complement the beer and, occasionally, use the beer as an ingredient. The first of what’s to become a monthly meal occurred on Wednesday, February 8th and featured the beer of Golden City Brewery.

Appetizer: Legendary Red Ale paired with corn beef and cabbage rolls on a whole grain bun with mustard and pickled onions, along with BBQ shrimp and Andouille sausage skewers.

During this point in the evening, event-goers ambled around the lounge with beer and food in hand, rubbing shoulders with other attendees including beer bloggers and reps from the brewery, Guild, and restaurant. I loved the pickled onions because I’m a stereotypical German-American who loves sauerkraut and the onions were a close substitute. And what goes well with almost-sauerkraut? How about a Munich-malted, German-hopped altbier?

First Course: Mad Molly’s Brown Ale paired with five onion soup, made with a gallon of Mad Molly mixed in.

We scarfed the rest of our apps and took our seats at the Viking mead hall-esque long table. The Colorado Beer Tour is not for the shy; you will be seated near somebody you don’t know. That’s part of the fun, though—meeting new people and talking beer. The velvety mouthfeel of Mad Molly accompanied the thickness of the soup quite well and the ruggedness of both drink and meal made me feel like a lumberjack riding out a blizzard in a wooden shack.

Second Course: Evolution IPA paired with short ribs braised in said IPA, with Boursin mashed potatoes, pickled red onions, and sautéed beets.

Already I was feeling full but the beer and food were so good that I was determined to make it to the end of the meal even if it meant ballooning up to Violet Beauregarde levels. The food portion of this meal was very rich: creamy, sweet, succulent. The IPA, being quite citrusy, acted as an excellent palate cleanser between bites.

Third Course: Lookout Stout paired with an oatmeal cookie bite, cherry cheesecake, and Breckenridge Bourbon ice cream.

Of course a roasted, chocolate-y stout would go great with dessert. Plus, oatmeal stout and oatmeal cookie? It just makes sense. Again, “richness” is the proper adjective when describing this course. Before it was served, the course was likened to a knock-out punch, meant to put one into a food coma post-consumption.

I chatted a bit more, unbuttoned the top of my pants, and eventually rolled myself out of the room and into my girlfriend’s car. My, what a meal! And this is to be a monthly occurrence? I urge you, dear reader, to make your reservations for the March 7th dinner right now. It’ll be a different brewery with different food but, trust me, the event is in capable hands. There just isn’t a better way to support your local brewery and stuff your gut at the same time.

About Chris Bruns

Chris Bruns is a self-professed beer geek living in Denver. Chris spends much of his time brewing beer at home with friends and family, attempting to visit every brewery in Colorado, attending special beer events and festivals, purchasing and assessing the latest releases from local breweries, and blogging about his adventures in the world of craft beer. He is also the Denver Craft Beer Examiner on Contact Chris by e-mail at or through his blog at