Beer is a very liquid asset in Colorado, stocked not just behind the bars in local restaurants, but often appearing in the food. As a follow-up to our list of ten Denver restaurants that use beer in their savory dishes, we searched the city's pastry cases for ways in which Denver restaurants get creative with the craft-brew stuff in their desserts.
Here, in no particular order, are five places that hit the beery sweet spot.
5) Hi Rise 2162 Larimer Street Hi Rise has been a hit in the Ballpark neighborhood with its breakfast sandwiches, freshly baked bread and an ever-changing variety of sweet concoctions. It takes advantage of its close proximity to Great Divide Brewing Company by using that brewery's beers as a major ingredient, whipping up brownies and gingersnaps made with Yeti, a buttery shandy made with Colette, and a shortbread made with Hoegaarden.
4) Euclid Hall 1317 14th Street Euclid Hall feels like an upscale tavern and riotous beer hall all at once. Its thoughtful beer selection complements a menu filled with favorite comfort foods, everything from layered poutines to housemade sausages. But beer is a key component in one of its great desserts: The car bomb float is made with Guinness ice cream, Bailey's chocolate seltzer and a Jameson caramel shot.
3) Sweet Action Ice Cream 52 Broadway Sweet Action is celebrating its fifth annual Denver Beer Ice Cream Fest right now: Stop in, you'll find patrons hurriedly scooping up pints of Oktoberfest chocolate chip, chocolate double stout swirl, farmhouse ale whiskey peach swirl, Colorado porter apple pie, chai milk stout, Scotch ale Yeti cake, vegan maple pale ale and Rocky Mountain root beer. The beery ice cream is even available in six-packs.
2) Ale House at Amato's 2501 16th Street This rowdy Breckenridge/Wynkoop-owned brewpub has a buzzing crowd and extensive beer list, and also pours its enthusiasm for beer into its dessert offerings. The ale-battered brownie features a Thunder Stout brownie made from a cocoa/vanilla/stout batter, served up with vanilla gelato and chocolate syrup. The bread pudding is a warm, irresistible creation made with Dry Dock's Apricot Blonde, apricots, blueberries, caramel sauce and whipped cream.
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1) Crave Dessert Bar & Lounge 891 14th Street, Unit 110 Crave has established itself as a dessert joint worthy of bi-weekly pilgrimages; it turns out some of the most magical treats we've seen. Great American Beer Fest attendees can stumble right across the street this weekend to consume beer in very indulgent ways. For example, there's Crave's Guinness chocolate cake -- a rich, dark chocolate cake with malted milk chocolate buttercream, Frangelico ice cream, peanuts, raspberry coulis and chocolate ganache.