Steve Ballas tried more than fifteen barbecue sauces before picking the one he now serves on his Memphis Dog at Steve's Snappin' Dogs, so it's no surprise that he'd spend just as much time deciding on the beer that will bear his name.
Steve's Snappin' Ale, which will be brewed by the Bull & Bush Pub and Brewery and debut in the first week of February, is a lighter golden ale "with a couple of secret ingredients that will pair well" with Steve's dogs, burgers and chili con carne, Ballas says.
"Honestly speaking, I invented the hot dog trend in Denver. I made it sound interesting, and I always want to be one step ahead of everyone and make things interesting," Ballas explains, adding that he has been friends with Bull & Bush owners Erik and Dave Peterson for several years and is a frequent customer at their Glendale brewpub.
To come up with the right beer, Ballas brought over samples of a number of different dogs and tried them with all kinds of beer styles. "It's amazing how difficult it can be to pair a beer up with something as delicate as a dog," he notes.
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Ballas has two taps at Steve's Snappin' Dogs, and says he'll serve his ale on one and Bull & Bush's Allgood Amber Ale on the other. "We're both smaller companies, so we'll be able to do some cross-marketing," he adds. "The little guys have to stick together."