Along with Freshcraft, three more places for beer pairings

A few weeks ago, I ate and drank my way through several beer pairings at Freshcraft, 1530 Blake Street, for this week's review. This new place in LoDo has a deep list, and it's intent on matching those offerings with its food, calling out suggested complimentary beverages right on the menu.

This could well be the year that beer takes its place alongside wine and cocktails in fine dining. A few other places in town also make great recommendations for beer pairings; here are three more restaurants that are pushing that trend forward.

Colt & Gray, 1553 Platte Street This restaurant may be known for cocktails, but it keeps a pretty serious lineup of kegs, too, and it's no less serious about selecting ales and lagers than it is about keeping homemade bitters and premium mezcal on hand. The knowledgeable staff is always happy to suggest a brew to go with the food, which is heavy and pub-inspired: a perfect match for beer.

Euclid Hall Bar & Kitchen, 1317 14th Street Euclid Hall was envisioned as an upscale tavern, a place for hearty food paired with, of course, beer. The extensive list moves from smooth and approachable to wacky selections meant for an acquired palate, and there's also a roster of rare stuff the restaurant's managed to get its hands on, even if Euclid Hall just has a tiny allocation. There's a match in that lineup for every dish on the menu, and the staff is happy to help you find it.

The Kitchen, 1039 Pearl Street, Boulder Under the direction of general manager Ray Decker, The Kitchen has grown its beer program from just a few offerings to a rotating list of sixty-plus choices sure to blow any beer geek's mind. In addition to offering public beer dinners, Decker keeps the staff educated on new additions so that they can make recommendations when diners come asking for a bottle to drink with dinner.

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Laura Shunk was Westword's restaurant critic from 2010 to 2012; she's also been food editor at the Village Voice and a dining columnist in Beijing. Her toughest assignment had her drinking ten martinis and eating ten Caesar salads over the course of 48 hours. She still drinks martinis, but remains lukewarm on Caesar salads.
Contact: Laura Shunk