Word of Mouth

Beer today...Freshcraft and the upscaling of beer

Until very recently, beer was the alcoholic beverage I drank when I wanted something refreshing that would give me a buzz, but didn't want to have to think about it too hard. But in the past year or so, it's become less easy to do that. Beer has claimed a place in the ever-expanding fine-dining market, as restaurants offer beer dinners and beer pairings in addition to wine and cocktail lists.

Beer has gone upscale.

And capitalizing on that growing trend is Freshcraft, 1530 Blake Street.

The beer list alone probably would have lured me to the spot: a 120-deep board that features interesting ales and lagers from all over the world. But Freshcraft also created a menu with beer in mind -- and suggests specific pairings for each dish.

For this week's review, I spent a few evenings exploring the art of matching beer with food, sampling Freshcraft's fare while I started to drink my way through the ever-changing lineup of taps and bottles.

Was it a magic combo? Find out tomorrow, when the review is posted here along with a slide show.

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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