Beer Man

FreshCraft will offer session beers and session sandwiches downtown

Two brothers from Iowa plan to bring a hybrid of European beer culture and American comfort food to LoDo this July when they open FreshCraft, a new restaurant in the former Thunderbird BBQ and Burgers spot at 1530 Blake Street.

"We are trying to keep it simple: fresh food and fresh beer," says Jason Forgy, who moved with his brother, Lucas, to Denver last year. Jason had worked in the pharmaceutical industry, while Lucas had worked in the restaurant business.

"When we decided that this was the time to do it, we narrowed it down to three cities: Asheville, North Carolina, Fort Collins and Denver.

Some of the American comfort food dishes they're planning include pork tenderloin with a cracker crumb crust, wild salmon with Western Slope peaches and signature burgers. The brothers also make their own pickles and mustard.

The European beer culture will come at lunchtime when Jason says FreshCraft will serve what he calls "session sandwiches." These will be small sandwiches, like croque monsieur, that customers can have with a craft beer with a low alcohol content.

These beers, typically less than 5 percent ABV, are known as "session beers" since you can have more than one - or two or three - during a single sitting or session and still return to work - something that is part of English culture, Jason adds.

Although they're still working on the prices, the Forgy brothers hope to offer a lunchtime deal of a session beer and sandwich, with a pickle or frites for under $9.

And FreshCraft also plans to focus on pairing beers with food. "We want to show people that beer can take its place next to wine at the table with food," Jason says. (He also plans to offer Colorado wines, like Balistreri and Infinite Monkey Theorem).

FreshCraft will have fifteen taps - with names like Asher, Avery, Great Divide, Oskar Blues and Dry Dock - along with a hundred of so different bottles.

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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes