One of the best things about the Great American Beer Festival is all of the beer-centric dinners at local restaurants created to prep folks for the big weekend ahead. Last night, the all-vegetarian eatery WaterCourse Foods held just such a dinner; the amuse (pictured above) comprised a spicy local winter squash bisque with vegetable crudite and apple chutney, paired with Asher Brewing's Green Bullet IPA, which cut the spiciness of the bisque beautifully. Keep reading to see what else was on the menu: For the first full course, we received a fondue served with assorted vegetables, pretzels and red ale mustard; the vegan version (pictured above) was made with cashew cheese, and was so creamy and tangy that we didn't miss the cheese one bit (the non-vegan version used Gruyere and Scharfer Max cheeses to create the fondue). It was paired with Renegade Brewing's Hit Me American Red Ale. For the salad course, the kitchen served a crisp bibb salad with a celeriac and fennel gastrique, grilled figs, aged white balsamic and Avalanche Co. goat chevre (we got the cashew chevre instead). This was paired with Renegade Brewing's 5 O'Clock Blonde. We'll be dreaming about this main course for a long time to come: Deconstructed pot pies served with a Farmhouse beer biscuit and agave butter. This was paired with Strange Brewing's Farmhouse Ale. And for dessert: a peach crumble topped with salted butterscotch ice cream and peanut brittle; Renegade's Another Thrill Imperial Porter was the brew paired with this one, and it was intended to be poured over the dessert to make a peach-crumble-ice-cream-float. Yum. The lovely and talented Rachel Kesley put it all together -- and even had time to leave the kitchen to say hello.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.