Beer Man

Rackhouse Pub's beer-baked mac 'n' cheese makes headlines in the L.A. Times

Mac 'n' cheese is a delicacy in Denver, with some of our best restaurants turning out upscale versions of this downscale comfort food. But the Rackhouse Pub's version recently caught the eye of the Los Angeles Times, which highlighted the gooey goodness in Culinary SOS, a column dedicated to helping desperate eaters track down hard-to-get recipes around the country.

"Dear SOS: I have found the best beer-baked mac 'n' cheese ever," wrote one Tucker Palmer to the newspaper. "It is served at the Rackhouse Pub in Denver. I tried to get it, but the owner said the cook is pretty protective with his recipes. So, if you have time, maybe you can work some of your magic on them."

The ploy worked, says Rackhouse owner Chris Rippe, but barely.

"Me and my chef, Jayson Reynolds, battled hard on this," he says. "He covets his culinary masterpieces and doesn't want to make it easy for other restaurant to copy what we are doing. But I sold him that right now, it's more important to get recognition."

As a result, Rippe sent the recipe to the Times, which cooked it in their test kitchen and decided it was good enough for a column. "We're pretty excited," Rippe says.

Oh, and although the recipe doesn't mention which amber beer the Rackhouse uses, Rippe says its Railyard Ale from the Wynkoop Brewing Company.

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