Beer Man

Red Robin's new beer milkshakes are sweet, but you'll have to look elsewhere for Colorado beer

Greenwood Village-based Red Robin has introduced a beer milkshake, just in time for, um, winter. Luckily, this state's hottest summer isn't over yet. But rather than go with a Colorado brewery, as Smashburger -- another Colorado-based fast-casual chain -- did for its new beer-and-burger pairing menu, Red Robin is using Sam Adams's Octoberfest in its milkshake, which looks delicious...even if the beer hails from Boston.

See also: -Smashburger and New Belgium team up on burger-and-beer pairings -Red Robin's Burger Works offers signature dishes in smaller spaces -Beer Floats shake things up for summer -Smashburger downtown offers very adult milkshakes

Sam Adams has been pushing beer milkshakes for a while. In fact, I wrote about them (with a recipe) way back in April 2010. The one that Red Robin unveiled today comes with soft-serve vanilla ice cream, vanilla syrup and caramel. It is part of an Octoberfest menu that runs through November 11.

And there might be other versions after that. "Red Robin will continue to innovate in the milkshake category in the future," says spokesman Peter MacKellar. "We recently added master mixologist Donna Ruch to the Red Robin culinary team in a role that includes the development of innovative alcohol- and non-alcohol beverages, including milkshakes."

As for Colorado breweries, like New Belgium or Breckenridge, which could have handled the demands of milkshake lovers as well, MacKellar says, "We have featured the Sam Adams Octoberfest as a seasonal beer choice over the past few years so using Octoberfest in the milkshake was a natural fit. Looking at the flavor profile, we thought the great malt and caramel notes from the beer would be pair perfectly with creamy vanilla ice cream."

But if you prefer your milkshake served with altitude rather than a bad attitude (hello, Boston mayor Tom Menino, who bashed on Colorado beer but has since redeemed himself in other ways), check out our 2010 list of local spots that use local beers in beer milkshakes, floats or other desserts.

One place that's not on that list: Freshcraft, where you can get a couple scoops of ice cream dropped into just about any beer on its constantly rotating tap wall. I recommend stouts like Left Hand's Nitro Milk Stout or Great Divide's Chocolate Yeti, or something fruity, with raspberries or apricots.

Follow Westword's Beer Man on Twitter at @ColoBeerMan and on Facebook at Colo BeerMan

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes