July 1, 2015

Taking a trip to beer campColorado has been known for decades as a haven for great beer. While wine has been the go-to for restaurant pairings, the craft beer market is taking a strong, fun and innovative turn. It’s no wonder that so many chefs who have graduated from cooking schools in Colorado have opted to make beer pairings with their dishes a priority.

Luckily, in Boulder, it’s remarkably easy to do so: This city is full of creative brewmasters, so there’s plenty of sudsy deliciousness to choose from. If you’re looking for some standout breweries in the Boulder area to spur on culinary inspiration, pay a visit to some of these local craft breweries:

Avery Brewing Company: You never know what you’ll find on tap at Avery, and that’s a good thing. They rotate the kegs on the beer menu daily, so the beer is not only fresh, but you get to try something one-of-a-kind. However, there are some standouts here you can’t miss, including the mint chocolate stout (sounds like a dessert pairing waiting to happen), its flagship India pale ale and the Belgian-inspired White Rascal wheat beer.

Mountain Sun Pub and Brewery: There are no frills here, just plenty of Colorado sunshine, great seasonal ales to choose from and – a big plus for Colorado culinary school students – low prices. The brewery purposefully bans TVs from the premises so that guests can relax and enjoy a board game, some friendly conversation and, of course, a focus on the beer in front of them. Great ales to try out include the Blackberry Wheat (a bestseller), Jah Mon Ginger (made with crushed ginger and fresh lemongrass) and the always-hoppy Colorado Kind Ale.

Boulder Beer Company: With the city’s namesake emblazoned on the label and logo, you know you are getting a great hometown brew. Boulder calls itself the state’s first-ever craft brewery, and to this day it keeps things simple with its hoppy Hazed beer, the Shake chocolate porter and the light and crisp Sweaty Betty. There are also plenty of seasonal taps to enjoy, such as the Honey Saison and the Dragonhosen, Boulder’s take on an Oktoberfest style.

Twisted Pine Brewing Company: Twisted Pine is one of the most respected breweries in Boulder, as it has won several awards for its creations over the years, including gold medals at the Great American Beer Festival. There is a brew here for pretty much any budding chef to try, including the aromatic Hop Zealot, the chili-spiced wheat concoction Ghost Face Killah and the Belgian-style La Petite Saison.

Whether you’re looking for a brew to pair your meals with or simply want to learn about the ever-popular American craft beer craze, be sure to visit some of these excellent local breweries.