THE WORD ON THE STREET IS "DAAAANG!"

New Belgium, Smashburger team up to pair burgers and beer

DENVER— New Belgium Brewing Co. has teamed up with Denver-based Smash Burger to reinvigorate the classic American beer and burger pairing.

At the restaurant’s 16th Street location in Denver, founder Tom Ryan and New Belgium sensory specialist Lauren Salazar unveiled six new beer and burger pairings last week.

When looking at brewers in Colorado that would fit well with Smash Burger’s menu, Ryan said New Belgium rose to the top based on its creativity and quality.

“Burgers and beer are a great American occasion,” Ryan said. “We are bringing great beer and burgers to the forefront.”

Smash Burger has launched the pairings at the Denver 16th Street location and at Fort Collins’ 2550 E. Harmony Road location.

Eventually, the menu parings, such as the Truffle Mushroom Swiss Burger with Fat Tire Amber Ale, will be available at all 16 Colorado Smash Burger stores.

Salazar, who helped pair all of the beers, said craft food, such as craft beer, has lots of flavor. The burger’s ingredients can highlight the beer’s taste and vice versa.

For example, he said, the hops in the Fat Tire are understated and the mushrooms in the Truffle Mushroom Swiss Burger help bring them out.

There are plans to extend the pairing concept to other states.