Colorado Beer Girl

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Archive for the tag “BruFrou”

******BrüFrouFEST 2017******

My overall favorite pairing: Rackhouse + C Squared Ciders: 6 Cheese Mac and Cheese Balls on a bed of apple cider slaw with cider dipping sauce, paired with Fuzz peach cider aged in oak barrels.

BrüFrouFEST just celebrated its fourth year, and with it came some big changes. The 2014, 2015 and 2016 events were all held in the spring at Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum. But this year it was outdoors at the Tivoli Quad, and it was in July instead. And there was more of everything: 130 chefs, brewers & mixologists, 80 culinary pairings, 6 live bands, and a DJ.

Ticketing structure was different as well. General Admission tickets were offered for $40, which included 8 pairings. VIP tickets were $125, with unlimited pairings (including access to all GA pairings plus 20 additional pairing partners), an upgraded polypropylene party plate, and perhaps most importantly for an outdoor event on a hot summer day: access to a shaded VIP tent area with plenty of tables and chairs (the large white tent pictured in the background of the photo above).

Glazed & Confused + Fiction Beer Company: Mango cheesecake with a graham cracker crusted donut hole, paired with Cream Ale with bourbon barrel aged cold brewed coffee

As a vegetarian, the VIP ticket wasn’t the best option for me since I can’t partake in most of the pairings. However, provided the set-up remains the same next year, I highly recommend going with VIP for access to all pairings and the large tent, as the amount of shade in the GA area was extremely limited. There were around 10 or so small tents available to the GA crowd, most of which were quickly occupied by groups of people who, if lucky enough to snag one, seemed to cling to them for the majority of the time. Outdoor events are great, but without proper shade, the fest might be better suited for a May or September date rather than July. But did I enjoy myself anyway? Absolutely!

Despite the heat, the beer was cold, the food was delicious, and the pairings were very well done—as always.
Of the eight pairings I had, there is one clear winner in my mind, and that was Rackhouse + C Squared Ciders: 6 Cheese Mac and Cheese Balls on a bed of apple cider slaw with cider dipping sauce, paired with Fuzz peach cider aged in oak barrels. The two blended together amazingly well to create the perfect flavor combination.

MouCo Cheese Company + Ska Brewing: Truffelo, paired with Modus Hoperandi IPA

There were a couple of others that came in close second: Dar Chocolate + Great Divide Brewing: Cafe Nero chocolate square paired with a Yeti Imperial Stout, and MouCo Cheese Company + Ska Brewing: Truffelo, paired with Modus Hoperandi IPA. Both chocolate and cheese are known to be great foods to pair with beer, and these folks definitely knew what they were doing.

Dar Chocolate + Great Divide Brewing: Cafe Nero chocolate square paired with a Yeti Imperial Stout

Cafe Nero is 90% Ecuador cacao with Ethiopian coffee beans, which really brought out the essence of the roasted malts in the Yeti.
Truffelo is a creamy, buttery cheese which, in turn, made the very hoppy Modus seem much smoother than when drinking it on its own.
I can honestly say that every pairing I had was pretty incredible, but these three were tops.

Dar Chocolate + Great Divide Brewing: Pomegoddess cacao spread on a banana slice, paired with a Hercules Double IPA

All of the chefs, brewers and mixologists did a fantastic job with the pairings, and the event was spacious and fun. The only suggestion I have for next time is to either have more shade (and tables) in the general area or move it to the spring or fall. But it was still a wonderful festival with an unbelievable amount of top-notch food and drinks, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for BrüFrouFEST 2018!

BrüFrouFEST 2017: Bigger & Better. See What’s New!

 More Brü. More Frou…

Introducing BrüFrouFEST

4th Annual BrüFrou at the Tivoli Quad on Sunday, July 16 from 12-5 pm

The 4th annual BrüFrou is almost here! And hold onto your hats, because this year is even bigger and better than ever! BrüFrouFEST 2017 is an outdoor summer extravaganza being held on the new quad at the historic Tivoli Brewery/Student Union building. Get ready for a whole new kind of experience featuring Live Music, Merchandise Marketplace, Specialty Tasting Pavilions, Outdoor Games, and Value Tickets & VIP Tent Passes. BrüFrouFEST 2017 is the largest craft brewer and chef pairing event in the country!

This year’s event features 130 Chefs, Brewers & Mixologists, 80 Culinary Pairings, 6 Live Bands, a DJ, and so much more! And here is all you need to know.

TicketsGeneral Admission tickets are on sale now for just $40 and include 8 full pairings. Additional tokens are available ($10 for a 4-pack, which is 4 full pairings). GA ticket holders can choose from 90 breweries, eateries & cocktail bars (45 pairing partners), and live music is included.

Want the full BrüFrouFEST experience? Get your VIP tickets for $125. VIP ticket holders get access to all 130 breweries & eateries (65 pairing partners) in both VIP & GA areas, exclusive access to Shaded VIP Tent area with 40 Breweries & Eateries (20 extra special pairing partners), upgraded polypropylene party plate & Belgian tulip sampling glass, and the live music stage.

Interested in attending but don’t care about the alcoholic beverages? Go with a food-only ticket; both GA ($35) and VIP ($50) options are offered.

A pairing from BrüFrou 2016

While the menu isn’t out yet, the Pairing Partners for both General Admission and VIP areas have been announced. You’ll also find last year’s menu for an idea of what to expect. Also check out my posts from 2015 and 2016 for photos and some of my favorite pairings.

Having attended BrüFrou in the past, I am super excited about the expansion and transition to BrüFrouFEST! I can’t wait to experience the new venue and all the fun extras. Tickets are on sale now–don’t miss the largest craft brewer and chef pairing event in the country, right here in Denver!

BrüFrou 2016 Recap: A Vegetarian Perspective

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Copper Kettle Brewing Company + The Rosedale Tavern: Mexican Chocolate Stout paired with Spicy Chocolate Cake

Last Saturday was the 3rd annual BrüFrou craft beer & culinary pairing event at Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum. I look forward to this event every spring, and I have attended each year since its inception.

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Little Machine Beer + Table 6: Alternating Currant tart black currant ale paired with Popcorn with kimchi butter

As a vegetarian, I’m often (usually) unable to participate in beer dinners, as it’s rare that meatless courses are offered (other than dessert and possibly an appetizer). And even though some chefs are happy to acommodate such requests, I don’t like to make extra work for them, so I normally politely decline and skip the event.

While BrüFrou isn’t a “beer dinner,” it does involve hours of unique beer and food pairings. At this year’s event, attendees got the chance to try 50 different beer and food pairings. With such a large number of pairings available, I knew I would surely be able to find some that were vegetarian-friendly.

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Jagged Mountain Craft Brewery + Glazed & Confused: Ubermountain Barleywine paired with Breaking Banana Bread: banana bread “cake style” donut with a salted caramel glaze and mini Ghiradelli chocolate chips

While participants had access to 50 pairings, I don’t know of anyone who could possibly conquer them all. There is only so much room in the human stomach to fill in a 5-hour (or less) period. So while there were just 6 vegetarian pairings (fewer than in years past), with access to 6 bites and 50 beers–I still left the festival full and slightly tipsy.

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Ratio Beerworks + Cart-Driver: Handwritten Belgian Abbey White paired with Ramps & Ricotta Tart

I made sure to try all of the vegetarian options, and every one was great! (see photos to view the deliciouness). Though after circling around numerous times, I was unable to locate one of them; so in all I tried 5 pairings. Note: I did find myself going back to a couple of the pairings a second time.

I was, of course, able to sample all the beers, though I’m quite certain I didn’t even get halfway through them (and that’s still around 25 beers!)

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Trinity Brewing Co + Zeal: One Ear classic Belgian saison paired with Vegetable Curry: coconut milk, curry spices, sprouted lentils & micro basil cauliflower rice

This year I had two favorite pairings: It was a tie between Jagged Mountain Craft Brewery + Glazed & Confused: Ubermountain Barleywine paired with Breaking Banana Bread: banana bread “cake style” donut with a salted caramel glaze and mini Ghiradelli chocolate chips, and Copper Kettle Brewing Company + The Rosedale Tavern: Mexican Chocolate Stout paired with Spicy Chocolate Cake.

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Black Shirt Brewing’s Branden Miller pouring a Dry-Hopped Mango Sour

In years past there was an afternoon and an evening session of BrüFrou. But this year they changed it up and offered tiered ticketing with varying prices for a 2-, 3-, 4-, or 5-hour option. Considering vegetarians are limited in what they can eat, a 2- or 3-hour session should be ample time to consume all of the meatless pairings, plus try several additional beers.

The 2-hour tickets sold out quickly, so vegetarians: be prepared for next year’s event and buy early (provided the ticketing structure remains the same). And for those who eat everything: go with the full 5-hour session. You’re going to need all of that time to make it to as many pairings as you can possibly handle.

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I am continually impressed with BrüFrou and all of the amazing, creative dishes and beers that local restaurants and breweries bring to the event. If you haven’t been, I strongly suggest checking it out next year!

Here are the winning pairings from this year’s event:

UMAMI:
Call to Arms Brewing Company + Hops & Pie
Tennyson Standard Denver Kolsch paired with Bahn Mi Taco with braised pork shoulder, pork rillette & miso vegetables
SALT:
Verboten Brewing + Harman’s Eat & Drink
Cucumber Gose paired with Salmon Pastrami with dill cream cheese mousse, avocado, brewers rye crisp, pickled mustard seed & cilantro
SWEET:
WeldWerks Brewing Company + First Draft Taproom & Kitchen
Juicy Bits New England IPA paired with Spicy Citrus Tuna Poke with candied grapefruit, orange & lemons along with sambal on a puffed rice cracker
SPICE:
High Hops Brewery + NorthCounty
Habanero Honey Red Ale brewed with habaneros & honey paired with Pork Green Chile thickened with masa & loaded with roasted hatch green chilies served with warmed tortilla chips

BrüFrou 2015: Recap, Favorites

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On Saturday April 25th, BrüFrou, a craft beer + culinary pairings event, was back for its second year, and it couldn’t have been better. This year BrüFrou had an impressive 40 pairings for guests to enjoy, from wild boar to donuts to everything in between. As a vegetarian I wasn’t able to try them all, though there were several meatless options. And of course I got to sample as many beers as I wanted.

Rye Saison from Finkel & Garf with a Samoa Donut from Glazed and Confused

Rye Saison from Finkel & Garf with a Samoa Donut from Glazed and Confused

The event was held at Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum, which was an interesting and educational setting in addition to being a whole lot of fun.

Spacious venue

Spacious venue

My first stop ended up being one of my favorite overall pairings: Basta’s Rustic Pizza with ricotta and burnt orange with Wild Woods Brewery’s Nelson Sauvin Kiwi Blonde. I was ravenously hungry upon my arrival, so unfortunately I scarfed this one down before I could even get a photo. But the burnt orange and the kiwi complemented each other extremely well.

Basta brought a Rustic Pizza with ricotta and burnt orange to pair with Wild Woods Brewery's Nelson Sauvin Kiwi Blonde

Basta brought a Rustic Pizza with ricotta and burnt orange to pair with Wild Woods Brewery’s Nelson Sauvin Kiwi Blonde

To be honest, I wasn’t sure how good a Kale Salad Taco actually sounded. However, I was pleasantly surprised; the taco was much more elaborate than I had imagined: house-made black beans, corn and red peppers topped with cilantro, onions and an avocado tomatillo salsa. Yum.

Dr. Wilkinson's Dry Irish-Style Stout from Horse & Dragon Brewing with a Kale Salad Taco from McDevitt Taco Supply

Dr. Wilkinson’s Dry Irish-Style Stout from Horse & Dragon Brewing with a Kale Salad Taco from McDevitt Taco Supply

I’m a huge fan of Saag Paneer–if it’s done right. I’m happy to say that Yak & Yeti’s was spot on. While the recommended pairing with their Gluten Free Apple Ale, I have a weakness for their Chai Stout and decided to give it a shot. I wasn’t disappointed at all; both the beer and food were so tasty that they went well together.

Yak & Yeti Brewpub Self-Pairing: Saag Paneer with Chai Stout.

Yak & Yeti Brewpub Self-Pairing: Saag Paneer with Chai Stout

Thankfully I inquired about the Bootstrap/Lucky Pie pairing before digging in, as the food was marked as vegetarian when only half of it actually was. I enjoyed the Chilled Asparagus Soup but had to skip the Lardo Crostini (not pictured) for obvious reasons.

Insane Rush IPA from Bootstrap Brewing paired with Chilled Asparagus Soup with Micro Mint

Insane Rush IPA from Bootstrap Brewing paired with Chilled Asparagus Soup with Micro Mint

Everything I tried was great. But if I had to narrow it down…

Favorite Pairings:

  • Wild Woods/Basta: Nelson Sauvin Kiwi Blonde paired with Rustic Pizza: Anson Mills Organic “OO” Crema Semolina Flour, House made Ricotta, and Burnt Orange
  • Verboten/Second Home Kitchen + Bar: Thinking of Something Orange American Wheat Beer with orange blossom honey & orange peel paired with Fried Squash Blossom stuffed with green chile chevre finished with honey
  • Yak & Yeti: Chai Stout with Saag Paneer

Favorite Beers:

  • Insane Rush IPA from Bootstrap Brewing
  • Grey Watcher Grisette-style Farmhouse Ale from Trve Brewing
  • Crimson Fog, a quadrupel, kettle soured strong ale, aged on Italian plums and pinot noir soaked oak chips from 12 Degree Brewing

I was surprised that two of the beers in my favorite pairings were fruit beers, which I wouldn’t normally choose. That’s one of the reasons I love pairings so much–they force me out of my beer comfort zone and make me try things I’d be likely to pass over.

Verboten's Thinking of Something Orange American Wheat Beer with orange blossom honey & orange peel paired with Fried Squash Blossom stuffed with green chile chevre finished with honey from Second Home Kitchen + Bar

Verboten’s Thinking of Something Orange American Wheat Beer with orange blossom honey & orange peel paired with Fried Squash Blossom stuffed with green chile chevre finished with honey from Second Home Kitchen + Bar

Everything about BrüFrou was so well done: the setup was such that none of the areas got too crowded, the planes were amazing and provided a fantastic atmosphere, and of course the beer and food–downright delicious!

Local Flavor at BruFrou

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On Saturday I attended the first annual BruFrou, a craft beer + culinary pairing event, at Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum in Denver. This event featured beer and food from 70 Colorado craft breweries and eateries, and it was unbelievably good.

Yak & Yeti pairing: Saag Paneer with gluten-free Apple Ale

Yak & Yeti pairing: Saag Paneer with gluten-free Apple Ale

Being vegetarian, it’s often a struggle to find enough to eat at such events. That was not the case here. Of the 40 pairings, at least ten of them were meatless, as well as a handful of others for pescatarians. They even had some gluten-free and gluten-removed food (and drinks!). And of course omnivores could indulge in all 40!

Crimini Mushroom and Carmelized Onion Canape from City, O' City and Redstone Meadery's Black Raspberry Nectar Session Mead

Crimini Mushroom and Carmelized Onion Canape from City, O’ City and Redstone Meadery’s Black Raspberry Nectar Session Mead

The location worked out well, as it was spacious and thoughtfully set up for the occasion. There was plenty of room to walk around and to just hang out and enjoy all the delicious local flavor. If you did not attend this fantastic event, these photos will give you an idea of what to look forward to next year!

Tuscan White Bean Dip topped with extra virgin olive oil, marinated cucumbers and tomatoes with grilled flatbread, paired with Bristol Brewing's American-style Wheat Ale

Tuscan White Bean Dip topped with extra virgin olive oil, marinated cucumbers and tomatoes with grilled flatbread from Tom’s Urban paired with Bristol Brewing’s American-style Wheat Ale

Crazy Mountain Amber Ale and Red Camper's Spiced Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies with Anise Orange Cream

Crazy Mountain Amber Ale and Red Camper’s Spiced Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies with Anise Orange Cream

Vegan barley sausage wrapped in a buttermilk biscuit, served with spicy mustard by WaterCourse Foods, with Fruhling, Zwickel Maibock from Renegade Brewing

Vegan barley sausage wrapped in a buttermilk biscuit, served with spicy mustard by WaterCourse Foods, with Fruhling, Zwickel Maibock from Renegade Brewing

Wild Woods Brewery's Molasses Brown Ale paired with Campfire Ice Cream from Basta

Wild Woods Brewery’s Molasses Brown Ale paired with Campfire Ice Cream from BASTA

Glazed and Confused's "Da Killa' Carrot Cake" donut, spiced and dressed with ginger infused cream topped toffee walnuts and Hazed and Infused dry hopped ale from Boulder Beer

Glazed and Confused’s “Da Killa’ Carrot Cake” donut, spiced and dressed with ginger infused cream topped toffee walnuts and Hazed and Infused dry hopped ale from Boulder Beer

Chocolate Chip with Pretzel Cookies by The Cookie Brewer (made with Old Elke Brown by Brewery Rickoli)

Chocolate Chip with Pretzel Cookies by The Cookie Brewer (made with Old Elke Brown by Brewery Rickoli)

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1st Annual BruFrou: April 19th

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Have you heard about BruFrou? It’s happening this Saturday at Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum. BruFrou is a craft beer + culinary pairing event, featuring 70 local breweries and eateries. There are two sessions: the first from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and the second from 4-9 p.m. If you don’t already have your tickets check out their site, where they are offering some amazing deals this week. I am excited for this event, as I (obviously) love beer and tasty fare, and am especially fond of breweries and restaurants working together to create carefully selected pairings of food and drink.

While all of the participating restaurants and breweries sound wonderful, a number of my favorites will be in attendance that I am really looking forward to.  For example, some of the breweries are: Mountain Toad Brewing, Fate Brewing Company, Sanitas Brewing Co., Ska Brewing, and many more. A few of the restaurants I’m happy to see: WaterCourse Foods, Wynkoop, City, O’ City, plus dozens of others I haven’t tried but want to.

All the information on this inaugural event can be found on their website. Get your tickets before it’s too late! Enjoy an afternoon or evening filled with unique pairings from some of Colorado’s finest breweries and restaurants.

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