Posted on: January 30, 2013
I recently got to check out a pairing tasting at Tempe Marketplace’s Smashburger and literally felt like I was in hamburger heaven. Melt in your mouth burgers matched with the perfect selection of local beer…you can’t pair any two items better than this! The greatest news is that this great pairing, just the burgers, or even the beer, are all now available to the public at any Smashburger in town!
The Founder of Smashburger, Tom Ryan (recognized by Gourmet Magazine as one of the “Top 25 Food Entrepreneurs of the Last Quarter Century”), joined Four Peaks Brewing Company Owner and Brew Master, Andy Ingram, to launch new burger and craft beer pairings for all Phoenix-area Smashburger restaurants. The new pairing offering is a localization initiative and push toward beer and burger pairings in larger markets across the U.S. Smashburger is the first national fast-casual concept to make this move.
Here is a list of the famous pairings now available:
Classic Smashburger + Kilt Lifter(Scottish Style Ale)
The roasted barley, caramel and malty flavor embrace the fresh produce and rich beef flavors of the classic burger. Can’t go wrong with the classic.
Mushroom Swish Burger + 8th Street(English-Style Pale Ale)
Mushrooms are my favorite so I was partial to this one-Mushrooms sautéed in garlic, Swiss cheese and mayo on an egg bun paired with a hoppy flavor of the 8th st.
BBQ Bacon & Cheddar + Kilt Lifter(Scottish Style Ale)
Hands down, my favorite one of the night. They should call this the “Melt in your mouth Smashburger”. Apple wood-smoked, thick cut bacon with cheddar cheese and spicy BBQ sauce topped with haystack onions are ignited flavors once you sip the Kiltlifter, which has a balanced malt finish.
Avocado Club Burger + 8th Street(English-Style Pale Ale)
The fresh one- This lighter floral beer compliments the fresh avocado, crisp lettuce, tomato, and creamy ranch on a multi-grain bun. Yum.
Arizona Burger + Hop Knot(American-Stlye IPA)
Blended hops create a refreshing contrast to this burger topped with fresh guacamole, habanero jack cheese and chipotle mayo with a chipotle infused bun!
Cucumber & Goat Cheese Chicken Sandwich + Sunbru(Kolsch Style Ale)
The light beer that won 2012 World Beer Cup Gold Medal is a fitting partner to a tender chicken breast topped with tastes of bitter goat cheese, sweet cucumbers, spinach, tomato, onion, and tangy balsamic vinaigrette.
Crispy Buffalo Chicken Sandwhich + Hop Knot(American- Style IPA)
Franks RedHot Buffalo Sauce, blue cheese, and a robust Hop Knot is the perfect pair! I don’t even like blue cheese and this crunchy, juicy chicken sandwich was calling for me! The flavors in this one blend and match so well.
Veggie Black Bean Burger + Sunbru(Kolsch Style Ale)
A homemade Smashburger vegetarian patty seasoned with cumin and topped with cheddar cheese and Cholula sauce. Ask for added sautéed onions and pair it with the light Sunbru and you got yourself a delightful burger.
To top off the tasters, like that all wasn’t enough, each bite came with baskets of sides: unique fried pickles, sweet potato fries and Smashburger fries. I always favored Smashburger over other burger spots because of their sweet potato fries that you can’t find everywhere. Not until I tried the Smashfries was my mind completely changed. Yes I still love the sweet potato fries but when you try the crunchy Smashfries that are tossed in rosemary (one of my favorite herbs) and olive oil with garlic, you will be convinced too!
Smashburger has something for everyone on their menu and the founder really showed his passion for the business and burgers. He took us to the back and showed us how to make a true Smashburger. They literally smash the patty on the grill which locks in all the flavors to keep it tasty and juicy! That was my ah-ha moment on how they got their name! When you pair this with the best known local brewed beer in town, you have mastered the art of eating.
Visit the Smashburger locations in Tempe as soon as you can. You’ll be glad you did!
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