November 24, 2013
By Ryan Bridge | SanDiegoVille Contributor
Craft beer is on the rise and Smashburger is all about it. The Denver-based burger joint is teaming up with craft breweries across the United States to design burger and beer pairing menus unique to each region. It is no surprise that Smashburger San Diego has designated Stone Brewing Co. as their So-Cal counterpart, launching their exciting new pairing menu last Friday (11/15). With over 250 Smashburgers in cities throughout the U.S., it will be exciting to watch the craft beer community expand as great beer becomes even more accessible to the general public.
The pairing menu itself consists of 7 of Smashburger's most popular burgers coupled with Stone classics. After a brief beer history lesson taught by none other than Stone's craft beer ambassador,"Dr." Bill Sysak, we were lucky enough to sample every one of Smashburger Point Loma’s unique creations.
We began our feast by tasting four traditional beef-patty burgers and their malty matches. The Truffle Mushroom Swiss Burger paired with Stone Smoked Porter stood out as a favorite at our table, as the smooth and creamy porter complimented the richness of the burger deliciously. The spicy San Diego Burger (a tribute to the carne asada torta) paired with the bold and hoppy Oaked Arrogant Bastard was a close second.
After we had finished off the beef burgers and as much Stone beer as our stomachs could comfortably hold, we switched gears and tried some of Smashburger’s chicken and veggie alternatives. In true San Diego fashion, the Spicy Veggie Black Bean Burger (paired with Ruination) was loaded with fresh jalapenos and packed some serious heat. The patty was delicious and creamy and excelled as a lighter, spicier alternative to the red meat patties we had already sampled.
We couldn’t pass up a post-dinner grilling session with Smashburger founder, Tom Ryan, so we strapped on our aprons and learned how to literally “smash” burgers on the grill. After a lesson learned, we made our way to the exit, happy and the best kind of full. I can’t wait to find out which craft breweries Smashburger teams up with next, as experiences like this are a clear indicator that the American craft beer community is alive and expanding.
For more information on Smashburger and their many locations, visit smashburger.com.