A few weeks back the folks at the promotional agency that handles the Smashburger group sent me an invitation to meet Tom Ryan and the owner of Six Point Brewing Co. as the joined forces to make the Smashburger store in Brooklyn a Beer-Friendly place to visit.
They did this by featuring menu suggestions of the pairing of a particular Six Point product with a specific Smashburger product. For example: the Smashburger classic (beefburger with “American cheese, lettuce, tomato, ketchup, onion, pickles and our smash sauce on an egg bun”) paired with a Six Point Crisp… pictured bellow.
There are six other burger and beer pairings on the menu.
I missed the event and the following was provided via email.
The concept of pairing local beers to Smashburger menu items is not exclusive to Brooklyn… I’ll let Tom Ryan, Founder of Smashburger tell you about it.
1.) What has been the biggest surprise when your first store offered beer pairings?
We are always looking for consumers to think about us for a variety of occasions. Beer is a part of that. That is why since the beginning we have always offered beer. Craft beer, in particular, is especially on trend. I truly think that beer is the new wine and with the better burger industry also booming, it makes sense to package these two trends together in a way our consumers can enjoy.
2.) Describe a “beer-friendly” store.
Our goal is to roll out the burger and beer pairing menus in all Smashburger markets across the U.S. To date we have rolled out menus in Denver, Brooklyn/Long Island and Houston. I am currently in the process of meeting with local brewmasters from Chicago, Phoenix, San Diego and Minneapolis, to name a few.
3.) What made you decide to offer the burger/beer pairing concept at the Smashburger store in Brooklyn? What was it that made Sixpoint the beer of choice?
At Smashburger we specialize in localizing our menu with a burger that reflects the tastes and trends of each area where we operate. Offering craft beers with our burgers allows us to further enhance this connection to local palates and is just one more way we can demonstrate creativity in our premium menu offering. By partnering with leading local breweries like Sixpoint we are continuing to offer consumers the relevant, quality ingredients they have come to expect from our brand.
4.) My lunch was a Classic Big Smash and Smashfries paired with a Sixpoint Crisp (as advised by the menu).
A) Why did you pair Crisp with the Classic?
This Crisp is a classic German-style pilsner beer, with just a touch of bitterness which enhances the lemon tartness of the secret Smashburger sauce.
B) What makes any burger/beer combo particularly attractive?
The burger and beer combination creates another occasion for guests to enjoy. While beer plays well to a wide variety of menu items, nothing goes better together than beer and burgers.
5.) You have relationships with St. Arnold and New Belgium as well as Sixpoint… How far are you willing to go?
We are currently in the process of rolling out our burger & beer pairings nationwide. To date, we have five local brewery partnerships in place and will introduce new partners and menus over the next 12-18 months.