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Challenging Elements


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Beer is fundamental to Colorado. In fact, it’s such a well-loved libation here that it wouldn’t seem like much of a challenge to incorporate it into a meal. Or maybe it’s precisely because the golden nectar doth flow so much (and in so many varieties), that it actually is a task to get creative with the stuff in the kitchen. That’s what we thought—and it’s a test that Chef Peter Dolan welcomed.

“We wanted to do something that we don’t typically do,” Dolan says, stepping to the side of a busy kitchen to explain his creation. “We did something different.” And what Dolan and his team have come up with is new enough to draw attention from the regulars as he slides a plate onto the bar that boasts something resembling a golden pretzel-type croissant, atop a bed of mixed greens, all next to a mound of fries.

We’re at The Sink in Boulder—a one-of-a-kind watering hole for local college students and nine-to-fivers alike. Dolan presents me a brat boiled in West Flanders’ Canniption Pale Ale lager, rolled in sesame honey dough and drizzled with beer mustard. Hold your drool though—I haven’t gotten to the fries. Sprinkled with beer salt (kosher salt doused with the Canniption and left to dry), the chips are paired with a side of the mustard for dipping. The dish, which looks and tastes the way I imagine Germany to be, was thought up spur-of-the-moment after our call to the restaurant just 24 hours ahead of our visit.

Aiming to come up with something a bit unusual, Dolan says that the challenge was to break away from any recipe involving beer that the restaurant had used prior. The end result is full of ingenuity and flavor.

Over our beer-infused lunch, the air is heavy with raillery from bartenders who really do know everyone’s name. And it’s appropriate that the Cheers theme song is running through my head because The Sink is a staple in the Boulder Community—constantly evolving over its 90 years, making bold variations on classic tastes, but never straying from its local roots in the ’hood.

The Sink is located at 1165 13th St., Boulder, 303.444.7465, thesink.com

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