Gore Range Brewery | VailDaily.com

Gore Range Brewery

Antipasto plate with cheese, charcuterie and more, and Great Sex Honey Lager. | Gore Range Brewery | EAT Magazine Summer 2016

Apps: $5.75-$16.25; Sandwiches: $11.50-$13.50; Pizzas: $13.50-$14.75; Entrées: $15.75-$28
Locals brewpub & sports bar with fine, beer-centric cuisine
Le Grand Gore Range Nachos; the BBQ Spice-Rubbed Brisket Dip
Kids menu items


There’s something going on over at Gore Range Brewery, in Edwards Village Center.

The first brewpub in the Vail Valley — and for nearly two decades now the only true restaurant here with an in-house brewery — continues to raise the bar for local happy-hour enthusiasts, sports fans and fine diners with penchants for great food and great beer.

But this summer, Pascal Coudouy, owner and executive chef since 2011, is aggressively applying his knowledge and palate to brewing beer, as well, having brought in a new brew master — Jeff Atencio of 3 Freaks Brewery in Highlands Ranch — last year to keep the 400-barrel-a-year operation fine-tuned.

“Everybody has their own niche in the microbrew business,” says Coudouy — a French chef of high repute, having honed his culinary prowess in Paris and New York before coming to Colorado to run the kitchen at 8100 Mountainside Bar & Grill, at the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort. “Other local microbreweries are not restaurants. My business is a restaurant with a brewery.”

With that in mind, new, beer-friendly appetizers on offer this summer include crab cakes and roasted asparagus; BBQ shrimp with chimichurri sauce; a hummus and avocado dip; and a caramelized onion tart with honey, bleu cheese, arugula and walnuts, all on puff pastry. For two people or more, there’s a hearty new antipasto plate, complete with razor-thin, sinfully flavorful slices of prosciutto and salami, Manchego and fresh mozzarella cheeses, and those tiny, plump pickles you remember from your favorite deli back home.

Of course, Gore Range Brewery’s ever-popular Le Grand Gore Range Nachos remain on the menu, along with the brewpub’s signature dish — the BBQ spice-rubbed brisket dip, served with melted Swiss cheese and a thin layer of vinegar-based cole slaw with bits of jalapeño on a home-baked pretzel roll.

“I never take those two off the menu,” Coudouy says. “Otherwise, there would be complaints.”

Those classic, go-to items are now joined by a luscious new seared tuna and seaweed salad with wasabi vinaigrette, along with three new grilled entrées: salmon, served asparagus risotto; lamb chops topped with a gremolata sauce; and marinated skirt steak fajitas served with all the right fixings.

Of course, any and/or all that great food is best enjoyed with a fine, hand-crafted beer, such as Gore Range’s most popular these days, the Great Sex Honey Lager, though any of the half-dozen or more fresh suds on tap probably would do quite nicely. If you’re confused, or indecisive, try the Brewery Flight — 5-ounce pours of four choices for your tasting pleasure.

“All the beers we have are very classical. When you have a restaurant attached to a brewery, they must be easy to pair,” says Coudouy. “Good food and good beer — that’s our focus.”

Not into beer? Signature cocktails are generous, and there’s a nice selection of red, white and sparkling wines on offer by the glass or bottle; happy hour runs daily, 4-6 p.m.; a gluten-free menu is available; and kids are welcome, with their own menu chock full of classic favorites.

Really into beer? Gore Range Brewery’s Mug Club, $55 to join, is a great way to experience hand-crafted beers at discounted prices; or if you want to take some home, growlers are welcome, as well.

“When people go to a brewpub, they expect certain kinds of food. But it can be creative, too,” says Coudouy. “We try to have something for everyone.”

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