While “Taco Tuesday” is a holiday that can be celebrated year round, there is something sweeter about enjoying a plate full of delicious tacos in the sun, accompanied by a good beer and even better company. Since there are tons of tasty options, we reached out for some guidance to assemble some patio-ready pairings. Bradford McDevitt, of McDevitt Taco Supply in Boulder, was more than willing to show us the ropes. Plate after plate of tacos was presented to be washed down with a series of refreshing beers on draft at the restaurant. Each round of tacos boasted colorful combinations of vegetables and innovative use of spice that stood up to the wide variety of beers imbibed, from a tart saison to light, raspberry blonde ale, all from local breweries. 

Each course was unique, from the ingredients utilized to the style of beer, but a common theme was spice. The taste test began with a Baja-style, fish taco topped with a Southwest style ginger slaw that packed a punch. The fiery flavors continued through each course, causing our judges to find relief in their pint glasses. Time and time again the beer cut through the mouthwatering spice a particular taco presented.  

McDevitt Taco Supply began with a taco cart in 2011 set up on Pearl Street Mall. They expanded to music festivals in 2012, Sanitas Brewing in 2013, and catering other events such as weddings. As demand in business grew, they decided they needed their own place to call home. In 2017, they opened their brick and mortar in the Meadows on the Parkway shopping center and have found it to be infinitely easier to operate their carts and business from one, designated home base. McDevitt explains that often people come to the restaurant with expectations of an authentic, Mexican food experience. But from their name to their menu, McDevitt Taco Supply intentionally avoids the traditional. He hopes to create a new facet of food and push boundaries with the unique combinations available on the menu. 

As we learned during the taste-test, stretching beyond expectation can leave taste-buds stimulated and hungry for more. 

Judges

Kris Klauber — Co-founder of Boulder Adventure Lodge

Nick Leng — Mechanic at Full Cycle Bikes

Michael Memsic — Co-founder of Sanitas Brewing

Andrew Simpich — Assistant General Manager of Mountain Sun Pub and Brewery

Referee

Bradford McDevitt — Owner of McDevitt Taco Supply Company 

Challengers 

Round 1 — 

Taco: Baja-style fish taco featuring a North Atlantic cod, topped with Southwest style ginger slaw

Beer: Saison Reposado from Sanitas Brewing Company 

Round 2 — 

Taco: Braised pork belly taco topped with pickled onions and an avocado and tomatillo salsa

Beer: Bareback Blonde Ale from 4 Noses Brewing in Broomfield

Round 3 — 

Taco: Green chile and chicken taco topped with a prickly pear cactus salad including corn and bell pepper 

Beer: Independence Pass IPA from Aspen Brewing Company in Aspen

Round 4 — 

Taco: Chocopotle taco (chocolate chipotle ground beef)

Beer: Allgood Amber Ale from Bull & Bush Brewery in Denver 


Digestif — Mezcal as one would in Mexico by sprinkling mealworm salt on the tongue, sipping Mezcal, biting an orange wedge and finishing it off by crunching into a dried grasshopper 

Findings 

Every pairing had its highlights but there was resounding enthusiasm for the first course — the fish taco paired with the Saison Reposado. Our experts really enjoyed how the ginger shone through the other flavors of the taco. The tart, citrus finish to the beer made it an instant, patio favorite. 

A close runner-up was the pork belly taco with the Bareback Blonde Ale. The richness of the pork belly was relieved by the clean, almost bitter and fruity profile of the beer. Each expert commented on their love for pork belly, making it an easy one to love and enjoy off the bat.