Smashburger Teams with Deep Ellum Brewing to Launch Burger & Beer Pairing Menu

smashburger debc


“We win and keep this business one burger at a time,” is how Smashburger founder Tom Ryan described his war on burger mediocrity to me last night at a preview of   the newest Smashburger outlet, in Coppell, which opens today. The Coppell store is the high-end burger chain’s 200th location and 8th in the DFW market. Smashburger would definitely like to be considered the best burger in Dallas.

Ryan popped through town to open the Coppell store and to launch (with Tait Lifto of Deep Ellum Brewery Co.) “Menu 3.0,” which features pairings of Smashburger burgers with four different Deep Ellum Brewing Company’s beers.

Ryan, whose background ranges from branding to marketing to r&d, has put his Ph.D. in Flavor and Fragrance Chemistry to good use. Before starting Smashburger, Ryan was chief marketing officer of Quizno’s. He’s also held similar positions at McDonald’s, Pizza Hut and Long John Silvers.

“I’ve always wanted to put burgers back into peoples’ lives,” Ryan told me. “We want people to be eating burgers for date nights, family nights, any time they might go out to eat, we want them to think of us.”

“I want Smashburger to be Next Generational for burgers, and I think Deep Ellum Brewing Company is Next Generational for beers. For us, it’s a natural choice of partners.”

The new menu, which pairs eight burgers with four different DEBC beers, begins today and will be featured throughout all DFW locations indefinitely.

“Some of the most successful pairings surprised us,” said Tait, who admitted that on more than one occasion, he would have thought one beer would have been a better pairing then another–until he tasted them side by side.

For example, “The mushroom-swiss burger paired with an IPA would not be the wisest paring,” Ryan told me, “So we’ve put together some parings to give you some guidance.” The final combo — which marries mushrooms, Angus beef, Swiss cheese, mayo and DEBC’s Double Brown Stout was an umami bomb. The dark brew accentuated the deep, meaty flavors in the burger while adding a bit of chocolate and dark dried fruit flavors to the mix.