In the little over two years since its opening, Tap Traders has shifted focus a few times, such that today’s food menu (several kitchen managers later) has nothing to do with the original German fare. We’re told the Callicrate Beef burgers are bully though, and we don’t disagree after taking down the hulking whiskey BBQ burger, a fair $10 in today’s marketplace.
Whiskey barbecue sauce, onion rings, grilled mushrooms and bacon: all check. Pepper Jack cheese: check. … But, hang on a sec… make that ghost chile Pepper Jack, not printed on the menu but quickly detected by the smolder over my tongue. No complaints since I love heat, but some guests are in for a serious surprise. (You burned me, girl, but I still like you.) Side Brussels sprouts delight with big bacon flavor, nice char and not-too sweet sauce.
The well-curated 30 taps of Colorado beers still anchor the place, though, and we work through two, four-beer tasting paddles for $8 each. We don’t love everything, like the synthetic finish to 105 West’s Deez Nuts peanut butter-hazelnut ale (it’s no Nutella in your mouth) or false advertising on Elizabeth Brewing Co.’s Sweet Cherry of Mine cream ale (dude, where’s the fruit?). Better are New Image’s Cherry Filling sour (big pie cherry!), High Hops’ clean and true Blueberry Wheat, 4 Noses’ El Jefe coffee-cinnamon imperial stout (huge, dessert-y nose.), and Station 26’s bangin’ Bang Bang Double IPA.
3104 N. Nevada Ave., #100
Colorado Springs, CO