Craft beers accompany a Shack Burger and fries at Shake Shack
Craft beers accompany a Shack Burger and fries at Shake Shack.

Fast-casual restaurants showcase craft beers

Smashburger, Shake Shack and Chipotle are among chains championing local breweries

Fast-casual restaurant operators are marching arm-in-arm with craft brewers, creating signature pairings for the growing number of consumers who enjoy high-quality food and beer with a local connection. With craft beer sales soaring by 17 percent last year, according to Brewers Association figures, little wonder that operators seek a seat on the better-beer bandwagon.

For the fast-casual Smashburger chain, it all started last fall with a pilot program in its Denver home marke

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