If you needed (more) proof that Denverites are madly, wildly obsessed with craft beers, all you had to do was eyeball the packed Oriental Theater last Thursday night, the stage for the city's first annual Chef & Brew event, which was sold out to the tune of 500 revelers downing sours and ales, porters and IPAS from twelve local breweries, which were paired with twelve local chefs, the teams of which competed for several titles, including most creative beer and most creative dish.
Both judges and attendees voted for their favorite suds and foodstuffs, and the winners received everything from cash prizes to snazzy beer mugs. Chef Jay Leandro, exec chef of Pub 17, in the Grand Hyatt, won the people's choice for best in show, thanks to his Korean tacos; Jensen Cummings, exec chef of Row 14, made "Power Ranger" meatballs and waltzed away with the judge's honor in the same category; and the judge's choice for the most creative dish went to Sheila Lucero, exec chef of Jax Denver, who did a monkfish liver torchon. The judge's choice for the most creative beer was awarded to Caution: Brewing Co, which poured the "Green Tease," a beer infused with tea and fermented with sake yeast. The judges bestowed the best beer in show honor to Crooked Stave's sour, while attendees gave the same award to Funkwerks Deceit.
Here's an abbreviated photo recap of the festivities. Make sure to check out our full slide show for more photos.
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For more photos, visit our slide show.