If you don't have — or want — tickets to GABF this weekend, don't worry: We've got you covered. There's plenty of beer, booze and bites to go around without standing in that giant line outside the Colorado Convention Center. Keep reading for the details, plus future food and drink events throughout October.
Friday, October 4
Whether your poison is ale or aquavit, you've got to lay down a good base of food before you get too deep into the weekend's drinking. Our pick: Coohills' Friday, October 4, feast. The dining room at 1400 Wewatta Street is serving five courses and ten brews for its Pliny'd Be Proud dinner, including rabbit mortadella with peppadew chimichurri and Boulevard's Tank 7 and Love Child No. 9; roasted scallops, coconut beurre blanc and chili oil alongside Crooked Stave's Von Pilsner and Member Berries Tempranillo; and spiced porter cake with pear and ginger and Dry Dock's 2014 Bligh's Barleywine and Pumpkin Double Porter. While the meal is sure to be delicious, beer geeks shouldn't get their hopes up — neither Pliny the Younger nor the Elder (nor, for that matter, any Russian River brew) will be in attendance, making the name of the $85 dinner a bit baffling. But one look at the full menu on Coohills' Facebook page should assuage you; email email@example.com or call 303-623-5700 to reserve your spot.
Saturday, October 5
The appearance of October atop your calendar means a few things: It's officially spooky season, and Thanksgiving and holiday decorations are going to start sprouting like poisonous little mushrooms any day now. But there's one holiday tradition we can never get enough of, no matter what time of year it pops up — pie. Sweet, savory, deconstructed, hand, pot....any and all pies are the way to our hearts. And if you don't know how to construct a crust from scratch, get ready to remedy that so you can wow your judgy family members this year. Four Seasons Farmers & Artisans Market, 7043 West 38th Avenue in Wheat Ridge, is offering a pie crust workshop from 10 to 11:30 am. on Saturday, October 5. Just $15 will get you all the ingredients and instruction you'll need to go home with two pie crusts, plus enough apples to cook up two pies as American as...well, you know. And while perfecting pie crust does take practice, we promise it's not as difficult as the grocery-industrial complex makes it seem; rehearse during the week (your co-workers will love you), then bring your peerless pie back to the market on October 12 for its Apple Baking Contest; get all the info on the market's website.
The Uptown location of Marczyk Fine Foods, 770 East 17th Avenue, is hosting the seventeenth edition of a great fall tradition: its annual pig roast. On Saturday, October 5, a Niman Ranch pig comes off the coals at 11:30 a.m., and $15.99 will get you a plate of succulent goodness plus housemade baked beans, slaw, cornbread and potato salad. When the tradition started back in 2002, the stretch of 17th Avenue where the market stands was a lot grittier (someone had to stay up all night to guard the cooking pig), but now it's a family-friendly event and an excellent way to ensure you don't do your grocery shopping while you're hungry. The roast runs through 2 p.m.; details are up on the store's website.
Yes, you can still get tickets for the Saturday night session of the Great American Beer Festival — but if you don't want to drop nearly $100, don't want to dodge dude-bros vomiting into trash cans and don't want to experience the analysis paralysis that comes with navigating 800 breweries and 4,000 brews, spend your day at Cerveceria Colorado, 1635 Platte Street, which is throwing a Great Mexican Beer Fiesta on Saturday, October 5. From 1 to 8 p.m., the Denver taproom will be pouring five brews from craft breweries south of the border alongside its own Mexican-inspired creations. There will also be lucha libre wrestling, food trucks and vendors selling piñatas, jewelry, clothing and accessories and snacks. Entrance is free; find more info — including guest beers — on Cerveceria's Facebook page.
Sunday, October 6
Celebrate the slow slide into autumn at Hotel Born, 1600 Wewatta Street, where Citizen Rail will be hosting a free barbecue on Sunday, October 6. The restaurant is trying to determine what burger should appear on an upcoming menu, so it's giving away sliders from 4 to 7 p.m.; there will also be live music, lawn games and a backyard (cash) bar for boozy beverages. Take a look at the restaurant's Facebook page for event details.
Denver's Harvest Week sold out quickly, but a few more seats opened up last week. The $55 dinners include a vegetarian meal with chefs from Luca, Urban Farmer, Acreage and the Regional; a zero-waste dinner from Super Mega Bien, Vesta and Bistro Vendôme; plus a straight-up eclectic meal combining the vastly different styles of Mercantile & Provision, Vine Street Pub, Rio Grande and Flagstaff House. All dinners start at 6 p.m. at the GrowHaus, 4751 York Street; watch harvestweek.com for any updates on ticket availability.
Keep reading for future food and drink fun.
Thursday, October 10, through Sunday, October 13
The Flatirons Food Film Festival kicks off its seventh year on Thursday, October 10, and its program for the next four days is more wide-ranging than ever. This year's films shine a spotlight on immigrant and international cuisine, including a pair of films from Africa (Tazzeka from Morocco and Cook Off from Zimbabwe; we highly recommend a visit to one of the African Grill and Bar outposts prior to the screenings for a taste of the cuisine, which is underrepresented in the Denver area). There will also be documentaries about Mexico's Diana Kennedy and a couple who traded in their city life for 200 acres of barren farmland; visual-art installations inspired by the films; interviews with chefs, sommeliers and farmers; and, of course, spreads of food from Japanese to Jewish deli. A festival pass will run you $90, with individual screenings and events starting at just $13 on the fest's website.
Thursday, October 17
Project Angel Heart delivers medically tailored meals to people fighting life-threatening illnesses across Colorado — and on Thursday, October 17, the nonprofit organization wants to provide you with delicious food from Denver's top restaurants at its annual fundraiser, A Taste for Life. Starting at 6 p.m., the Hyatt Regency Denver, 650 15th Street, will be the site of bites from over twenty popular eateries, including Death & Co., Uchi, Tavernetta, the Inventing Room and Hop Alley. There will also be free-flowing drinks, a silent auction with piles of great items and a live auction (which can tend toward the boisterous, thanks to those free-flowing drinks). Tickets, $150, are available now on Project Angel Heart's website, along with a full list of participating eateries.
Thursday, October 24
Feast, Westword's annual celebration of the Denver restaurant scene, will make its delicious return to the McNichols Building on a new day and time: 7 to 10 p.m. Thursday evening. As always, though, Feast will be a true feast for the senses, with music, beverage samplings and dishes from more than forty favorite restaurants. Among those signed on to sample their food are Uchi, Rose & Thorn, Crush Pizza & Tap, La Fillette, Latke Love, Neighbors Wine Bar, Sushi Cup, Jackdaw, The Veggie Whisperer, Roaming Buffalo BBQ, 5280 Burger Bar, Aloy Modern Thai, Big Daddy's Burger Bar, El Coco Pirata, Esters Neighborhood Pub, GQue BBQ, Lucky Mary's Baking Company and Little Man Ice Cream. This year, VIP ticket-holders will again be treated to a special menu, courtesy of the world-renowned Matsuhisa. Bites from Matsuhisa will include spicy tuna crispy rice, chicken gyoza, black cod miso in limestone lettuce, and more, as well as special VIP cocktails to complement the menu. VIP tickets also include early entry into the event at 6 p.m. and a VIP gift bag. Buy tickets and get more info at westwordfeast.com; see the final lineup here.
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