View art that feeds the hungry, indulge in all-Colorado beer and wine, and get a full weekend of shopping in at these five fun food and drink events from Friday, November 15, through Sunday, November 17. Then keep reading for a pair of parties in December you won't want to miss.
Friday, November 15
At the intersection of architecture, design and hunger relief (bet you didn't know those three things make up a Venn diagram, did you?) is Canstruction. The creative competition challenges teams to build large-scale sculptures of up to eight feet square entirely out of canned goods — with no glue allowed. Sound interesting? Sound slightly dangerous? Then you won't want to miss Canstruction Colorado: A Winter WonderCAN's build day on Friday, November 15. Aurora's Stanley Marketplace, 2501 North Dallas Street, is hosting eight teams that will build winter-themed food art (planned sculptures include Chilly Willy the Penguin, the Denver CANvention Center Blue Bear and and Winter CANbin) in just twelve hours, vying for prizes of best meal, best use of labels, structural ingenuity and most cans. The display will be open through February 3, where you can vote for the people's choice award ($1 per vote, which is donated directly to food recovery organization We Don't Waste). After demolition, the cans of food will go to the nonprofit to feed hungry Coloradans. Find out more about the project on the Stanley's Facebook page, and if you're still unsure what to expect, visit Canstruction's website for pictures of efforts from around the world.
Our state has been described as the "Napa Valley of beer" for decades now, but the continuing growth of the Colorado wine industry means it could be inching toward being known as the Napa Valley of wine. Okay, not really, but there are currently over 130 outfits making wine and mead in a state better known for its varietals of weed. On Friday, November 15, History Colorado Center, 1200 Broadway, will host Colorado UnCorked, a tasting of wines that triumphed at this year's Governor's Cup competition. From 7 to 9:30 p.m., chefs from Julep, Logan Street, Woodie Fisher and Grand Junction's Bin 707 will craft bites to pair with fourteen wines. Awarded wineries include Denver and Boulder's Bonacquisti and BookCliff, as well as the Western Slope's Carlson and Plum Creek; varietals range from Cab Franc to Nebbiolo to vermouth and Riesling. Snag your tickets ($45 or $85) on Eventbrite, where you can see the complete list of award winners.
Ask Denverites about their thoughts on Angelenos coming to the Mile High City and you're likely to hear the same answer more than once: Don't (and definitely don't until you learn to drive in the snow). While a portion of the population holds West Coast transplants responsible for hastening the end of Denver's glory days — when you could rent a one-bedroom apartment in central Denver for $650 and drive from one end of town to the other in twenty minutes — Zeppelin Station, 3501 Wazee Street, is loud and proud about its affection for Los Angeles. In a continuation of its Made in a City series, the food court is inviting fifteen L.A. retailers to set up shop for Made in Los Angeles. And while it won't host any new food vendors, all current tenants will be serving up dishes inspired by the city. The launch party kicks off Friday, November 15, at 7 p.m., where you can get the first taste of taro chip nachos, boba tea, the L.A. Club sandwich (bring on the avocado) and (of course) a California roll bowl; drink pairings for each dish will also be available at downstairs bar Kiss & Ride. For a complete menu and list of vendors, visit Zeppelin Station's Facebook page.
Saturday, November 16
Fans of big, bold beers probably already know about Burns Family Artisan Ales, the tiny taproom at 2505 West Second Avenue that's turning out brews with giant ABVs. But skeptics who aren't sure about tasting a series of high-gravity beers without some food in their stomach to cushion the blow can taste of six of the brewery's beers with an equally luscious menu at an artisanal beer dinner with Thistle & Mint. The menu includes rich seasonal dishes like leg of lamb with black garlic and fruit-braised cabbage, meatballs with fennel and tarragon "snow" and dampfnudel (a sweet steamed bun) with fermented peaches and juniper cream — a great complement to the brews, which start at seven and go up to 11.8 percent ABV. The dinner starts at 4:30 p.m. (don't look so shocked; we guarantee you'll be ready for a nap after this meal). See the whole menu on the Burns Family Facebook page, then make your reservation ($80) on Tock.
Sunday, November 17
We were sad to see the Infinite Monkey Theorem tasting room at Aurora's Stanley Marketplace close its doors last month, but Stapleton's loss is your gain. The shuttering of the flyboy-themed taproom means an opportunity for the winery to revamp the decor of its RiNo room at 3200 Larimer Street, so on Sunday, November 17, it will hold a garage sale to make way for new baubles and barstools. Customers can expect to find everything from large furniture to art and tchotchkes for sale, along with deep drink discounts to keep the wine (and your money) flowing. The sale is on from 2 to 5 p.m.; visit IMT's Facebook page for more details.
Keep reading for future food and drink fun.
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Sunday, December 1
Even the most curmudgeonly among us has to begrinchingly admit that December 1 is officially the holiday season. Thanksgiving has passed, December has arrived, and it's the time of year to enjoy glittery, glitzy, glamorous parties. Fittingly, Uchi, 2500 Lawrence Street, is kicking off the month with a champagne-and-caviar dinner at 7 p.m. on Sunday, December 1. Menu details for the multi-course meal have yet to be announced, but we expect nothing less than stunning plating, effervescent bubbly that will go straight to your head, and Uchi's always-memorable Japanese food elevated by salty, briny roe from Sturia, a French caviar brand based on farmed sturgeon. Tickets, $125 (includes tax and tip), are on sale now on Eventbrite.
Saturday, December 14
Of all the reasons to get rip-roaring drunk, the holidays are high on the list. Between awkward, mandatory office parties, gift-giving expenses and anxiety, fraught family dynamics and endless repetitions of Last Christmas (though the Wham! music video is a legit classic that should be viewed once and only once each December — sound is optional), it's no surprise that many of us want to shut down our brain cells with some tasty ethanol. For those who don't even celebrate the holiday, the endless hoopla surrounding snow and Santa is even more painful. Enter Festivus, the holiday anyone can celebrate, with traditions that appeal to our universal human nature. Add beer, and you get the Denver Beer Festivus, where the Feats of Strength are fueled by Denver breweries' favorite beers. This year, the aluminum pole is being set up on Saturday, December 14, at Major Studios, 3881 Steele Street; come ready to air your grievances from 3 to 6 p.m. Tickets, $45 or $60, are for sale on the event's website.
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