Denver is a lush when it comes to beer, but that doesn't mean the city's been cut off.
The producers of the Denver International Wine Festival & Competition for the past six years plans to hold a Denver International Beer Competition this May, followed by a June dinner that will pair the winning brews with dishes created by local chefs.
Wine Country Network president C.J. Davies says he got the idea last November after the most recent festival while he was talking with chefs. "They wanted to do more than one event a year, and I said, 'How about beer,' and they went ape," he says.
To compete, brewers from around the world are asked to submit samples of beers that have won gold medals at other major festivals, including the United States's signature Great American Beer Festival, which is held in Denver every year.
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A crew of beer judges will then select gold, silver and bronze winner from among nearly sixty categories. At that point, 24 of those beers will doled out to twelve chefs, who will each be asked to prepare two dishes that pair with a beer.
The food, in small portions, will then be served at the Taste of Elegance Chefs Food and Beer Competition, which will be held on June 9 at the Omni Interlocken Resort. The event costs $100 per person and has 250 seats available. The chefs will compete for the Best Chef, Most Creative Chef and People's Choice awards.
So far, Davies says he has commitments from about six chefs, including Michael Long of Opus, David Oliveri of Farradday's in Blackhawk, Jean-Luc Voegele of the Westin Tabor Center, and Jeff Bolton of the JW Marriott's Second Home Kitchen.
The wine competition attracted 750 wines last year, Davies says, and although the beer event will start slower, he hopes it will grow to a similar size. For more information, log on to www.denverbeercomp.com.