This week boasts the Fourth of July, but we've got five great food and drink happenings for you, including a duo of DIY events, a month-long party in Boulder, and a Denver restaurant tour that offers something spooky along with its savory side. Keep reading for those, plus more events rounding out this summer.
Monday, July 1
Boulder's West End Tavern, 926 Pearl Street, is celebrating eleven years of hoppy (and recently hazy) brews with its annual Jul-IPA festival. During July, more than a dozen rotating IPAs will grace the Tavern's taps, and the month is bookended with two events: Brewery Wars on Monday, July 1, where you'll taste twelve ales from local breweries and vote for your favorite ($15); and a rooftop party on Saturday, July 28 ($35) with eight brews, barbecue, Breckenridge Bourbon and live music. One hundred percent of proceeds from the pair of parties will go to SPAN, a nonprofit organization devoted to supporting victims of violence through counseling, legal advocacy and housing services. Visit West End Tavern's website for more info about Jul-IPA and to purchase tickets for both events.
Tuesday, July 2
Fiction Beer Company, 7101 East Colfax Avenue, has been brewing beers in a book-themed taproom for more than four years, so it makes sense that on Tuesday, July 2, you'll be able to craft your own tome — out of origami. If you've always wanted to get crafty while sipping your brew but were concerned that knitting needles and sewing machines weren't entirely safe when paired with a pint, this may be the night for you; after all, the worst that can happen is a paper cut. From 6 to 8 p.m., you'll get gorgeous graphic squares of paper and instructions in making a book that might well be more three-dimensional than the characters in the last novel you read. Get tickets ($27 for one or $50 for two) on Eventbrite.
Wednesday, July 3
So you said you'd bring a dessert to your neighbor's Fourth of July barbecue tomorrow, but it's Wednesday night, the King Soopers cupcake selection has been picked over, and the last time you brought those squishy frosted sugar cookies to a potluck, Karen from down the street rolled her eyes and made a snarky comment about store-bought baked goods. Fortunately, My Make Studio, 6460 East Yale Avenue, is here with some last-minute magic in the form of its flag cake class. Starting at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, July 3, you'll get a four- or six-inch baked cake, two hours of instruction and all the materials you need to create your patriotic masterpiece. The $55 to $75 fee is money well spent (especially since it includes making Karen eat her words), but visit the studio's Facebook page for a coupon code before registering for class on the My Make Studio website.
Thursday, July 4
The Modern Eater is a combination podcast and public-access television show, filmed in a commissary kitchen and updated for the digital age by turning to Facebook instead of late-night cable for an audience. Last summer, the show launched a series of summer dinners with local chefs, breweries and distilleries taking center stage, and on Thursday, July 4, it's kicking off a second summer dinner series with an all-American barbecue from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. at Studio Kitchen Colorado, 490 Decatur Street. For $80 (though industry folks get a $30 discount — email email@example.com for the code), guests will be treated to local beer and spirits, a butchering demo, five courses of ’cue from pitmasters Jason Nauert (Beasts and Brews) and Jeff Gebott (Sugarfire), and great views of the fireworks going off at Broncos Stadium. Future guests throughout the summer include Jim Pittenger (Biker Jim's Gourmet Dogs), Justin Brunson (Old Major, Royal Rooster) and Top Chef alum Brother Luck. Visit the Modern Eater website for more info and to snag your ticket.
Friday, July 5
Tour company Nightly Spirits has been leading haunted pub crawls in Denver — and across the country — for over five years, but beginning Friday, July 5, it's branching out. Instead of finding spirits in bars, the newest tour takes on Denver's haunted restaurants. Every Tuesday through Saturday, tours will depart Rose & Thorn (1433 17th Street) at 2:30 p.m., then continue on to Brass Tacks, the Celtic on Market and Jovanina's Broken Italian, for tales of ghostly basements and eerie subterranean tunnels. Tours last about three hours and cost $63, which includes seven different bites from participating eateries and the chance to increase your odds of seeing spirits by imbibing some. Visit the Nightly Spirits website for more info.
Keep reading for future food and drink events.
Tuesday, July 9
The Flatirons Food Film Festival won't hit the screens until October (10-13), but it's not too early to mark your calendars, or to support the fest at its July 9 fundraiser. Hot! Hot! Hot! takes over the Avalon Ballroom, 6185 Arapahoe Avenue in Boulder, from 6 to 9:30 p.m., with tiki cocktails; bites from ten top Denver and Boulder eateries (including beet poke with a tapioca crisp and furikake crumble from Mercantile Dining & Provision, a savory cherry churro with mole from Flagstaff House, and two varieties of a Peruvian potato dish called causa limeña from Chiporro Sauce Co.); a screening of the short film Charlie Trotter: After Love, There is Only Cuisine; and a silent auction with luxe prizes like a weeklong stay in Italy and a $1,500 gift card for culinary travel company Pack a Fork. Find out more and nab your ticket, $75, at the film festival's website.
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Friday, July 19, through Sunday, July 21
Slow Food Nations appeals to everyone (except, perhaps, unrepentant fast-food aficionados). The international food fest kicks off its third year in town on Friday, July 19, and will run nearly forty chef demos, lectures, workshops, parties and dinners — plus the enormous Taste Marketplace, with over 100 vendors hawking their wares and handing out samples — through Sunday, July 21. About half the events taking place around town (but mainly around Larimer Square at Larimer and 14th streets) are free, but the rest require tickets, which start at $20. Visit the Slow Food Nations website to see the whole weekend's schedule and make sure you nab tickets for your can't-miss events.
Sunday, August 11
If you missed June's Heritage Fire event in Snowmass, you've got a mulligan, because on Sunday, August 11, the organizer, Cochon555, is hosting an encore presentation at Stem Ciders' Acreage, 1380 Horizon Drive in Lafayette. Whether it was the timing of the event or the your inability to get mountain lodging during Aspen Food & Wine that derailed your desire to feast on whole beasts roasted over open flame, you've got a second chance to enjoy expansive views and delicious food, wine and craft beer from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Tickets ($150 to $200) are on sale now on Cochon's website, where the participating chefs should be posted soon. What we're hoping to see (in addition to the smoke that definitely signals fire)? Some of Colorado's skillful female chefs rounding out the all-male lineup that was our only complaint about the June event.
Saturday, August 17
Tacolandia returns to Civic Center Park, Broadway and Colfax Avenue, for a fourth year on Saturday, August 17, celebrating food, art, music and culture. Join us in honoring that great Mexican invention, the taco, in its many forms as presented by the city's top cantinas, taquerias and food trucks, including Adelitas Cocina y Cantina, Antojitos La Poblanita, Carniceria Aaliyah, El Gallo Blanco, Issai's Catering, Kachina Cantina, La Fiesta, Los Chingones, Lucha Cantina, Mariscos El Rey 2, Los Mesones, Neveria Jedany's, Taco Block, Torta Grill, Yareth's, El Coco Pirata and more. Tickets, $25 for general admission or $55 for VIP, are now on sale at westwordtacolandia.com.
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