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The Five Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Weekend

There's no ghost at Brass Tacks. (There's definitely a ghost.)EXPAND
There's no ghost at Brass Tacks. (There's definitely a ghost.)
Mark Antonation
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It's all bourbon, brunch and more brunch, as mid-morning meals dominate Denver's choice events this weekend. Once you've recovered from your boozy, breakfast-y outings, keep reading for a look at six great happenings for the rest of July and August.

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.

Laws Whiskey House, 1420 South Acoma Street, offers tours of its distilling operation year-round, but from Friday, July 5, through Sunday, July 7, lucky visitors will get a special treat. In celebration of the distillery's eighth year making whiskey, guests on the one-and-a-half-hour tour will sample the usual suspects, including the current batch of Four Grain Bourbon, plus a taste of the very first barrel of bourbon Laws ever produced — at no extra charge. Tours are just $10 and run throughout the day, but they're filling up fast, so visit the distillery's Facebook page for details on the anniversary special, then book your spot without delay on the Laws Whiskey House website.

On July 6, there will be one more place in town to get Little Man Ice Cream.EXPAND
On July 6, there will be one more place in town to get Little Man Ice Cream.
Danielle Lirette

Saturday, July 6
Dead & Company is returning to Folsom Field this weekend for a pair of shows, and Jill's Restaurant, 900 Walnut Street in Boulder, is rolling out the psychedelic carpet in honor of the band, with its Cosmic Charlie Brunch on Saturday, July 6. Call 720-406-7399 to book your table for one of the two seatings (9:30 to 10 a.m. or 11:30 a.m. to noon), where you'll be treated to some pre-concert jams by Dead cover band Peak2Peak, as well as themed menu items like the Terrapin Egg Station, Friend of the Devil Frittatas, Me and Bobby Mac and Cheese, and, of course, Bloody Jerrys. Brunch runs $49.95 for adults and $24.95 for the littlest fans under twelve; find details and the complete menu on Jill's website.

No matter how many ice cream shops owner Paul Tamburello opens, the lines at the iconic milk can that houses Little Man Ice Cream never seem to get any shorter. But on Saturday, July 6, there's another place in town to dig into the sweet treats: Little Man Ice Cream Factory, 4411 West Colfax Avenue, is opening its doors to the public at noon. Guests who come dressed as ice cream factory workers (go literal with a hard hat and worker's boots, or whimsical with cotton candy hair and a maraschino cherry nose) will have the chance to win an ice cream-making party for twenty people, and the agenda includes a stilt walker, a ribbon-cutting ceremony and presentation of the first scoop off the line to longtime west side residents before sales begin at 12:40 p.m. Visit Little Man's Facebook page for more details.

Rock Steady hosts the Hustler's Brunch on July 7.EXPAND
Rock Steady hosts the Hustler's Brunch on July 7.
Michael Emery Hecker

Sunday, July 7
Want to make Sunday Funday more productive? The Hustler's Brunch aims to get entrepreneurs, business owners and influencers out of bed and into the groove on Sunday, July 7. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Rock Steady, 2100 Curtis Street, will host the event, where people can network while getting their brunch on. There will be live music and a Q&A panel with local athletes and entrepreneurs (including former and current Denver Broncos Omar Bolden and Will Parks). The "Health Is Wealth" edition of the quarterly gathering costs just $15, or $25 if you want bottomless mimosas (because what's better for your health — bodily and business — than drowning in gallons of champagne and OJ?) on Eventbrite.

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.

Hyperlocal specialties like yaka mein showed up at 2018's Slow Food Nations.EXPAND
Hyperlocal specialties like yaka mein showed up at 2018's Slow Food Nations.
Linnea Covington

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.

All sorts of open-air cooking techniques will be on display at Heritage Fire at Acreage.EXPAND
All sorts of open-air cooking techniques will be on display at Heritage Fire at Acreage.
Heritage Fire by Cochon555

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.

BrunchFest drew fans of sweet and savory breakfast to Civic Center Park last year.EXPAND
BrunchFest drew fans of sweet and savory breakfast to Civic Center Park last year.

Sunday, August 25
Over 200 restaurants opened in Denver last year — and it seems all of them started serving brunch within a few months of opening their doors. For brunchophiles trying to work their way through all the restaurants in town serving the meal, that's a tall order. But on Sunday, August 25, you can make a significant dent in your to-brunch list at BrunchFest 2019. McNichols Civic Center Building, 144 West Colfax Avenue, is the site of the boozy shenanigans, with over twenty restaurants serving brunch dishes, plus unlimited Bloodys and mimosas, from noon to 3 p.m. Tickets run $59 to $109, and you can pick them up, as well as see participating restaurants, on the event website.

Tuesday, August 27, and Wednesday, August 28
Den Corner knows how to throw a party, and its annual rooftop party and fundraiser only gets better with age. What started out in 2016 with a handful of chefs flown in from Japan has morphed into even more festivities, with twenty Japanese chefs hopping the pond to raise funds for Colorado's We Don't Waste and southern Japan's Kumamoto Castle Earthquake Relief Fund. This year, local chefs Carrie Baird, Ian Wortham, Caroline Glover, Dana Rodriguez, Elise Wiggins, Alex Seidel, Paul Reilly, Alon Shaya and more will join the shindig on August 27 and 28; beer, wine, cocktails and sake will be flowing, while ramen, hand rolls and Japanese street food will be plentiful. Tickets for the party, which runs from 7 to 10 p.m. both nights on the roof of the Den Corner parking garage at East Florida Avenue and Pearl Street, are $90 (includes three drink tickets), $110 (includes five drink tickets), or $135 (VIP early admission at 5 p.m., plus five drink tickets), and can be purchased on Sushi Den's website, along with a complete list of participating chefs and menu details. As with everything manned by Toshi and Yasu Kizaki, the party generally sells out, so don't delay in guaranteeing your entry.

If you know of a date that should be on this calendar, send information to cafe@westword.com.

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