I scream, you scream, we all scream for good booze: From brews to bourbon, this week's culinary calendar is packed with the best in local and international beverages. Take a look at the hottest seven food and drink happenings over the next five days, as well as upcoming events to put on the calendar.
Monday, January 13
Melted, the ice cream shop from the folks behind bougie bistros Oak at Fourteenth, Acorn and Corrida, is finally hosting its grand opening on Monday, January 13. The dessertery, which turns out soft serve (both in cones and in Thai ice cream sandwiches) and fresh-baked cookies inside The Source, 3350 Brighton Boulevard, will be opening its doors from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. with dessert samples as well as passed bites from sister restaurant Acorn. Get details on the Source's Facebook page and prepare for a sweet start to the week.
Tuesday, January 14
Witness the exhaustion of the anti-Trumper: As fervent as they are about ensuring the swamp is drained in ten months, the constant outrages of the past three years combined with the ridiculously large field of Democratic candidates have depleted many to the point at which watching the debate on Tuesday, January 14, seems an exercise in futility and self-flagellation (especially if you're participating in Dry January and are unable to self-medicate). But Cerveceria Colorado, the Mexican-inspired brewery at 1635 Platte Street, is encouraging participation in the political process by staging a Democratic Debate Bingo starting at 6 p.m. Mark off a square every time Biden inserts foot in mouth, and go home with a Crowler of beer, which will at least help dull the pain as the race heats up. See the taproom's Facebook page for more details.
The City of Denver wants to help you figure out how to reduce your food waste with its Striving for Zero Waste: Food Waste Reduction 101 Workshop on Tuesday, January 14. Come to room 4.H.2 of the Wellington Webb Building (201 West Colfax Avenue) from noon to 1 p.m. and learn about which plastics are recyclable, how to save money by minimizing food waste at home, and how the City and County of Denver is tackling the issue. The session will also provide information on composting and recycling to get you started on a zero-waste lifestyle; find out more here.
Wednesday, January 15
American Bonded, 2706 Larimer Street, has started a new weekly series, Whiskey Wednesdays. Come Hump Day, the Five Points bar will offer specials of the amber liquid, including flights, tastes from rare bottles and whiskey cocktails when doors open at 4 p.m. The real deal to look out for, though, is the joint's break-even bottle night, which will be occurring periodically — and with little notice on the establishment's Facebook page. But the potential to score a screaming deal is so good, you won't mind the effort it takes to stay up to date; the last break-even bottle was Pappy Van Winkle 15 year (which you can find listed online for upwards of $1,000), which was sold at the bargain basement price of $5 per ounce through a raffle system. Thirsty attendees must enter a free drawing for a dram starting at 6 p.m. and be present at 9 p.m. to get the goods if their name is drawn.
Thursday, January 16
Japan's Niigata prefecture — one of the top sake producing regions in the country — is known for its high-quality beverages, and on Thursday, January 16, you can taste some of the brews that rarely make it out of the Land of the Rising Sun at Uchi. The spot at 2500 Lawrence Street is hosting a sake dinner at 6:30 p.m., with four inventive courses (lamb belly with matcha salsa, hirame crudo and cherry blossoms, duck confit with persimmon kimchi and shortrib accompanied by miso and cherry mostarda) served alongside sake pairings. Tickets for the luxe dinner, $115, include tax and tip and are for sale now on Eventbrite, where you can also find info on the sakes, some of which are being shipped from Japan especially for the feast.
Friday, January 17
Dinner and a movie isn't a new concept, but rarely do cinematic and culinary themes line up as perfectly as they do at the Fort Restaurant's screening of classic Western Shane on Friday, January 17. The Morrison restaurant (19192 Highway 8) modeled after early nineteenth-century Bent's Fort is the perfect setting for the tale of Alan Ladd's mysterious gunslinger whose attempt to settle down as a farmhand in 1889 Wyoming results in nothing but blood and tears. The accompanying four-course meal harks back to Colorado's culinary history, with touches like pepitas and buffalo sirloin. Tickets for the 6 p.m. show are just $49 and include one drink; visit the Fort's website for details and to purchase tickets.
Denver Distillery has been holding down its spot at 244 South Broadway for a couple of years now, and on Friday, January 17, it will be celebrating its terrible twos with a bourbon launch and anniversary party. From 6 to 11 p.m., the Paddy Hooligans will provide live music, and just over 350 bottles of bourbon (aged in new American oak and finished in French cabernet sauvignon barrels) will be available, with $5 of each purchase going to the Morgan Adams Foundation, a nonprofit organization funding children's cancer research. There's no cover, but you're required to RSVP for the 6 p.m. bash on Eventbrite or the distillery's Facebook page — and as everyone knows, any toddler is much more palatable with a good amount of whiskey in them (or in you), so don't delay snagging your spot at the bar.
Keep reading for future food events...
Saturday, January 18
Denver Beer Co. knows how to lure your sorry ass out of bed bright and early on a weekend morning; its annual two-day Beer, Bacon and Coffee Fest at the taproom's Arvada outpost (5768 Olde Wadsworth Boulevard) sells out every year. Starting at the unholy hour of 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, January 18, and Sunday, January 19, the fest features all the salty, porky, bitter, black, boozy goodness that you can fit in your belly until 11 a.m. So whether you're hitting the taproom after a restful night's sleep or just wrapped up a graveyard shift, this fest is sure to start the day off right. Tickets are $45 on the brewery's website and include a breakfast burrito (veggie option available), bottomless brews (coffee and beer) and bacon and a commemorative mug (because everyone knows you're not really an alcoholic if you're drinking beer out of a coffee cup before 9 a.m.).
Sunday, January 19
Now that the holidays are behind us and your mind is unclouded by merriment, cheer or the desire to chug as many drinks as quickly as possible to mitigate the awkwardness of family gatherings and work parties, you'll recall that you drank some very regrettable champagne during December (or maybe you don't remember, but trust us — you did). Bubbly may be celebratory, but that doesn't mean it's all good. Luckily, you can start honing your champagne-tasting skills now so you know what to serve, order and avoid like the plague in eleven months' time. Hotel Teatro, 1100 14th Street, is hosting a tasting class on Sunday, January 19, from 2 to 3:30 p.m., with a pair of the Nickel's sommeliers guiding you through tastings of capital "C" champagne and other sparkling wines and giving advice on pairings. Tickets, $45 on Eventbrite, include a charcuterie plate with nuts and fruit, and invaluable knowledge that will help you avoid a bad bubbly hangover the next time someone decides to pop a cork.
Nonprofit art gallery Leon, 1112 East 17th Avenue, is combining the visual and the culinary arts on Sunday, January 19, with the launch of its Fine Mess Supper Club. From 5 to 8 p.m., an intimate group of just twenty lucky souls will be treated to a five-course meal from chefs Luke McDonald (Coohills) and Anthony Urbany (Devil's Food) in the gallery, where the current exhibition Beasts of Burden by street artist bunny M. will be the conversational catalyst. Tickets, $85, include tax and tip; visit Leon's Facebook page for details and info on future installments of the monthly series, then email email@example.com or call 303-832-1599 to claim your spot.
Wednesday, January 22
Turns out diversity tastes great, too. On Wednesday, January 22, the Village Exchange Center (VEC), a local organization dedicated to creating a safe space of belonging while celebrating religious and cultural diversity, is hosting an international bazaar-themed benefit in celebration of the nonprofit’s third anniversary. The event takes place from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Stanley Marketplace (2501 Dallas Street, Aurora) and costs $81 per person if you purchase tickets by January 15, or $100 between January 15 and 22. Food vendors include Jasmine Syrian Food, Taste of Sudan, Nepali Mountain Kitchen and others, and there will also be crafts for sale, live music and special guests, including Congressman Jason Crow and Reverend Dr. Timothy E. Tyler. Purchase tickets on the VEC website.
Friday, January 24
Take afternoon tea with royalty on Friday, January 24. No, we don't mean the Duchess of Sussex; we don't even mean American royalty (as if the Kennedys would even deign to leave the East Coast). We mean Denver royalty — the kind with hooves, horns and a fluffy blow-dried coat. For the 75th year, the National Western Stock Show's Grand Champion steer is visiting the Brown Palace Hotel, 321 17th Street, to take tea with Denver's finest. The biggest boy in town will be in the Brown's lobby from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., where he'll be surrounded by adoring fans, paparazzi and the best-dressed cowpokes around. While anyone can stop by the hotel for a glimpse of the guest of honor, if you want to enjoy tea (which starts at $41 per person), we recommend you make reservations on the Brown Palace website.
Sunday, January 26
A good argument could be made for January being the worst month of the year: While the days are technically lengthening, we still spend many of our waking hours in frigid darkness, holiday cheer has curdled like that carton of eggnog forgotten in the back of your refrigerator and — most incomprehensibly of all — some of you have decided to compound the horror by vowing to not have a drink until February 1. At least the rest of us will have some solace on Sunday, January 26, when Ratio Beerworks, 2920 Larimer Street, teams up with Osaka Ramen for a beer and ramen pairing from noon to 2 p.m. For just $25, you'll get three steamy, soulful bowls (spicy miso, shoyu and vegetable curry) accompanied by dark lager, French saison and IPA. Tickets for the exclusive event (just thirty seats) are on sale now on Eventbrite. NOTE: This event is currently sold out.
Saturday, February 8
Rats aren't all bad — especially if they're talented and adorable (Remy from Ratatouille), meme-able (Pizza Rat) or the first animal of the zodiac, bringing rebirth and renewal (Lunar New Year). And on Saturday, February 8, you can celebrate the Year of the Rat (which admittedly begins a few weeks earlier, on January 25) at the Chinese New Year party put on by the Nathan Yip Foundation. From 5:30 to 11 p.m., ballrooms at the Grand Hyatt Denver, 1750 Welton Street, will be transformed into an expansive night market with food stations, games, palm readers, calligraphers and traditional clothing; this year, there will also be a formal Chinese banquet where guests can enjoy traditions such as yu sheng, a salad composed of auspicious ingredients that are mixed at the table by diners to ensure a prosperous new year. Tickets ($250, or $150 for young professionals under 36), along with details and colorful pictures of the event, are available now on the foundation's website.
Sunday, February 9
Accio pint glass! On Sunday, February 9, all you have to do is swish your wand about to summon good times and cheer at the generically named Wizard's Beer Festival (the wizarding world has become significantly more litigious, it seems). Diebolt Brewing Co., 3855 Mariposa Street, is the site of the shenanigans, with four two-hour sessions throughout the day, beginning at 11 a.m. and 1:30, 4 and 6:30 p.m. There will be tarot card readers, DJs and wand-making classes; your $45 ticket will get you a welcome beer and tickets for five further potions. Just remember: You can't evanesco your hangover the next day. Pick up your tickets at Eventbrite before those sneaky Slytherins find a way to steal them all.
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Saturday, February 15
The folks that brought you November's mac and cheese festival are doubling down on dairy with a grilled cheese and beer festival on Saturday, February 15. Yes, after stuffing yourself on ooey, gooey, creamy mac, you can now get your cheese and carb combo in the form of crispy, crunchy sandwiches washed down by craft beer. Show up for unlimited bites from Blake Street Tavern, Maine Shack and Cheese Love Grill, among others; bottomless brews are courtesy of Horse and Dragon, Mockery, Spice Trade and Zuni Street. Tickets are currently on sale on Eventbrite or Facebook for $54 or $89 (the Big Cheese option gets you early entry and full-sized beers instead of samples), though prices are set to increase as the event approaches. Choose from the afternoon (12:30 to 3:30 p.m.) or evening (5 to 8 p.m.) session at the Runway 35 Park, 8863 East 47th Avenue.
Friday, February 21, through Sunday, March 1
For ten days in late February, Denver eateries are going to be crammed with diners seeking great deals. Yes, Denver Restaurant Week returns on Friday, February 21, and runs through Sunday, March 1; both longstanding institutions and trendy hot spots will be serving multi-course prix fixe menus offered at just $25, $35 or $45. And while participating restaurants haven't yet been announced, a visit to the event website provides scrumptious pics of some of 2019's most delectable dishes, past players and the opportunity to sign up for email alerts so you'll be among the first to know when menus are posted online. Then begins the race for reservations, wherein it's you vs. the rest of Denver scrambling to book the best tables in town. Feeling bold? Make your best guesses as to which joints will be joining the fun and start booking your dinners right now.
Thursday, March 12
A wealth of Denver's A-list restaurants are uniting under one roof on Thursday, March 12, to raise money for the National Kidney Foundation at its annual feast, Great Chefs of the West. Starting at 6 p.m., Exdo Event Center, 1399 35th Street, will play host to talent from Death & Co., Mercantile, the Bindery, American Elm, El Five, Woodie Fisher and over fifteen other restaurants and bars serving their most extravagant bites and beverages. And while tickets aren't cheap ($200, though you can save $20 by purchasing before January 6), you'd spend that much on Lyft rides alone trying to navigate from one end of town to another to hit up each and every eatery. Find out more about the event on the NKF website.
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