If you're into Texas-style barbecue (and who isn't these days?), you won't want to miss this upcoming event at barbecue supply purveyor Proud Souls BBQ & Provisions. On Friday, July 26, the shop is hosting Texas Monthly barbecue editor (now, there's an enviable job description) Daniel Vaughn in a "’Que & A" with Denver's own barbecue expert, food historian and James Beard Award-winning author Adrian Miller. Miller will grill Vaughn on Texas barbecue and his books, including The Prophets of Smoked Meat. A VIP reception kicks off at 5:30 p.m., with the doors open for general admission at 6 p.m. The experts at Proud Souls will provide smoky bites, and there will also be book signings. Pick up tickets, starting at $25, on the Proud Souls website. If you want to double up on barbecue, there are also a few seats left for a 1 p.m. "Burnt Offerings" lunch at Roaming Buffalo Bar-B-Que (2387 South Downing Street). Vaughn and Miller will both be in attendance, and proceeds from the $60 tickets will be donated to the Colorado Council of Churches. Get your tickets on the CCC website.
Boulder's Blackbelly Butcher Shop, 1606 Conestoga Street, is partnering with its main lamb supplier, Buckner Family Farm (also located in Boulder county), for discussion and dinner focused on local meats on Friday, July 26. Blackbelly's Farm to Feast event starts at 5:30 p.m. and — in addition to appetizers and a family-style dinner — includes a discussion between chef Hosea Rosenberg and rancher Clint Buckner about how the animals are raised, along with a butchery demo. While carnivores who prefer to buy their chicken in the form of nuggets and their fish in the form of fingers may be unnerved by this "know your animal, know your farmer" approach to raising and slaughtering dinner, it's essential to becoming a mindful meat eater. Book your seat for $90 (includes tax, tip and two drinks) on Blackbelly's website.
If you're vegan, you won't be limited to salad this weekend — at least not if you attend VegFest Colorado, which is putting on its annual two-day affair at Broomfield's 1STBANK Center, 11450 Broomfield Lane, on Saturday, July 27, and Sunday, July 28. Nearly 150 food, home and clothing vendors will be there, as well as lectures by authors, medical doctors, chefs and even an appearance by Patrik Baboumian, who held the title of "Strongest Man in Germany" in 2011, the same year he went vegan (so, not the guy you want to be around when you wear your "Meat is murder — tasty, tasty murder" T-shirt). The expo runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days, and tickets are available on the VegFest website for $10 (they're $12 at the door).
Boulder might be known for bougie bites (Corrida, Arcana, Frasca), but not everyone in the People's Republic wants to sit down at white tablecloths for a simple Saturday afternoon meal. Enter the town's Taco Fest, which is taking over Foothills Community Park, 800 Cherry Avenue, on Saturday, July 27. From noon to 8 p.m., guests can feast on decidedly down-to-earth street food — no matter how many crema squiggles it sports, the taco remains at heart a working man's meal, and will always be best in its simplest iteration — as well as beer, bands, luchadores and tequila (if you spring for VIP tickets). Tickets run $20 to $50 on Eventbrite, with the littlest comedores (age twelve and under) getting in for free.
If there's anywhere in town a traveling circus wagon filled with costumes and curiosities seems right at home, it's on the wide-open flagstone patio of Liberati Restaurant & Brewery, 2403 Champa Street. The enormous courtyard fountain is the perfect backdrop for aerial performances, contortionists, jugglers and stilt walkers, and on Saturday, July 27, Zabiti Circus is pulling up to the Curtis Park location from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. for a free show that includes circus workshops, a neighborhood talent show and live music. Take in the magical wagon by sipping the brewery's equally magical beer/wine hybrids, which are like nothing else being brewed in Denver. Find out more about the circus on Zabiti's website.
Is older better? Maybe (Cheddar and children), maybe not (gender-based attitudes and leftovers). But in the world of whiskey, age is optimal. On Sunday, July 28, Laws Whiskey House is upping the ante by releasing a new Six-Year Bonded Bourbon to replace its Four-Year Bonded Bourbon. The release party at the distillery, 1420 South Acoma Street, runs from 1 to 5 p.m.; get there promptly, because the first hundred bottles sold will come with a limited-edition glass. Also on hand: cocktails classes every hour, whiskey and chocolate pairings, live music and the Rolling Smoke Bar-B-Que truck. Get more info on the Laws Whiskey House Facebook page.
Keep reading for future food and drink events.