You can support essential employees, local beverage producers, kids in foster care, and crucial nonprofit organization Project Angel Heart through online food and drink events this week. And there's plenty more you can do; keep reading for ongoing happenings in the days ahead.
Monday, April 27
Essential employees in need of a hot meal will want to take advantage of West of Surrender's dinner giveaway. In addition to offering a regular takeout menu for those who are safely (if stir-crazily) waiting out Denver's stay-at-home order in their, well, homes, the restaurant is giving away 45 meals per day to front-line workers. Weekdays from Monday, April 27, through Wednesday, April 13, eligible employees can sign up to receive up to four meals; the to-go orders can be picked up at the bar, 501 16th Street, at an assigned time between 5 and 7 p.m. Sign-up is currently open for first responders and media (April 27 through May 1), hospital and restaurant workers (May 4 through 8) and teachers and grocery-store workers (May 11 through 13). Visit West of Surrender's website now to sign yourself up or nominate someone who needs help.
In Denver, the staccato chatter of the auctioneer usually indicates a livestock sale, but this week a happy hour is going to the highest bidder. Room for Milly, the posh cocktail bar that just opened at 1615 Platte Street in February, is auctioning off a ten-person happy hour to raise money for its staff at the new bar as well as its two other establishments, Queens Eleven and Blue Sparrow Coffee. The party is valued at $500 and includes two cocktails (or beer or wine) per person, plus six small plates. Put in your bid for the Room for Milly Happy Hour on the 32Auctions website anytime between now and 8 p.m. on Wednesday, April 29. If you're the highest bidder, you'll be able to celebrate once the bar reopens in the coming weeks.
Tuesday, April 28
Denver takes its drinking seriously — perhaps more seriously now than ever before. But while Drizly orders and liquor store runs take up an ever-increasing proportion of our income, if we want our favorite watering holes to eventually reopen their doors, they need our support now. Drink RiNo, a nonprofit coalition representing independent craft-beverage producers in the neighborhood, has launched a gift card raffle. Purchase a $50 gift card for use at any of the fourteen member businesses (including Stem Ciders, Ratio Beerworks, Our Mutual Friend Brewing Co. and Epic Brewing), and you'll be entered into a drawing to receive a gift bag valued at $500 and stuffed full of goodies from every single Drink RiNo beverage producer. Visit Drink RiNo's website for the complete list of participants and links to their online storefronts, and start dreaming of the day you can belly up to a real live bar once again.
Wednesday, April 29
There's a beer to go with everything these days, including French pastries. On, Wednesday, April 29, you can satisfy your sweet tooth and your beer belly by joining in a guided tasting on Facebook Live with Odyssey Beerwerks and La Patisserie Francaise. Pre-order your two-person $35 pairing (lemon bars with Heliocentric Hefeweizen, Pecan bars with Bawdy Limerick Whiskey Barrel-Aged Irish Extra Stout, and apple tarts with Purple Punch Blackberry Berliner Weisse), then join in the conversation at 5 p.m. on Odyssey's Facebook page. Each take-home kit comes with Crowlers of the three beers and two servings each of the three desserts. Reserve on Odyssey's online ordering page or call the taproom at 303-421-0772, then pick up your goodies at
5535 West 56th Avenue in Arvada (or have them delivered within a ten-mile radius for $5) before 3 p.m. on Tuesday, April 28.
Thursday, April 30
Every year in April for the past 26 years, hundreds of Denver restaurants have welcomed guests into their dining rooms for one night of eating and giving. Project Angel Heart's Dining Out for Life — when restaurants and bars chip in a percentage of the night's take to fund the organization's mission of preparing and delivering medically tailored meals to people with life-threatening illnesses — has been one of its biggest annual fundraisers. But this year is different, and Dining Out for Life has become Dining IN for Life. Instead of asking hard-hit restaurants barely managing to stay afloat to donate a percentage of one night's revenue, Project Angel Heart is asking you to help restaurants by ordering takeout and then donating a little extra to the organization. Here's how it works: Plan ahead to order takeout from a restaurant of your choice (see the list of Project Angel Heart sponsors for ideas, though not all of them are currently open) on Thursday, April 30, or as often as possible between now and then, then donate online. Make the whole event social and interactive by taking pictures and videos and sharing them on social media with the #dininginforlife and @projectangelheart tags.
Olivia is at it again — "it" being a virtual wine dinner. But the second iteration of supping and sipping via Zoom is ratcheting up the drama (because you've already watched all of Netflix and Hulu) by incorporating a sommelier challenge. Order by phone (909-999-0395), email (email@example.com) or on Tock no later than 4 p.m. on April 28, then pick up your take-and-bake meal before 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 30. You'll get an amuse bouche and a bourbon cocktail to start the meal, then three courses, each paired with wine from two different somms. During dinner, the wine experts will make their case for their own drink selection, and guests will vote on their favorite pairing. Funds raised through the dinner — the ticket price of $95, or $45 without wine, includes a $10 donation — will go to the winner's chosen charity, either Feeding Colorado Heroes or Food Bank of the Rockies. Visit Olivia's website to see the complete menu and details.
From Thursday, April 30, through Sunday, May 3, you can make a kid's day a little happier when you pick up your adult happy juice at Infinite Monkey Theorem. The winery, 3200 Larimer Street, is teaming up with nonprofit organizations Royal Family Kids (which mentors kids in foster care) and Can'd Aid (which touts its "people powered do-goodery") to create and distribute art kits to children who are currently at the mercy not only of the foster system, but also the instability and upended routines that are a result of COVID-19. For a $10 donation, guests will be able to stuff and decorate an art kit, and will also receive a discount on their wine purchase: 25 percent off all bottles, and four-packs for just $10. Doors to the winery are open from 3 to 8 p.m.; visit the taproom's website for more details.
Keep reading for ongoing online events every day of the week....
Even though it may feel like the world has shut down forever, Mother Nature is actually doling out some good with the bad: Spring has sprung, and now's a great time to start planning a garden. In addition to growing your own food and mitigating grocery-store trips, gardening can also be a meditative hobby — and nothing could be better in these trying times. That's why farmers' advocacy group Frontline Farming is carrying on with its annual heirloom seedling sale. This year, though, all orders must be placed via the organization's online store. Choose from snowy white Japanese eggplant, lemon-colored cucumbers, violet bell peppers, pale yellow to fiery red chiles, and pitch black, burgundy, scarlet and citron hued tomatoes. Don't have a yard? Not to worry — you can also stock up on herb seedlings (oregano, basil, thyme, chamomile, cilantro and parsley) that do great in pots. Then pick up your babies on Saturday, May 9 (at 2861 West 52nd Avenue), or May 16 (at 7000 Garrison Street in Arvada) and get growing.
Need a mid-day pick-me-up? Colorado Springs-based Distillery 291 is keeping the bar fires burning by posting short Facebook Live videos daily at 2 p.m. (and often at 5 p.m., as well). Tune in to see staff taking shotskis (appropriately socially distanced, with just one person on each end of the ski), mixing cocktails, bantering and sanitizing everything in sight. Anyone — even those who don't live south of the Denver County line — can benefit from daily cocktail recipes and a quick time-out between Zoom meetings. Distillery 291 just took home double gold for its High Rye Colorado Bourbon at the recent San Francisco World Spirits Competition, so you can order a bottle for your home bar and virtual-toast along with the 291 team.
Knowing when to log out of your email is tough when you're working from home — and it's even harder turning off your work brain when your work space is the same as your sleeping, eating, cooking, TV-watching, hand-washing and gritting-your-teeth-and-trying-not-to-bite-your-roommate's-head-off space. But every day from 7:15 to 7:30 p.m., the folks at Burns Family Artisan Ales are hosting Socially Distanced Drinking on Facebook Live. Tune in and chat in the comments with like-minded beer aficionados about what you're drinking and what it pairs with.
The Denver Central Market, 2669 Larimer Street, has shifted operations to function as a grocery store — and that makes it one of the few markets where you can get your pantry essentials and your hard liquor in the same spot. Curio, the in-house bar, won't mix up a cocktail to sip while you shop, but you can order cocktail kits and bottles of booze for pick-up Tuesday through Friday (2 to 6 p.m.) and Saturday (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.) For the most part, the cocktail kits don't include booze, but instead are substantial baskets of fruit, mixers, garnishes, syrups, bitters and ice that make from eight to ten drinks; prices range from $25 to $50. And while you can splurge on a bottle of spirits — there are several $300 options for sale on Curio's website — you can get a liter of most house spirits for $25 or $30. You can even get fancy ice cubes, which will run you $4 for four, if for some reason you lack access to water and a freezer. Once you have your goodies in hand, start shaking with the help of the bar's Cocktail Sessions, free videos in which bartenders from Curio, Brass Tacks and Roger's Liquid Oasis walk you through the steps to creating perfect quarantine quaffs.
Stem Ciders isn't letting a little thing like a global health crisis put a crimp in its long-running tradition of Tuesday pairings. The cidery continues to offer four cans of cider accompanied by four food items (upcoming: cupcakes and sushi) picked by bakers, chefs and producers for pick-up between 3 and 7 p.m. from the Stem taproom at 2811 Walnut Street. Unlike pre-pandemic times, you can reserve your plate (costs vary, but hover in the $25 range) in advance on Eventbrite (recommended) through noon on the prior Monday, but there will be a limited supply of pairings for sale on a first-come, first-served basis on Tuesday. Take a look at Stem's Facebook page for details on the selected ciders and cheese.
The Mile High City's own self-serve chicken sandwich chain, Birdcall, is taking a cue from its namesake and bestowing beautiful music on the people of Denver. Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday through the end of Denver's stay-at-home order, the restaurant's Facebook and Instagram pages will be streaming free mini-sets from local musicians as part of its Birdcall Lockdown concert series. Past artists include Wildermiss and Neoma; tune in at 8 p.m. for your fix of local music — even better if it's enjoyed with one of the joint's family meals or sandwiches, which you can order online, pick up from the restaurant and enjoy from the comfort of your own couch.
The Boulder-based Cocktail Squad, purveyor of canned cocktails and 1989-era Taylor Swift catchphrases, has launched a series of music sets from local musicians on its YouTube channel. Every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, you can watch new performances from artists like Andy Thorn of Leftover Salmon, Andrew McConathy of the Drunken Hearts and more. Presumably, not every musician making an appearance will be a bearded white dude named after one of the Twelve Apostles, but you'll have to tune in to find out — and even if they are, it'll go down easier with one of the Squad's cocktails in hand; visit its website to find out where you can order them for delivery. In lieu of tips, the beverage producer is requesting that you donate to nonprofit organizations Feed the Frontlines Boulder, United States Bartenders' Guild National Charity Foundation and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Relief Fund.
Our favorite place for Negronis, Bar Helix, is doing double duty as a smokehouse on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. You can order the bar's ribs and sides from 2 p.m. until sellout for no-contact pick-up at 3440 Larimer Street. Details are up on Bar Helix's website, where you can place your order for food as well as large-format cocktails designed to serve six people or more.
The longer Colorado's stay-at-home order drags on, the worse our case of cabin fever gets (at this point, your cousin's wedding in Rapelje, Montana — population 110 — sounds positively enticing). But while you're stuck at home, you can prepare for your next trip to somewhere closer and much, much tastier: Colorado's wine country. Starting Wednesday, April 15, the Colorado Wine Facebook page launched its weekly happy half-hour at 4:30 p.m. on Facebook Live. Winemakers from across the state join the stream each week and chat about tasting tips, the winemaking process and viewer questions. Visit Colorado Wine's website to connect with wineries close to you and find out how you can purchase their wares to drink during happy hour (or — let's be honest — any hour of the day).
Colorado Sake Co. is sending home sushi and sake kits to customers nearly every night of the week for sushi-rolling classes; the packages include enough seafood, rice, nori and veggies to make six rolls (two each of three different styles), plus a rolling mat, chopsticks, wasabi, soy sauce and pickled ginger. Oh, and the most important part — two 350-milliliter bottles of sake: the American Standard (a junmai ginjo, if you're into details) and one flavored version, such as raspberry-lavender. The kits ring in at $80 and are built for two, and you can add more bottles of sake for $10 each. Sign up for the classes on the Colorado Sake Co. Facebook page; they're currently offered every Wednesday through Sunday at 6:30 p.m., with a second session at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Even coronavirus can't kill Wine Wednesday, and Bigsby's Folly is doing its part to uphold the Hump Day tradition. Every Wednesday at 7 p.m., the winery crew is holding virtual gatherings on Instagram Live; while you're there, be sure to take a moment to peruse the feed and enjoy frequent, costumed moments of levity from owners Chad and Marla Yetka.
American Elm, 4132 West 32nd Avenue, is hyping a different cocktail each week during its Friday happy hour — because once you've learned everything there is to know about your housemate(s), pet(s), Tik Tok feed, Joe Exotic and the offerings of every streaming platform you can think of, God knows you need some variety. Bartenders will walk you through creating basic drinks as well as variations at 4 p.m. on the restaurant's Instagram page; to play along, visit American Elm's website, where you can place a pick-up or delivery order for the classic drink's ingredients. While the "Happy Hour Cocktail Kit" for six includes no booze — only bitters, ice cubes and simple syrup — for $15, the "Cocktails to Go" section offers a set of drink ingredients (including the booze) for six drinks at around $40. And because every alcohol purchase must include food, you can indulge in one of the spot's excellent entrees or family meals.
Denver Beer Co. is hosting a virtual happy hour and tasting every Friday from 4 to 5 p.m. on Facebook Live and its YouTube channel; the taproom's head brewer and owners will discuss select brews each week, which will be posted on DBC's Facebook page in advance so that you can drink along if you'd like.
Golden spirits maker State 38 Distilling is hosting a virtual happy hour every Friday at 4:30 p.m. (times subject to change based on guests). Past online gatherings have included cocktail recipes, whiskey 101 education and expert guest appearances. Even better? The distillery is running this deal through the end of April: Stop by 400 Corporate Circle in Golden between 3 and 5 p.m. to pick up two bottles of brown spirits (including not only whiskey, but also the outfit's reposado and añejo agave spirits) and get a free bottle of Damn Good vodka. Visit State 38's Facebook page for details about each week's edition.
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Golden Moon Distillery can't invite you into its tasting room, so instead it's welcoming you behind the scenes with a series of virtual tours of the facility. Previous installments have showcased the outfit's original plant, its distinctive grain silo and distilling processes of single-malt whiskey and specialty liqueurs. Check Golden Moon's Facebook and Instagram pages for details of upcoming tours — and to get the entire tour experience, call ahead to the distillery, 303-993-7174, and order a bottle of Golden Moon's excellent spirits to accompany the tour.
Dos Luces Brewery will hold Friday night meetups on Google Hangout at 6 p.m. until the taproom reopens. Owner/head brewer Judd Belstock will be discussing his chicha and pulque. Details are up on the Dos Luces Facebook page, where you can also find info on pre-order and pick-up of its brews.
Proof Wine & Spirits, 3360 Larimer Street, is moving its weekly in-store wine tastings into the virtual Wild West (aka Instagram). Each Tuesday, the shop will announce two wines that it will uncork; you can order the bottles on its website and pick them up at the store. Then on Friday at 6 p.m., join store manager and sommelier Jessica Barrand on Instagram Live as she tastes and takes notes on the wine. We'll raise a glass to that.
Curtis Park residents have an easy way to decide where to order Friday night takeout: Curtis Park Neighbors has recently formed the Curtis Park Meal Train. Each week, nearby denizens can order a meal for two for $35 (plus two drinks for just $5 more if the selected restaurant has a liquor license!) no later than Thursday for Friday night delivery straight to your doorstep — if you live within five miles of the participating restaurants. Past participants include Dio Mio Handmade Pasta, Hop Alley and Lou's Italian Specialties. Stay tuned for upcoming collabs and order on the Meal Train website.
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