Ratio, repeals, rouge and ribs are all on the culinary calendar this week. Relish Denver's remarkable range at these seven events this week...and keep reading for more food for thought in the weeks ahead.
Monday, December 4
Ratio Beerworks is kicking off December with an ambitious Twelve Days of Giving campaign; it has partnered with twelve nonprofit and community organizations around town for events at the taproom, 2920 Larimer Street, benefiting causes from breast cancer research to a shelter for homeless women and families to youth development. The first installment in the series runs from 5 to 8 p.m. on Monday, December 4, with a holiday cookie decorating station and a dollar from each beer purchased going to Work Options for Women. Events are scheduled through Friday, December 22, and include an adult book fair, a Soup Showdown to warm your belly on a winter's night, a pop-up art market and a punk-rock drag show. Visit Ratio's Facebook page for a complete schedule of events and commit to drinking good beer and donating to a good cause this month.
Tuesday, December 5
Not everyone observes Christmas, but Tuesday, December 5, celebrates something all Americans can get behind: Repeal Day. In 1933, the 21st Amendment was ratified, and thirteen years of Prohibition ended ignominiously. Honor the return of booze to the national scene (or celebrate your constitutional rights, even if you're not much of a drinker) at The Cruise Room, 1600 17th Street, where you can get your first drink of the night for just a few cents. Show up between 4:30 and 7 p.m., and a Tom Collins, Sazerac or martini will run you 35 cents; go big with a Sidecar or Old Fashioned for fifty cents. Party like it's 1933!
Wednesday, December 6
Denverites have been spoiled by the huge restaurant boom of the past few years, but restaurants can be limiting; if a Venezuelan restaurant opens in the forest and no one's around to hear it, does it make a sound? It's worth seeking out other ways to find great food from other cultures, and on Wednesday, December 6, students at CU Denver are putting on a Grand Tasting Feast as part their Food Metaphors: Ibero-American Cuisine and Cultures course. Stop by the free event from 2 to 3:15 p.m. at the Auraria Campus's Plaza Building, suite 118, to get a mouthful of tapas from Spain, Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Colombia, Mexico and El Salvador — cuisines that can be hard to find in the Mile High City. You'll also be able to get recipes from the students who prepared the food, so your own kitchen can become one of those hidden gems turning out Iberian food.
Some questions are eternal: Why is a raven like a writing desk? What was with the Lost finale? What do screenprinting and craft beer have in common? We can only answer the latter: Nothing, really, except that you can enjoy them both at Ink Lounge's Sketch Ink workshop on Wednesday, December 6. From 6 to 8:30 p.m., the screenprinting studio will guide you through creating six sketch books with printed covers (aka DIY holiday gifts) while providing sustenance in the form of snacks from Black Sky Brewery. And while beer won't be available at the class itself, you'll receive a voucher for the taproom just a few blocks away, so you can reward your creative endeavors with a pint or three. Sign up for the workshop, $45, at the Ink Lounge website.
Thursday, December 7
Axe throwing and beer may sound like a perilous combo, but it's got nothing on makeup and margaritas: Every makeup lover knows the horrifying feeling of seeing those selfies the morning after they had a few drinks at home and then tried to re-create the perfect Instagram brow. But Lime, 500 16th Street, is gamely taking up the gauntlet on Thursday, December 7, with its Makeup and Margaritas event. From 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., $25 will get the beautiful people two drinks, chips and salsa, Sephora goodie bags and holiday makeup tutorials from a professional makeup artist. Get your tickets at eventbrite.com no later than Tuesday, December 5.
It's no secret that Bravo's Top Chef came to Colorado to film its fifteenth season earlier this year. You can finally start planning your watch party, as the show will premiere on Thursday, December 7, at 8 p.m. The contestants traveled from Sports Authority Field to Telluride to Aspen Food + Wine and were tasked with preparing everything from the innocuous Denver omelet to the infamous Rocky Mountain oyster. Tune in to see how they fare — as well as to catch a glimpse of local legends (and a former winner!) Alex Seidel, Hosea Rosenberg, Jennifer Jasinski and Frank Bonanno.
Friday, December 8
Everyone knows you've got to get up early and stand in line for the best barbecue. Plan your Friday accordingly, because Post Oak Hall, 6195 West 44th Avenue in Wheat Ridge, will be hosting Boulder's Pepperbelly Barbecue for a pop-up lunch on Friday, December 8. Succulent sausage, ribs, pork shoulder and brisket will hit the smoker the day before and will be available at 10 a.m. Friday until sold out, along with coleslaw, German potato salad and baked bean sides. And before the whining about Colorado barbecue commences, consider Pepperbelly's pedigree: Its smoker was built by Austin legend John Lewis (formerly of Franklin Barbecue and La Barbecue), and pitmaster Ryan Smith smokes exclusively over Texas post oak. So quit yer bitchin' and head over for a luscious lunch finished off with Helliemae's famous caramels.
And a couple more for a few days down the road...
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Saturday, December 16
Put up the aluminum pole, brace yourself for the Airing of Grievances and start training for the Feats of Strength — it's Festivus! And while traditional Festivus dinners involve covertly sipping from a flask while those around you look on soberly and disapprovingly, Denver Beer Festivus gives you the opportunity to celebrate the season with like-minded lushes. From 4 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, December 16, join your real tribe at Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum, 7711 East Academy Boulevard. Tickets will run you $40 to $65 and are already on sale at denverbeerfestivus.com. ’Tis the season!
The Chowder Room will once again host the Feast of Seven Fishes, a reservation-only event. The seven-course seafood feast is $59 (tax and tip not included); wine pairings are available for an additional charge. Call 303-777-3474 to reserve your spot.
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