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The Seven Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Week

Pi Day is here.
Pi Day is here.
Courtesy of Copper Kettle Brewing
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Musicals, mezcal and mathematics kick off this week's agenda. Not into any of those? Don't worry, there are plenty of other opportunities for you to munch your way through Denver's food scene without having to add two and two. Here are our seven picks for food and drink events from Monday, March 12, through Friday, March 16.

Monday, March 12
If, like most Denverites, you missed out on tickets to see the Founding Fathers compete in rap battles in between Revolutionary War battles, you might get a second chance at Hotel Teatro's Hamilton Happy Hour on Monday, March 12. From 5:30 to 7 p.m., the Study at Hotel Teatro, 1100 14th Street, will be pouring Renegade Brewing beers and giving away a slew of great prizes. While the grand prize — a night's stay at the hotel and two tickets to the country's hottest musical — will be what gets people in the door, other prizes include tickets to Collaboration Fest, free growlers for a year at Renegade and dinner for two and bottomless drinks at the Nickel. Tickets and a chance win are just $10 (when's the last time you tasted five beers and bites for a Hamilton?) and are on sale at Eventbrite.

Grapes on the vine at Cantina Tramin's vineyard in northern Italy.
Grapes on the vine at Cantina Tramin's vineyard in northern Italy.
Courtesy of Cantina Tramin Facebook page

Tuesday, March 13
There's no law that says you can't drink wine until Wednesday (and if there were, it would be justifiable cause for armed uprising). So take advantage of your civil liberties while you still have them, and consider Palizo Italiano's Tramin Wine Pairing Dinner on Tuesday, March 13, at 6:30 p.m. Patrick Mangold-White's eatery at 1472 South Pearl Street will pair northern Italian food (wild mushrooms with pasta, ricotta and lemon béchamel, duck breast with roasted beets and pesto, fruit tart and cheese) with wines from South Tyrol (the lesser-known Lagrein and Gewurztraminer). Call 720-379-8595 to reserve your spot, $75, and see palizodenver.com for the complete menu.

Wednesday, March 14
If you've been to the Mexican state of Oaxaca, you know mezcal flows from the taps instead of water. Okay, not really — but the liquor is integral to the culture of the region, and the cost of a trip south of the border might even be cheaper (and easier) than trying to get your hands a bottle of the good stuff stateside. If you're not sure you like the drink enough to make that kind of investment, though, Curio (inside Denver Central Market, 2669 Larimer Street) is launching a three-part series called Mezcal Talks on Wednesday, March 14, that will introduce curious novices to the smoky spirit. From 6:30 to 8 p.m., $20 will get you tastings, a mezcal cocktail, apps and a discussion of Oaxacan terroir. Future installments on March 21 and March 28 will address different varietals and production regions. Find out more and nab your tickets at Curio's Facebook page. 

It's every left-brained gastronome's favorite day: Pi Day. And while we don't need any excuse to shove pastry into our pie holes, it's come to our attention that some of you (gasp) don't like the dish. Too rich, you say. Too over the top. If you're one of those unfortunate souls, take heart: Copper Kettle Brewing is celebrating the festive occasion with a drier, boozier take on the mathematical and calendrical oddity that is March 14. Pi Day Flight Day takes off at the taproom, 1338 South Valentia Street, with four pie-inspired beer releases: Strawberry-Rhubarb Blond; Pecan Pie Doppelbock; Cherry Pie Cream Ale; and Banana Cream Hefeweizen. And the true math nerds will get an even better deal, as anyone who can recite pi to the twentieth digit will get a free pour from the brewery. Find out more on Copper Kettle's Facebook page.

If pie is more than just a theoretical calculation to you, Hinman's Bakery has a square deal to round out your Wednesday. On March 14, the bakery is selling slices of its pies for $3.14 each in a number of fruity, nutty and creamy configurations. Find your way to 4850 East 39th Avenue (trust us and map it, or get hopelessly lost in the warren of warehouse-lined streets in Park Hill) for a wonderful wedge. Call 303-287-3431 for a list of flavors or to reserve a whole pie for yourself.

Thursday, March 15
Great Chefs of the West is back on Thursday, March 15, for another year of dazzling your tastebuds and raising money for the National Kidney Foundation. This is the 35th year of the event, and the roster of participating restaurants is perhaps the best yet: The Populist, Ototo, Sushi Den, Rioja, Mercantile Dining & Provision, Izakaya Den, Fish N Beer, Beast + Bottle  and Hop Alley, among others, will compete at the Exdo Event Center, 1399 35th Street, to see who can create the best dish. Add to that an open bar with signature cocktails and a live auction, and the night can't get any more fab. Get your ticket for the fest, $200, at the National Kidney Foundation website.

Beast + Bottle is saving you a seat on Friday, March 16.
Beast + Bottle is saving you a seat on Friday, March 16.
Danielle Lirette

Friday, March 16
Beast + Bottle is such a fixture on the Denver dining scene, it feels as if it's been around far longer than five years. But on Friday, March 16, the tiny but welcoming dining room at 719 East 17th Avenue will be the site of its fifth anniversary celebration. As with any birthday party, the drinks, guest list and food set the tone, and owners Paul and Aileen Reilly will be hosting some of the best chefs in town. Justin Brunson (Old Major), Jamey Fader (Lola), Brandon Foster (Project Angel Heart), Jen Jasinski (Ultreia) and Alex Seidel (Mercantile & Provision) will each be whipping up an appetizer for the evening, while B+B's bar will be mixing up its characteristically delicious (and delightfully named) cocktails. The fun starts at 6 p.m.; reserve your spot for $85 by calling 303-623-3223.

Keep reading for more tasty food and drink events beyond Friday.

SAME Cafe is a breath of fresh air.EXPAND
SAME Cafe is a breath of fresh air.
Danielle Lirette

Thursday, March 22
If you've eaten at the SAME Cafe, you know it's not the same old story. Because of the restaurant's mission to provide people of all income levels healthy food, the menu doesn't include prices; customers pay what they can or swap volunteer hours in exchange for a meal. But there are other, subtler touches that aren't immediately apparent. For instance, there are always two pizza, soup and meal choices on the menu — one vegetarian — so that customers are able to make a real choice about what they want to eat. That's an organization dedicated to treating people with real dignity, and you can support the eatery at the So All May Eat Gala on Thursday, March 22. From 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., Space Gallery, 400 Santa Fe Drive, will host the fundraiser, where you'll enjoy small plates and beverages from Que Bueno Suerte, City, O' City, The Corner Beet, Renegade Brewing Co., Woody Creek Distillers and more. Tickets are a bargain at $60; find out more on SAME Cafe's Facebook page and snag your tickets at eventbrite.com.

Culinary Quick Start is a free four-week training program for potential service-industry employees. Offered at the Emily Griffith Technical College and funded primarily through a State of Colorado Workforce (WORK Act) Grant, Culinary Quick Start still needs additional funding to keep the program running. On Thursday, March 22, participating Denver restaurants will donate 10 percent of their sales as part of Culinary Quick Start Giveback Day. Restaurants that wish to participate can sign up on the CQS website, and a list of participating eateries will also soon be available for diners who want to donate a portion of their breakfast, lunch or dinner bill that day.

Everything's experimental at Collaboration Fest.EXPAND
Everything's experimental at Collaboration Fest.
Danielle Lirette

Saturday, March 31
Imagine that old stalwart The Dating Game was still on the air. Imagine you went on it and didn't end up on a date with a serial killer; instead, you went out with a nice boy or girl and had to brew a beer together the first time you met. In a nutshell, that's the premise of Collaboration Fest. The beer festival has spent the past five years teaming up breweries and seeing what maniacal brews come from the partnership. This year, the fun is moving to bigger digs at the Hyatt Regency Denver, 650 15th Street, where on Saturday, March 31, you'll be able to imbibe creations from nearly 100 teams of brewers. Our most anticipated collabs? Local favorites Our Mutual Friend and TRVE Brewing Co., and Renegade Brewing Co. and French brewery Brasserie du Baril. The event runs from 4 to 7 p.m., though VIP ticket holders get in at 3 p.m. Get your ticket before the fest sells out at the Collaboration Fest website.

The early bird gets the Belgian beer at Bruz.EXPAND
The early bird gets the Belgian beer at Bruz.
Courtesy of Bruz Beers

Saturday, April 28
If you don't know your farmhouse beer from your Flemish reds or your Westvleteren from your witbier — or even if you do — get a mouthful of ale and education at Bruz Beer's second Belgian Brew Fest on Saturday, April 28. Early-bird tickets are currently on sale for $40 at belgianbrewfest.com, which will get you unlimited tastes of Belgian-style beer from local breweries Paradox Beer Co., River North Brewery, Crooked Stave, Bruz and more. Brewery Ommegang will also be venturing out west to join the day of dubbels, which runs from 1 to 4 p.m. at the taproom, 1675 West 67th Avenue. Get your tickets before-early bird pricing is gone, when admission will increase to $48.

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

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