The Six Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Weekend

Hops & Pie's taps will be filled with holidays beers come Saturday.
Hops & Pie's taps will be filled with holidays beers come Saturday.
Courtesy Hops & Pie Facebook
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Christmas is just a few days away, and your plate is full — with last-minute shopping, grocery and booze runs, traveling, family time and, of course, Christmas cookies. That's why we're focusing (mostly) on drinking instead of eating this weekend. Here are six events to make your cup runneth over from Friday, December 21, through Sunday, December 23.

Celebrate both winter and summer solstice at Dos Luces.EXPAND
Celebrate both winter and summer solstice at Dos Luces.
Mark Antonation

Friday, December 21
If you haven't hit up Dos Luces Brewery, 1236 South Broadway, it's high time you made a trip to a South Broadway storefront for something other than weed. This chicha and pulque bar, one of the best new drinking establishments in town this year, serves Latin American brews, and as such is celebrating not the winter, but the summer solstice on Friday, December 21. Two new seasonal beers will be released at noon during the Fiesta del Sol: guanábana (or soursop) chicha, made with clove, cinnamon and the tangy, pineapple-y guanábana fruit; and Mexican chocolate pulque, with agave sap, cinnamon, cloves, cacao nibs and cayenne pepper. Bonus: If you start your tab before 4 p.m. on Friday, you'll get 20 percent off. Now, that's a reason to celebrate the season. Details are up on the brewery's Facebook page.

So you've been procrastinating about that holiday dinner you promised to host, and now you're stuck without a plan. But you want to impress with something unique for friends and family. That's where R Bazaar’s Global Kitchen comes in, with last-minute pop-up meal service offering international flare for your dinner table. This season, you can combine the tastes of Argentina and the Middle East with a menu created by refugee and immigrant caterers. Che Tano Argentinian and Zaki Mediterranean Cuisine will be working side by side to prepare a ready-to-serve global meal. For $25 per person (with a four-person minimum order), you'll get a four-course meal ranging from empanadas and hummus to lentil stew and flank steak with chimichurri. View the menu and fill out an order for pickup on December 23, 24, 29 or 30. But do it soon to give the cooks a head start! This pilot program is part of R Bazaar’s effort to celebrate the journey of refugee and immigrant entrepreneurs.

Keep your tootsies toasty while tasting traditional Scandinavian Christmas foods.EXPAND
Keep your tootsies toasty while tasting traditional Scandinavian Christmas foods.
Courtesy McGuckin Hardware Facebook

Saturday, December 22
Scandinavia is hot right now (no, it's not global warming); it's what happens when you cross festive with fjords and find every other eatery in town rolling out smörgåsbord at some point this winter. This weekend is no exception, though our pick for the party isn't happening at any restaurant — it's going down at a hardware store. McGuckin Hardware, 2525 Arapahoe Avenue in Boulder, is hosting a Scandinavian Christmas party with aebleskiver (pancake balls served with jam or powdered sugar); piparkökur (Icelandic pepper cookies); glogg (virgin, of course — you're in a place that sells Bowie knives and chainsaws, after all); krumkake (conical Norweigan waffle cookies); and lefse (a Norwegian flatbread). Show up between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. for a taste of the North, then stay and stock up on socks, seeds and spray paint. More details are available at the store's rather impressive website.

If you're hosting for the holidays, family is starting to trickle into town; if you're the one braving DIA at Christmas, you're probably delaying your flight for financial or procrastination reasons. Either way, Hops & Pie, 3920 Tennyson Street, offers the perfect diversion on Saturday, December 22: Holiday Beer Fest, which is just a fancy way of saying a sleighful of unusual seasonal beers will be on tap starting at noon. Think Christmas Bomb! Imperial stout from Prairie Artisan Ales; Sur Yule, a sour pale from Danish brewery To Øl; and Noel de Calabaza, an oak-aged Belgian dark from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales. Visit Hops & Pie's Facebook page for a complete list of brews to enjoy on the second-shortest day of the year.

Sunday, December 23
’Tis the season for watching the classic tale of a successful, middle-aged white man with a devoted wife who screams at his family on Christmas Eve before succumbing to a drunken juxtaposition of self-pity and self-importance as he hallucinates about how much worse the world would be if he'd never been born. If this sounds like fun to you, plan on attending Dads & Dudes Breweria's It's a Wonderful Life screening on Sunday, December 23, from 5 to 8 p.m. The brewpub at 6730 South Cornerstar Way in Aurora will be screening Frank Capra's film alongside 1940s-themed diversions like a Charleston dance-off and World War II-era karaoke. So put on your high-waisted pants and suspenders and tease those victory rolls to the stars for this nostalgic take on the holiday; find out more on the bar's Facebook page.

If your tastes lean less nostalgic and more realistic, visit Chain Reaction Brewing, 902 South Lipan Street, on Sunday, December 23, for its low-key Cookies and Ugly Sweater Get Together. If you still have an acrylic monstrosity shoved into the back of your armoire from the heyday of ugly sweater events (ca. 2004), dig it out —or not, as we think this is a trend that's past its prime — and visit the brewery between noon and 4 p.m. for a slew of other, worthier activities. First and foremost comes the beer drinking, accompanied by a canned-food and coat drive for those in need, last-minute shopping for beer soap and hot sauce, Christmas music, a cookie-decorating station and holiday T-shirt screen printing. The brewery's Facebook page has the details, so load up on cans and coats to donate and get ready for a relaxing afternoon before the Christmas chaos.

Keep reading for future food and drink events.

Owner Bill Miner breaking down a hog that might just show up in your meat CSA box.
Owner Bill Miner breaking down a hog that might just show up in your meat CSA box.
Courtesy Il Porcellino

Sunday, January 27, 2018
Il Porcellino Salumi, 4334 West 41st Avenue, expanded dramatically this year with the addition of a production facility in Basalt, and with its increased capacity, it's also bringing a slew of new products to market. One of those is the meat CSA the Berkeley shop is debuting in 2019. Just think of a typical summer produce CSA, but for carnivores. Each box comes with the makings for two meals for two people, such as polenta, shredded beef in chile sauce and a half-chicken marinated in white wine, butter and garlic. The program will run from January through March, with four boxes each month; customers for February (the first month of the CSA) must order by Sunday, January 27, and can pick up their goodies at the shop each Sunday, beginning February 3. A one-month commitment ($200) is required, so call 303-477-3206 to sign up, then say goodbye to hitting the grocery store and fretting about recalled ground beef for the next thirty days.

Friday, February 22, through Sunday, March 3, 2019

Denver Restaurant Week is coming, so clear your calendar from February 22 through March 3; you'll want to visit a different eatery every day. Hundreds of Denver’s top restaurants will offer multi-course dinners for three tasty prices ($25, $35 or $45) during the fifteenth year of the wildly popular week. Stay tuned to Visit Denver for a list of participants and menus, and book your first choices right away, before someone else nabs your table.

Let's hope nobody's sending cease-and-desist letters over beer names at this lovefest.EXPAND
Let's hope nobody's sending cease-and-desist letters over beer names at this lovefest.
Danielle Lirette

Saturday, March 16, 2019
Beer festivals in this town are serious business; there's at least one happening somewhere in the metro area every weekend, and many are long-running ventures with the attendee count growing each year. Some people (not us, of course) even plan their fests a year in advance. Collaboration Fest is hoping you're one of those people, as tickets for the Saturday, March 16, event are now on sale — even though the beers won't touch your lips until March. Early-bird tickets are priced at $55 and $80 at collaborationfest.com, where you can get a few details about the festival, which will run from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Denver, 650 15th Street. The upside to snatching up those tickets now? By the time the fun rolls around, you'll have forgotten how much you spent to have it.

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

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