You've done it: You've survived another Thanksgiving dinner! Whether it was the sheer volume of food or a family brawl threatening to do you in, you've come out on the other side. And whether you escaped unscathed or need to lick a few wounds, you should celebrate your victory at one of these six great events this weekend. They're almost entirely boozy affairs (since you're probably overflowing with stuffing and mashed potatoes), but there's one food happening that's sure to destroy any latent hunger pangs. Cheers!
Friday, November 23
Station 26 Brewing, 7045 East 38th Avenue, celebrates Black Friday slightly differently than your local big box retailer. There may be people waiting impatiently when the doors open at 11 a.m. on Friday, November 23, but they'll be waiting for beer, not cheap television sets. Specifically, they'll rush the bar for the brewery's barrel-aged imperial stout, Nightfall of Diamonds (formerly Dark Star). Chances are low that anyone will be trampled in this stampede, though, as there will be plenty of pours for everyone: Eleven versions of the 13 percent brew will be on tap, including Mexican Chocolate, Manhattan and Strawberry balsamic versions and 2016 and 2017 vintages (subject to change). No tickets are required; just show up and be prepared to defend your spot at the bar. Pours will be priced from $5 to $8; details are up on the Station 26 Facebook page.
Beer drinkers closer to Highland who'd rather drink black beer than compete in Christmas-themed Hunger Games on Friday, November 23, should make sure they pay a visit to Hops & Pie, 3920 Tennyson Street, for its Stout Fest. The doors open at 11:30 a.m., beckoning drinkers into a wonderland of inky beers; almost fifteen different brews from twelve breweries will be on tap. What are we looking forward to? Comparing Fremont Brewing's Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Star to the Beer Formerly Known as Dark Star from Station 26 Brewing Co.; sampling Bell's Cherry Stout; and checking out an over-the-top Chocolate Vanilla Maple Imperial Stout (a collab from Untitled Art and Angry Chair Brewing). Find the full tap list at Hops & Pie's Facebook Page.
It escapes us why anyone would venture out into the world to do their holiday shopping when the Internet exists, but if you prefer to brave the post-Thanksgiving retail landscape in person, take advantage of a friendly local bar along the way. Dead Battery Club, 2420 17th Street, is offering a free glass of champagne to shoppers who show up with a receipt from any Platte Street shop on Friday, November 23, and Saturday, November 24. With spots like Common Era, Tomte, Savory Spice Shop and Armitage & McMillan along the block, you'll be supporting local businesses as well as recharging your own batteries during the hectic holidays. Doors open at 3 p.m.
What's the best sandwich in America — and quite possibly the world? The title could easily go to a massive construction created by Sugarfire Smoke House chef David Molina. The chef recently returned from Orange Beach, Alabama, with first prize in the sandwich category from the World Food Championships. His winning effort was the "Cuban Reuben," a run-for-the-hills monstrosity made with smoked ham, stone-ground mustard, pulled pork, pastrami, Swiss cheese and pickles, all barely contained between two sourdough grilled cheese sandwiches (which each ooze with provolone, white American cheese and Koops’ horseradish mustard). Think you're brave enough to take on the beast? Gird your loins and grab $13 before making the trek to Sugarfire, at 14375 Orchard Parkway in Westminster, this Friday, November 23. The Cuban Reuben goes on sale at 11 a.m., and the restaurant will keep making them until ingredients run out that day.
Saturday, November 24
Think you have nine lives? Drink at least three of them away at Rocky Mountain Feline Rescue's Cat Crawl on Saturday, November. That's right: Don your fluffy tail, draw on some whiskers and relinquish one of those lives to sheer embarrassment (at least before you've had sufficient drinks to make you think yowling at the bartender is an acceptable form of communication). Tickets, $20, benefit the animal shelter, and participating bars (Bang Up to the Elephant, Your Mom's House, X Bar and Charlie's Denver) will have free shots and drink specials for cools cats on the prowl. Get your ticket right meow at eventbrite.com, then meet at Bang Up to the Elephant, 1310 Pearl Street, at 8 p.m. for a furr-ious good time.
Sunday, November 25
It's fitting that a cocktail bar named after the Kentucky Derby is setting up shop behind the bar at a joint that's all about the ponies. On Sunday, November 25, the soon-to-open Run for the Roses is taking over the cocktail menu at Pony Up, 1808 Blake Street, starting at 6 p.m. Eleven classic cocktails from the venture's opening menu will be on offer, with Pony Up's full menu of French dip sandwiches (plus an excellent turkey sandwich with cranberry mayo for all of you who aren't sick of leftovers yet), and wine (half off champagne all day!) will be available as well. Find out more on the Run for the Roses Facebook page, then it's off to the races!
Keep reading for future food and drink events.
Wednesday, December 5
If you haven't made it to Comal yet — and unless you work near the Taxi Building, 3455 Ringsby Court, chances are you haven't, since it's only open for weekday lunch — you've got a rare opportunity to grab dinner at the eclectic Mexican/Syrian/Ethiopian joint on Wednesday, December 5. From 6 to 8:30 p.m., the restaurant will serve its final Impact Dinner of 2018, with proceeds benefiting nonprofits Focus Point Family Resource Center and Colorado Village Collaborative. For $75 (tickets are on sale at Eventbrite), diners will get a five-course Mexican feast with wine and cocktail pairings; highlights of the meal promise to be fried chicken in a pepita and tomatillo sauce and and consomme de res, braised beef short rib served in a rich bone broth over rice. If you're feeling extra hungry, chef's-counter tickets are available for $125 and include additional courses of king crab, scallops and winter truffles — but hurry: Only four counter tickets are available for this dinner.
Saturday, December 15
Is it too early to be training for the Feats of Strength? Not if you want to crush your family and friends (physically and emotionally) at this year's Festivus. Nor is it too early to start planning for this year's Denver Beer Festivus, which takes place on Saturday, December 15, at the Sports Castle, 1000 Broadway, from 3 to 6 p.m. Over fifty Denver breweries will be pouring brews to take the edge off all that family time; our favorites include Black Project, the unique Dos Luces and brand-new Liberati. Tickets are on sale now for $40 or $65 at denverbeerfestivus.com; get yours quickly, or you'll be the subject of your drinking buddies' Airing of Grievances.
Friday, February 22, through Sunday, March 3
During the fifteenth annual Denver Restaurant Week, hundreds of Denver’s top restaurants will offer multi-course dinners for three tasty prices: $25, $35 or $45. Stay tuned to Visit Denver for a list of participants and menus.
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 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.
May 19 and May 20, 2019
Chefs and aspiring charcutiers will want to plan ahead for a Denver visit from the maestro of meat, Brian Polcyn, who will lead a butchery course next spring at Stir Cooking School, 3215 Zuni Street. Polcyn and author Michael Ruhlman will spend two days teaching students how to break down hogs using both USDA and European seam butchery techniques; how to work charcuterie into menus; and how to properly dry-cure and smoke cured meats. Recipes for pâté, fresh sausage and offal will be provided, as well as a copy of one of the duo's books (their third title, Pâté, Confit, Rillette, will be released May 19), a private cocktail hour and dinner with the pair. Tickets are $800 and are on sale now at Eventbrite.
If you know of a date that should be on this calendar, send information to email@example.com.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.