'Shrooms, spirits and startups are on the schedule this week as the Denver food and drink scene busts out an eclectic slate of events from Monday, May 13, through Friday, May 17. Keep reading for more soirées that will make you salivate in the upcoming days.
Monday, May 13
While the phrase "Fungal Technologies Workshop" may sound like something coined by an enthusiastic proponent of recently passed Ordinance 301, in fact it's an overview of the non-psychedelic kind of ’shrooms. On Monday, May 13, the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, 1750 13th Street in Boulder, is presenting a lecture that will dive into foraging protocol, how mushrooms influence plant communication, and how to use fungi to create sustainable materials. The event runs from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. and is free with $2 admission to the Museum; visit BMoCA's website for details.
Tuesday, May 14
Boulder Startup Week is in its tenth year of bringing entrepreneurs together to share resources and education about how to build companies from the ground up, and this year it's providing over fifteen free events for those who want to bring their own business ideas to fruition. Starting on Tuesday, May 14, and running through Friday, May 17, venues around Boulder will be hosting networking events, farm tours and workshops on reducing food waste, raising capital, regenerative agriculture, sustainability and accessing data critical to making good business decisions. While the events are free, registration is required; find the complete schedule on the Boulder Startup Week website.
Wednesday, May 15
There's not much better than a beer on the patio after you've finished a few hours of yard work. But apartment and condo dwellers, don't despair: Big Choice Brewing, 21 South 21st Avenue in Brighton, is helping the yardless capture that same feeling with its herb planter workshop on Wednesday, May 15. From 6 to 8 p.m., belly up to the bar and order some basil with your brew as you learn about growing requirements for your seedlings, uses for culinary herbs and how to grow a variety of different plants in a small space. Tickets are $25 on Eventbrite and include all the materials for you to create your own planter, as well as the unmatched satisfaction of quaffing a cold one after your hard work.
Thursday, May 16
What's a birthday party without ice cream? It's just a sad, deflated meeting — it might as well be happening in your office's conference room, there's so little "party" involved. Luckily, High Point Creamery's birthday celebration is all ice cream. On Thursday, May 16, the ice cream shop that churned out our favorite flavor this year (Salty Dog Chocolate) is celebrating five years in business with $5 gift card giveaways to the first 55 customers through the doors at every location, and original flavor flights (basil and blackberry, blueberry lemon, milk chocolate, mint chocolate bark and brown butter pecan) for just $5. Find the details — and the shop's three locations — on High Point's website, then get ready for the best birthday party you can have without tequila and strippers.
Friday, May 17
What's a semi-professional drinker to do once you've visited every brewery in Colorado? Tackle the 61 Colorado craft distilleries on the Colorado Spirits Trail, naturally. Visiting all of them will get you swag like free T-shirts and bottles of booze, and you can get a great head start on Friday, May 17, at the Colorado Spirits Trail Festival, when more than fifty of those distilleries will be gathered at the McNichols Building, 144 West Colfax Avenue. From 7 to 10 p.m., sample whiskey, rum, vodka and herbal and fruit liqueurs from across the state without ever having to set foot in a vehicle (your Lyft doesn't count). Tickets, $45 and $65, are still available on the Colorado Spirits Trail website.
Keep reading for more food and drink events.
Saturday, May 18
Think your barbecue can stand up to the pros? If you think you know your back fat from your Boston butt, sign up to compete in the Proud Souls Barbecue & Provisions' Backyard BBQ Rib Competition on Saturday, May 18. From noon to 8 p.m., the Gothic Theatre, 3263 South Broadway in Englewood, will host aspiring pit masters; barbecue demos from pros around town (Bill Espiricueta of Smok on wings, Jason Ganahl of GQue cooking up a delicate lobster tail and Tony Roberts of Proud Souls on brisket); a beer garden; food for sale from GQue and Sugarfire Smoke House; and a concert by Slim Cessna's Auto Club. While admission to the event is free, tickets for the concert will run you $20 on the Proud Souls Facebook page, and if you're interested in putting your ribs up against the competition, sign up on the shop's website or stop by the storefront at 2485 Federal Boulevard to sign up.
If you didn't enroll in author Michael Ruhlman and chef Brian Polcyn's Praise the Lard! two-day butchery class happening this week, fret not: You still have a chance to benefit from their passion for pork. On Saturday, May 18, Julep, 3258 Larimer Street, is the site of the duo's Praise the Lard! dinner. Chef Kyle Foster will join the two in the kitchen, turning out six swine-y courses that put their butchering, curing and smoking skills on display. Tickets are $122.90 on Eventbrite (including tax and tip) for the 7 p.m. homage to the hog.
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Thursday, June 27
Nobody loves tacos more than us — but can you eat $135 worth of them? If you can't, it's not for lack of opportunity at this year's Top Taco. The annual competition takes place on Thursday, June 27, at Stanley Marketplace, 2501 Dallas Street in Aurora, when more than fifty restaurants around town will go head-to-head to see who can serve the best iteration of the classic Mexican street food. There will be tacos for all tastes: street-style (Cilantro & Perejil, Adelitas, Las Delicias), crowd-pleasers (Uno Mas, Tacos Tequila Whiskey, Los Chingones) and WTF (Tupelo Honey, Syrup). Not only will tacos fill your tummy, but tequila and margs are also on tap. Still don't think you can stuff over a hundred bucks worth of food in your estómago? Not to worry: GA tickets start at $75 on the event website.
Saturday, August 17
Tacolandia returns to Civic Center Park, Broadway and Colfax Avenue, for a fourth year on Saturday, August 17, celebrating food, art, music and culture. Join us in honoring that great Mexican invention, the taco, in its many forms as presented by the city's top cantinas, taquerias and food trucks. Tickets, $25 for general admission or $55 for VIP, are now on sale at westwordtacolandia.com.
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