This weekend is all about getting around town. Whether you're heading up to the mountains to escape Indian summer, up to the roof to rise above the fray, down South Broadway for drinks galore or to even further climes via Denver International Airport, there's plenty to keep you satisfied. Here are six great events from Friday, September 14, through Sunday, September 16, plus six more to plan ahead for.
Friday, September 14
If you happen to be traveling to Denver this weekend (we hear there's a beer festival or something coming to town in a few days?), you can get a taste of Colorado craft-beer culture before you even leave the airport. Leaving Denver? Console yourself with a few local beers before you board the plane. Denver International Airport, 8500 Peña Boulevard, is rolling out its 5th Annual Beer Flights (get it?) in the plaza at the south end of Jeppesen Terminal. The beer garden opens Friday, September 14, and will be pouring from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily through Monday, September 24. In what's surely the cheapest drink you'll find at DIA, just $10 will get you samples of ten Colorado brews, including New Belgium Honey Orange Tripel, Wibby Dunkel and Upslope Pumpkin Ale.
It's harvest time, and if you want to preserve the taste of fall apples, pears and cantaloupes into the cold winter months ahead, Arcana, 909 Walnut Street in Boulder, will help you out at its canning and preserving class on Friday, September 14. From 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., chef Kyle Mendenhall will welcome a lucky few into the restaurant's kitchen and teach them how to create fruit preserves (though the techniques you'll learn can be equally applied to veggies and herbs). Everything you need to go home with four jars of summery goodness will be provided, though overachievers are welcome to bring extra fruit and jars for additional jam. Call the restaurant at 303-444-3885 to reserve your spot; the class will run you $65 or $100 per couple.
On Friday, September 14, Mile High Station, 2027 West Colfax Avenue, is hosting Taste to Transform, a fundraiser for the Musana Community Development Organization, a nonprofit that provides capital to Ugandan communities to build hospitals, schools and vocational centers in the east African country. From 6 to 10 p.m., guests will enjoy food from Departure, Postino, Little Man Ice Cream and our new favorite food truck for regional Mexican bites, Cilantro & Perejil. In addition to an open bar, there will be live bands, shopping and an auction (which includes Broncos tickets and dinner for ten with a private chef). Get tickets, $75, and see the complete food lineup at Musana's website.
Saturday, September 15
Quadragenarians, unite! On Saturday, September 15, South Broadway bars and breweries will prepare for an onslaught of crotchety middle-aged drinkers who wouldn't touch Grandoozy with a ten-foot pole and can't stay up past 9 p.m. as the Denver Grampage kicks off at Grandma's House, 1710 South Broadway. Grab your cane, wrap your crocheted shawl tightly around your shoulders, and embrace your early-onset grumpiness as you and your fellow geriatrics leave the House at 1 p.m. for stops at Alternation Brewing Co. (what is this about a "vegan brewery"?), La Cour (you call this art?), the Brutal Poodle (turn down that noise!), Bear Creek Distillery (what is this, a daycare center?) and Declaration Brewery (what's the deal with this food truck thing? Are you just supposed to go up and order?). Find out more on the Grandma's House Facebook page — if you can remember your password.
Labor Day is well behind us, but you'd never know it from the temperatures this week: They've been firmly in the 90s, and that will extend through the weekend, making Elevated Rooftop Bar's Endless Summer Party on Saturday, September 15, particularly apt. Don your winter-white attire (don't you dare dress up in stark white, you heathen) and show up between 4 and 9 p.m. — no tickets or RSVP required — at one of the best rooftop patios in the city (249 Columbine Street) for sparkling wine and boozy Slushee specials. Get the details on the bar's Facebook page.
Sunday, September 16
The Breckenridge Wine Classic is taking over the mountain town starting Thursday, September 13, but the fun goes through the end of the weekend. After the Grand Tasting on Saturday ($89), Sunday, September 16 is full of mellow events like Namaste for a Beer (an hour of yoga followed by brunch, beer cocktails and some atrocity called the "beermosa"); Hair of the Dog (a bracing bike ride followed by beer); and a Beer-unch (guess what?) Tickets start at $45 and are still available, along with Grand Tasting tickets, at the festival website.
Keep reading for upcoming food and drink events.
Monday, September 17
One of Denver's few (very few) chefs specializing in Filipino food, Leah Eveleigh, is at it again with with one of her bountiful feasts. On Monday, September 17, The Seasoned Chef Cooking School, 999 Jasmine Street, will be the scene of an extravagant spread: Both savory and sweet lumpia; chicken and pork-belly adobo; cassava cake brûlée; pancit bihon (a rice noodle dish with soy and fish sauces); shrimp and mussels in coconut sauce; and, of course, the show-stopping lechon are all on the menu. The fun starts at 5:30 p.m. and will cost you just $65; nab your ticket at bossdefrost.com.
Wednesday, September 19
Mercantile Dining & Provision, 1701 Wynkoop Street, never stints on quality, and that's doubly true when it puts on its annual Mercantile Invitational dinner during the Great American Beer Festival. This year, eight chefs will be pulling out the all the stops to pair food with beer from Beachwood Brewing Company (Long Beach, CA) and the legendary Russian River Brewing Co. (Sonoma, CA). On Wednesday, September 19, the reception begins at 6:30 p.m. — and you'll want to arrive on time, as this reception doesn't just consist of a welcome cocktail and some crackers. Three bites will be paired with beers during the reception, and dinner will be five courses. Tickets are $150 but will be worth every penny; call the restaurant at 720-460-3733 to book your seat.
Thursday, September 20
We never thought we'd see the day: Great American Beer Festival tickets are still available. Sure, your choice of sessions is limited (you'll have to call in sick Friday morning), but mere mortals, not just craft-beer royalty or Ticketmaster bots, can currently get their hands on tickets for Thursday, September 20. Whether you opt for beer alone ($85) or beer and food pairings ($160), the debauchery starts at 5:30 p.m. at the Colorado Convention Center, 700 14th Street, and goes until you're wandering around in a stupor, eyes glazed, stomach sloshing, happy, sated and wondering if you'll ever be able to fit another brew down your gullet for the remainder of your life (aka 10 p.m.) Get tickets while you still can at the GABF website.
Sunday, September 22
MCA Denver has a habit of hosting excellent food and drink events — and its Sown Together Beer Tasting on Saturday, September 22, will be no exception. The museum, at 1485 Delgany Street, is tapping into the zeitgeist yet again by bringing in breweries whose stated goal is to use local ingredients, suppliers and producers. From noon to 4 p.m., Colorado outfits Goldspot, Horse & Dragon, Our Mutual Friend and TRVE will be joined on the rooftop patio by Indiana's Upland Brewing Co., Illinois's Scratch Brewing Co. and Texas's transcendent Jester King Brewery, which puts out the Lone Star State's second-best export (the first being barbecued brisket, of course). Get your tickets, $35, at eventbrite.com before the event sells out.
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Sunday, September 30
It's never too early to start planning for Feast, Westword's annual celebration of Denver's restaurant scene. This year's party returns to the McNichols Building, 144 West Colfax Avenue, on Sunday, September 30. There will be unlimited bites from over forty local eateries, live entertainment, unlimited drink samples and unlimited merriment from noon to 3 p.m., especially if you opt for VIP tickets, which get you in an hour early and include an open VIP bar. Tickets start at $30 and are on sale now at westwordfeast.com.
Sunday, October 7, through Thursday, October 11
THIS EVENT IS NOW SOLD OUT. The ninth annual Harvest Week, hosted by EatDenver and the GrowHaus, will run Sunday, October 7, through Thursday, October 11. Each night, six chefs will come together to create a one-of-a-kind pop-up dinner at the GrowHaus, 4751 York Street; Sunday through Wednesday's dinners will focus on meat and produce from a particular region in the state (Boulder County, North Fork Valley, Arkansas Valley and Denver County), while Thursday's effort will be a zero-waste dinner. Tickets, $85, are on sale now; get to harvestweek.com right away to snag yours, as previous years have sold out in just two weeks. In addition to great food and good company, all the festivities of the week will benefit EatDenver and the GrowHaus.
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