This weekend boasts bees, booze and brunch. Since the Great American Beer Festival is in town and Oktoberfests are breaking out all over, a river of beer runs through the next few days. Keep reading for our six best food and drink events over the weekend, as well as more happenings through the rest of the month and into October.
Friday, September 21
Oktoberfest isn't an American tradition, but don't tell Denver that. Our celebration of the German festival has been going on since before you were born, Gentle Reader — since 1969, to be precise. The 49th year of brats, turkey legs, sauerkraut, pretzels the size of your noggin and, of course, beer, commences on Friday, September 21, at 11 a.m. and runs through Sunday, September 23, at 5 p.m. There will be plenty of drinking, keg bowling, polkaing (including the inescapable silent disco) and the beloved Long Dog Derby on Larimer Street between 20th and 22nd streets all weekend. Can't make it to the fest this weekend? Don't relegate the lederhosen to the back of the closet quite yet; feel the gemütlichkeit again from Friday, September 28, through Sunday, September 30, too. Admission is free, but bring your plastic for food and drinks; find out more at the Denver Oktoberfest website.
Nothing pairs quite like sausage and beer. (Need proof? Until recent years, practically every beer fest we attended was a complete sausage fest.) On Friday, September 21, The Bindery, 1817 Central Street, is offering a miniature Oktoberfest by pairing brats and beer. Starting at 3 p.m., the eatery is pouring Renegade Brewing Company beers to pair with three housemade links for $18: chicken sausage (don't worry, if anyone can make chicken sausage taste good, it's the Bindery) with Endpoint Triple IPA; kielbasa with Simone Rosé Saison; and house sausage with 5:00 Afternoon Ale. Find out more on the Bindery's Facebook page.
Saturday, September 22
You catch more flies with honey than vinegar, so don't be salty (or sour); get over to the Colorado Honey Festival on Saturday, September 22, and Sunday, September 23. Four Seasons Farmers and Artisans Market, 7043 West 38th Avenue in Wheat Ridge, is dedicating the entire weekend to the industrious apian and its deliciously sweet creation. Starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. on Sunday, representatives from the Colorado Beekeepers Association, Denver Bee Club and the Honey People will be giving presentations on health benefits of honey, beekeeping and how to make your neighborhood hospitable for the endangered insects, all for free. Plenty of different kinds of Colorado honey will be for sale, as well. Get the complete schedule and vendor list on the Four Seasons Facebook page — and make sure you stock up on honey before the bees are gone for good.
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.
Saturday, September 22, is the first day of fall, and with any luck, temperatures won't be hovering in the mid-90s. But even if it doesn't feel like autumn, you won't want to miss Sprout City Farm's al fresco farm-to-table dinner at Lakewood's Mountair Park Community Farm at West 13th Avenue and Depew Street. It will be worth braving the weather for a five-course menu that includes grilled Dragon Tongue beans with Fruition Farms feta; Moroccan-spiced pork belly with rutabaga latkes and tomato-sumac gastrique; braised goat with kabocha squash and soubise; roasted cherry tomatoes stuffed with Gorgonzola crema; and a patty pan squash upside-down cake served with hefeweizen-carrot caramel. Seedstock Brewery and Laws Whiskey House will be providing the beverages at the urban agriculture nonprofit's fall harvest dinner, which runs from 5 to 7 p.m. Find the full menu and get tickets ($90) on the Sprout City Facebook page.
Sunday, September 23
Update — September 22, 2018: This event has been canceled and ticket holders will be refunded. Comal Heritage Food Incubator, 3455 Ringsby Court, has been hosting Impact Dinners to benefit Focus Points Family Resource Center for quite a while, but on Sunday, September 23, the restaurant is making its first foray into brunch as it teams up with Rosenberg's Bagels & Delicatessen for a meal that will also benefit student leadership organization Project VOYCE. For $60, guests will get bottomless cocktails — because what's brunch without booze? — and three courses that meld Rosenberg's Jewish food sensibilities with Comal's already international mashup of Mexican, Syrian and Ethiopian cuisines. The menu includes babka French toast with tahini whipped cream and sesame brittle; a trio of bagel sandwiches (egg and lamb bacon, chorizo omelet and lox cured in tequila); and a dessert table sporting sweets from across the globe (we're especially looking forward to the kanafeh, an Arab dessert made from simple syrup, fried pastry and mild, creamy cheese). The fun runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; get your ticket at Eventbrite.
Keep reading for upcoming food and drink events.
Sunday, September 30
It's never too early to start planning for Feast, Westword's annual celebration of Denver's restaurant scene. The 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.
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Wednesday, October 3
THIS EVENT IS NOW SOLD OUT. If you've got money to burn and Wednesday, October 3, free, here's the perfect plan — provided you don't dilly-dally about getting your tickets. The perpetually lauded Kizaki brothers, Yasu and Toshi, are offering a five-course progressive dinner that evening that will begin at Sushi Den before hitting Ototo and Izakaya Den, all on the 1400 block of South Pearl Street. Only twenty seats are available for the evening (two seatings of ten are scheduled for 6 and 7:45 p.m.), so snag your tickets now — and we mean now — at Sushi Den's website. Tickets are sold in pairs only ($300 per pair) so rustle up a date, co-worker, parent, friend...hell, advertise for a plus-one on Craigslist if you need to. We promise this event will be worth it.
Thursday, October 11, through Sunday, October 14
Food and film fanatics will want to plan ahead for the Flatirons Food Film Festival, taking place around Boulder from Thursday, October 11, through Sunday, October 14. And while seven feature films — documentaries and dramas with food and drink at the heart of the story — will be screened, they're far from the only thing on the menu. There will also be panel discussions, farm tours, beer tastings and an homage to the late Anthony Bourdain. Admission to single films starts at $13, with an all-access pass running $70; find the whole schedule and get tickets at the festival's website.
If you know of a date that should be on this calendar, send information to firstname.lastname@example.org.