Got some time between beer tappings, tastings, dinners and GABF kick-off, after-hour and closing parties this week? Sure you do. While the majority of Denver is floating away on a river of suds during Beer Week, here are seven things to do when you need a break from brews. For details about beer-centric events, keep an eye on our ongoing beer coverage.
Monday, September 30
Japanese whisky has been hot for years, thanks in part to Bill Murray's intense turn as a fictional spokesman for Suntory back in 2003's Lost in Translation (Sean Connery's eyebrows were the actual shill for the brand back in the 1990s). And while Americans have mostly moved beyond the baffled expressions both men exhibited when drinking the beverage, there's always more to learn. On Monday, September 30, Mizu Izakaya, 1560 Boulder Street — which boasts one of the best collections of Japanese whisky in North America — is welcoming the master distiller of Ohishi Whisky for a presentation, tasting and bottle signing at 5:30 p.m. Visit the event's Facebook page for details and a list of retailers where you can nab a bottle of the drink prior to the presentation.
This pink drink is no rosé; it packs a punch with vodka, amaro and Campari.
Tuesday, October 1
Female bartenders don't always have it easy. While most customers are respectful, there's always that contingent of drunken dudes who think that ordering their 57th beer while addressing your boobs is the way into your pants. Then there's the fact that those breasts are more likely to be affected by breast cancer than their testosterone-rich co-workers'. So for October, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, all of Jen Jasinski and Beth Gruitch's restaurants (Rioja, Bistro Vendôme, Euclid Hall, Stoic & Genuine and Ultreia) will be serving up the brand-new Rosa Italiana cocktail, with a buck from each order going to the Helen David Relief Fund. Sip the mix of vodka, cranberry juice, amaro and a splash of Campari knowing that you're pitching in to help bartenders and their families who've been sidelined by cancer.
Wednesday, October 2
There's no bad time of year for a charcuterie plate: Whether you're throwing a fall-themed bash (it's decorative gourd season, after all), a glitzy holiday party, a pastel garden party or a casual summer get-together when it's 97 degrees and you can't bear to turn the oven on, a well-selected spread of meat and cheese is a thing of beauty. On Wednesday, October 2, Tony's Meats & Market, 7421 West Bowles Avenue in Littleton, is showing you how to get the goods together with its charcuterie board class from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. RSVP to the free event by emailing [email protected] and you'll head home with the confidence to choose the best coppa, confit and cambozola.
We're ten days into fall, so obviously we need to start thinking about winter already. So welcome the Denver premiere of Winterland, a ski and snowboard film packed with an all-star roster of skiers and boarders and filmed at locations in Austria, Norway, British Columbia, Alaska and Wyoming. And what warms you up once you come in from the slopes better than a glass of boozy, amber goodness? On Wednesday, October 2, the Sie FilmCenter, 2510 East Colfax Avenue, hosts WhiSKI: a whiskey tasting, film screening and pun so good we're gutted we never thought of it ourselves. Park City's High West Distillery starts pouring at 7 p.m. and the shredding starts at 8 p.m.; tickets are $75 at Teton Gravity Research's website and include a swag bag and a post-screening Q&A with athletes and movie producers.
You always get service with a smile at Vesta, especially during its Plates for the Peak fundraiser.
Thursday, October 3
Southern food is everywhere in Denver right now, but the Southernism "meat and three" still isn't well known; it simply refers to an eatery where a customer picks out a meat and three side dishes from an expansive spread. On Thursday, October 3, Safta, 3330 Brighton Boulevard, is bringing the tradition to the Mile High City with a very Beer Week twist: Between 6 and 9 p.m., stop in and purchase $30 in tokens, which you can use to obtain one of a trio of meat and three plates, plus three four-ounce pours from Denver's own TRVE, and Athens, Georgia's Creature Comforts Brewing. Dinner options include an Israeli twist on down-home cooking: Choose from kebab with cornbread, heirloom tomatoes and mashed potatoes; za'atar fried chicken with tahini green beans, roasted yams and biscuits; and corned beef pot pie with seasoned mac, butter beans with preserved lemon, and greens. You'll leave as happy as a tick on a fat dog.
Thursday, October 3, brings Vesta's annual Plates for the Peak fundraiser, which benefits Urban Peak, a nonprofit organization that provides housing, outreach and educational support for young people between the ages of 15 and 24. From 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., the restaurant at 1822 Blake Street will host the casual event, with chefs from three of Denver's most beloved restaurants — good-times stalwarts Steuben's and Ace Eat Serve, along with their fine-dining big sister Vesta — turning out upscale American(ish) bites like Pueblo green chile dumplings, avocado tostones, a kimchi Rueben, caviar tots, and biscuits and gravy alongside barbecue, charcuterie and vegetarian stations. Visit Urban Peak's website to purchase your tickets, $85 to $100.
Crooked Stave — not Russian River — will be on tap for Coohills' Friday beer dinner.
Friday, October 4
Surely you knew we can't make it through five days of events in Denver without talking about a beer dinner — even if it isn't Beer Week. But Coohills' Friday, October 4, feast sounds so good, we're going to ignore our aforementioned intent to focus on non-GABF adjacent events. The dining room at 1400 Wewatta Street is serving five courses and ten brews for its Pliny'd Be Proud dinner, including rabbit mortadella with peppadew chimichurri and Boulevard's Tank 7 and Love Child No. 9; roasted scallops, coconut beurre blanc and chili oil alongside Crooked Stave's Von Pilsner and Member Berries Tempranillo; and spiced porter cake with pear and ginger and Dry Dock's 2014 Bligh's Barleywine and Pumpkin Double Porter. While the meal is sure to be delicious, beer geeks shouldn't get their hopes up — neither Pliny the Younger nor the Elder (nor, for that matter, any Russian River brew) will be in attendance, making the name of the $85 dinner a bit baffling. But one look at the full menu on Coohills' Facebook page should assuage you; email [email protected] or call 303-623-5700 to reserve your spot.
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