Start off the weekend like Jay Gatsby, one of the great drinkers in American literature, then continue to re-create his story arc as he chases the green light — which in your case, we hope, is just a string of Christmas lights on the house at the end of the block. Here are five of our favorite food and drink events from Friday, December 8, through Sunday, December 10. Drink up, old sport.
Friday, December 8
Repeal Day was actually December 5, but let's be honest: You can't celebrate the fourteenth most important constitutional amendment properly on a school night. So on Friday, December 8, visit Black Shirt Brewing Co., 3719 Walnut Street, for its celebration of the end of Prohibition, Let's Party Like Gatsby. From 9 p.m. to midnight, come dressed in your flapper best and enjoy the taproom-turned-speakeasy with classic cocktails and 1920s and ’30s music. And while the event's Facebook page claims "A little party never killed nobody," Gatsby himself would certainly disagree. So be safe, kids, and just take a Lyft.
Saturday, December 9
If your heritage is northern European (or just Lutheran), you've no doubt heard of Saint Lucia, the young woman in a white dress and a crown of candles on her head who bears light and food to Christians in the long, cold, dark days of winter. Well, our days are short, but they're still pretty light, and you don't have to be a church-goer to enjoy Charcoal's Saint Lucia Scandinavian Brunch Buffet on Saturday, December 9. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., $35 (half price for kids under thirteen) will get you a smorgasbord of Swedish meatballs, smoked salmon, pickled herring and traditional accompaniments, sweet saffron buns and shrimp on toast. The restaurant's executive chef hails from Sweden, so the dining room at 43 West Ninth Avenue is sure to host an authentic spread of high-quality food, and you won't even be tempted to buy a build-it-yourself dresser or bookshelf. Reservations are required; call 303-454-0000 to make yours.
For a significantly less worldly weekend activity, join Denver's Ugly Sweater Crawl on on Saturday, December 9, from noon to 10 p.m. Your $20 ticket entitles you to embrace multiple forms of holiday tackiness: large crowds, garish clothing and ostentatious inebriation. You'll start at The Ginn Mill, 2041 Larimer Street, before heading to seven more bars around town for deeply discounted drinks, an ugly-sweater contest, karaoke, raffles and giveaways. Visit eventbrite.com for your ticket and more information, and start prepping for the happiest (ahem, most drunken) time of the year.
OMG, OMF is turning five. The hipster-than-thou malt roaster and brewery at 2810 Larimer Street is celebrating its fifth year in business on Saturday, December 9, with a party and bottle releases starting at noon. The first 150 customers get free anniversary glassware with their first pour, and bottles of 2017 Laws Rye Barrel Aged Fixed Blade Barleywine; Saison Trystero Batch 2; and a collab with the underrated Baere Brewing (take a deep breath here), Those Who Believe in Telekinesis, Raise My Hand Winter Solstice Mixed-Culture Golden Sour, will be released throughout the afternoon. This will be a toddler's birthday party worth going to.
Sunday, December 10
The Mile High Swappers are at it again (still not that, you pervert). On Sunday, December 10, a free Holiday Swap is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Golden, where gardeners, home brewers, bakers, crafters, soap makers and more will gather to exchange homegrown and homemade goods. Cash is contraband at this event, so you must bring something handmade to trade; see the Swappers' FAQ for swap information and etiquette, then register at eventbrite.com. The exact location will be provided upon registration. Whether you're looking to diversify your own pantry or find some great homemade gifts while unstashing your pickle collection, this is a great way to get to know fellow food producers and makers.
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Saturday, December 16
Put up the aluminum pole, brace yourself for the Airing of Grievances and start training for the Feats of Strength — it's Festivus! And while traditional Festivus dinners involve covertly sipping from a flask while those around you look on soberly and disapprovingly, Denver Beer Festivus gives you the opportunity to celebrate the season with like-minded lushes. From 4 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, December 16, join your real tribe at Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum, 7711 East Academy Boulevard. Tickets will run you $40 to $65 and are on sale at denverbeerfestivus.com. ’Tis the season!
Friday, February 23
Gentle readers who still get bent out of shape that Westword covers Boulder as well as Denver: CineCHEF 2018 is the event for you. The event's fourth iteration happens on Friday, February 28, at Rembrandt Yard, 1301 Spruce Street in Boulder, as Boulder chefs face off against Denver chefs to prove who can create the tastiest, most creative bite based on a beloved film. Last year's roster included Daniel Asher of River and Woods serving smoked scallops, ceviche and Peruvian chile in an homage to Up in Smoke, and Steven Redzikowski of Oak at Fourteenth tapping Mia Wallace to turn out miniature burgers and a $14 shake à la Pulp Fiction. Tickets, $95, are on sale now at ticketfly.com and include admission to the film Michelin Stars: Tales From the Kitchen. So, gentle readers, etc., purchase your tickets and start planning the long and dangerous trip up to The Town That Totally Isn't Part Of Denver to support your hometown heroes as they compete in hostile territory.
If you know of a date that should be on this calendar, send information to email@example.com.