One of these things is not like the others: Big, boozy beers to cozy up with; deliciously warm and spicy chili; comfort food devoured in the comfort of your pajamas; and a patio opening — in October. Here are five of the best (if not the most thematically congruous) food and drink events for the weekend of Friday, October 19. And keep reading for future events through December.
Friday, October 19
Beer drinkers in the Centennial State are spoiled by choice; given the wealth of local breweries in Denver alone, it's easy to exist inside a Colorado craft-beer bubble and turn up our noses at offerings from elsewhere. But sometimes it's a good idea to see what's going on in the outside world, which is why we're recommending the definitively named The Festival, presented by beer importers Shelton Brothers, Inc. Denver Rock Drill, 1717 East 39th Avenue, is playing host to the beery shenanigans from 5 to 9 p.m. on Friday, October 19, and again from 3 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, October 20. While a few breweries from our state will be making an appearance, you'll want to show up for beers from locations as far-flung as Jordan, Estonia and Sweden. Tickets, $75, are still available on the Shelton Brothers website.
While it may seem counterintuitive to open up outdoor space as the weather gets cooler, Improper City, 3201 Walnut Street, is staying true to its name and doing things the back-asswards way as it opens its expansive patio with a weekend of events. Starting on Friday, October 19, at 6 p.m., the pre-party gets going with live music and beers from Boulevard Brewing; on Saturday, October 20, the hunger games begin at 2 p.m., with free beer from Avery and 4 Noses and free roast pig while supplies last. Should you miss out on the pig, Gypsy Q, Fiesta Fusion and Areyto Puerto Rican Food will be on hand for your noshing needs. And on Sunday, October 21, show up at 11 a.m. for a free yoga class (RSVP at eventbrite.com), then stick around for brunch at noon and yappy hour (dogs in costume encouraged) at 1 p.m. Find all of the weekend's events on Improper City's Facebook page.
Saturday, October 20
Beer lovers who don't reside in Denver proper have a very good reason not to leave their suburban enclaves on Saturday, October 20 — and even devoted Denver dwellers may want to leave the concrete jungle when they hear about Dogfish Head Brewery's tap takeover of five Parry's Pizzeria and Bar locations (Highlands Ranch, Northglenn, Centennial, Johnstown and Longmont). From 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., the eateries will be tapping Dogfish Head brews alongside menu items specially created for the pairing. Beer highlights include 120 Minute IPA (2015 and 2018), bourbon barrel-aged Palo Santo Marron, Fruit-Full Fort, World Wide Stout and Puddin' Wine. Not all locations will be tapping all beers, so visit Facebook to make sure you'll get your hands on your beer of choice.
Sunday, October 21
You thought you couldn't get any more comfortable at Steuben's — the granddaddy of comfort food in Denver has been luring diners to its Uptown location with homey fare like gravy fries and meatloaf for years now — but that was before Steuben's Arvada, 7355 Ralston Road, let you know you don't even have to put on pants to eat there. That's right: On Sunday, October 21, the joint is celebrating its first year serving breakfast with a One Year Onesie Breakfast. From 8 to 10 p.m. (yes, you can eat eggs and bacon after dark), show up in your PJs for all-day breakfast specials, $5 mimosas and the chance to hang out with other poor souls who partied so hard the night before they can't find any clothing without a drawstring waist. Make your reservation on Reserve.com.
Feel all warm and fuzzy inside by doing a good deed — and filling your belly with chili. Joy Wine & Spirits, 1302 East Sixth Avenue, is hosting its eighth annual Chili Cookoff from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, October 21, to benefit Hunger Free Colorado, a nonprofit organization working to end hunger in the state. For just $25 ($20 with advance purchase at joywineandspirits.com), attendees can savor chili from restaurants including Fruition, Sushi Ronin, Old Major, Dunbar Kitchen & Tap House, Kaos Pizzeria and Uno Mas Taqueria y Cantina. Drinks aren't included in the ticket price, but with libations from Elevation Beer Co., Stem Ciders, Laws Whiskey House and more, you'll definitely want to save room (and a few bucks) for beverages.
Keep reading for upcoming food and drink events.
Thursday, October 25
Unless you've got a private plane and a bottomless trust fund, it's tough to hit up the best restaurants across the country. That's why ChefsFeed Indie Week, happening Thursday, October 25, through Sunday, October 28, is such a great deal for Denver diners: Nineteen acclaimed chefs from San Francisco, New York City, Austin and throughout the country will converge on Denver to team up with five locals (Gregory Gourdet, Departure; Carrie Baird, Bar Dough; Lon Symensma, ChoLon; Matt Vawter, Mercantile Dining & Provision; and Chris Starkus, Urban Farmer) to create three epic meals. Departure, 249 Columbine Street, will host the dinners; the twelve-course meals on Thursday and Friday have a single chef preparing each course, while Sunday's dinner will have all 24 chefs in the kitchen as they prepare twelve courses in pairs. Tickets start at $165 and include wine pairings; get yours now and see the full roster of chefs on the ChefsFeed website.
Saturday, October 27
Ah, last Halloween...the weather was cold, and you didn't wear a coat — it would have covered up your sexy nun costume — and the scariest thing about the evening was fighting your way through the crowds at the bar and paying $14 for a watered-down cocktail. Up the class factor this year while still celebrating at Uncorked Kitchen's Gothic Dinner Party. The cooking school at 8171 South Chester Street in Centennial is hosting a couple's class from 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, October 27, where the menu includes vegetarian sushi with black sriracha; black spaghetti with scallops; roasted beet, squash, apples and Brussels sprout salad; merlot-poached pears with skull cookies; and some boozy witches' brew to keep you hydrated. Get your tickets ($210 per pair) at uncorkedkitchen.com before they're gobbled up by greedy goblins.
We've written about MCA Denver's Dinner Society before; the meals are always impressive and the setting enjoyable. But the next installment in the series promises to raise the bar even higher: Ian Kleinman (of the Inventing Room) will be cooking a meal inspired by Tara Donovan's Fieldwork exhibit on Saturday, October 27, from 7 to 10 p.m. The entire museum, 1485 Delgany Street, is currently taken over by Donovan's elaborate and engrossing site-specific sculptures, and there's no one in Denver we'd rather see interpret her vision on a plate than the wildly creative Kleinman. Tickets, $125, include a tour of the exhibit as well as a three-course meal (miso crepe with lemon crab, béchamel, coconut caviar and saltwater bubbles; hoisin and orange sous-vide pork with black-tea jelly and smoked potatoes; and mousse with peanut butter Pop Rocks, nitro puffed rice and a sugar slinky) and drinks from the Family Jones. Reserve your seat at eventbrite.com before tickets are gone like a puff of liquid nitrogen.
November 1 through November 4
If you want to improve your knowledge of French wine (or French geography, as the two go hand in hand), consider attending the Boulder Burgundy Festival from Thursday, November 1, through Sunday, November 4. The four-day fair will include an old and rare burgundy tasting and silent auction; a beaujolais wine seminar; meals at Corrida, Mateo, Frasca and Arcana; and the finale, a Grand Tasting. Still not sure if you want to attend? Let's make it simple: You'll be drinking pinot noir, chardonnay and gamay. Event prices start at $85 and are on sale now at the Festival's website.
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Friday, November 2
In the past year, The Bindery, 1817 Central Street, has established itself as one of the most creative eateries in Denver — and one of the few places we know of where you can always find rabbit on the menu. And on Friday, November 2, the kitchen is celebrating its first birthday with an epic dinner party. Starting at 6 p.m., apps will start coming out of the kitchen as a live band takes the stage. Tickets, $125, are on sale at eventbrite.com; if you don't want to commit to a full meal (why not, though?), show up between 3 and 6 p.m. for a community happy hour, with complimentary apps and the bar's excellent cocktails for sale.
Saturday, December 15
Is it too early to be training for the Feats of Strength? Not if you want to crush your family and friends (physically and emotionally) at this year's Festivus. Nor is it too early to start planning for this year's Denver Beer Festivus, which takes place on Saturday, December 15, at the Sports Castle, 1000 Broadway, from 3 to 6 p.m. Early bird tickets are on sale now for $35 or $60 at denverbeerfestivus.com; get yours quickly, or you'll be the focus of your drinking buddies' Airing of Grievances.
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