From Bacon to Beer, Twenty Tastiest Events on the Culinary Calendar June 26-28

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Summer is festival season, and Denver's food scene is getting in on the act with eat-and-drink fests along the Front Range, featuring everything from beer to bacon to tacos. Keep reading for all the tasty details.

Friday, June 26  

Today and tomorrow Leadville will be cooking during the Leadville BBQ & Brew Festival. Some of the best pit masters in the country will compete for a $10,000 prize purse and the rights to the “Top of the Mountain” award during this Kansas City Barbeque Society-sanctioned event that's also a cup event for the Rocky Mountain BBQ Association. Admission is free; for more information, click here.  

The Summit at Colorado Brewers Festival is a limited-ticket, pre-festival event produced in conjunction with the Colorado Brewers Guild, showcasing exceptional and rare beers from Colorado brewers, many of whom will be on hand. The Summit runs from 6 to 9 p.m. today at Washington Park in Fort Collins. Tickets are $60; get yours here.

The Vail Farmers' Market is launching a farm-to-table dinner series at 5:30 p.m. today, when it will welcome chef Jay McCarthy from Vail Chophouse and chef Thomas Newsted from LaTour. For each dinner, local chefs are partnering with regional farms to cook up a multi-course meal. Tickets are $75 and can be purchased here.

Beryl's Brewing Company continues to celebrate the company's one-year anniversary, a celebration that kicked off yesterday and runs through the weekend with live music, special beer releases, games and food from El Carte 303 and Island Sun Catering. For more information, check out the event's Facebook page.  

Saturday, June 27   

The Denver Taco Festival will bring tons of taco-related fun to the Glitterdome this weekend. The two-day festival will feature lucha libre wrestling, chihuahua races, tacos from more than thirty local vendors, tastes of forty tequilas at the second annual Great Colorado Tequila and Agave Expo, and much more.  Admission to the Denver Taco Festival is $5 to $10 in advance or $12 at the gate; the tequila expo is an additional $20. VIP tickets are $60 and include four tacos, four drink tickets, and access to exclusive games and giveaways. The festival runs from noon to 9 p.m. today and noon to 8 p.m. tomorrow; for more information, visit denvertacofestival.com

The Denver Flea is back in a new location, the parking garage at the intersection of 27th and Blake streets, which will be filled with more than 200 vendors from noon to 7 p.m. today and tomorrow. You can browse their wares, dine at more than twelve food trucks,and  enjoy live music, lawn games, yoga, beer, cocktails and more. Admission is free, and guests who RSVP here will receive a free New Belgium beer and be entered to win a new cruiser bike. For more information, click here.  

Hundreds of beers from over fifty breweries will pour into Fort Collins for the Colorado Brewers Festival today and tomorrow. The event will also feature live music, dozens of vendors and food truck,s and an interactive Beer School with tastings and demonstrations from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in downtown Fort Collins. Admission is free; purchase food and drinks with taster tickets. You can get a taster package that includes a commemorative Govino "Go-Anywhere" 16-ounce beer glass and 10 taster tickets for $25 in advance and $30 at the gate; additional tickets can be purchased for $1 each. For all the boozy details, click here.

The Governor's Residence at Boettcher Mansion will host Brews and Bites from 6 to 8:30 p.m. today, when guests can enjoy bites from Denver restaurants like TAG, Black Pearl, Lala's, Euclid Hall and wash them down with beers from over a dozen breweries. There will also be live music in the courtyard and tours of the mansion. Tickets to the event are $80 for general admission and $200 for VIP; for more info, head over to imbibe-events.com

Get ready to pig out at Keystone's Blue Ribbon Bacon Tour, which will cook up 3,000 pounds of bacon at Keystone's River Run Village. From bacon-wrapped fare to bacon bloody Marys, the fare will have you in hog heaven. The event runs from 1 to 6 p.m today and tomorrow; tickets run from $20 to $50 depending on your age and appetite. Find out more here.

Central City will host Stills in the Hills today, a craft-distillery celebration featuring more than 25 distilleries with over 100 spirits, live music, vendors and food. Admission to the event is free, but you'll need tickets for tastes. You can get tickets for $30 here, or at the gates for $40.    
Elway's in Vail will be holding a Pink Patio Party today to help Dave Meirowsky, the Elway’s sommelier, pick a few pink wines for the summer's wine list.  Guests will be able to taste and evaluate more than thirty rosé wines from France, Spain, California and around the world that are in consideration for a summer rosé flight on the Elway’s wine list. There will also be light bites. Tickets are $30; call 970-754-7818.  

Maui Wowi Hawaiian Coffees & Smoothies is celebrating the grand opening of its first retail location in Denver in true Hawaiian style: The company is hosting a luau from 2 to 4 p.m. featuring dancers, an appearance by the Photo Love Bus and two hours of free smoothies, iced Hawaiian Teas, and Toddy and drip coffee.  For more information, visit mauiwowi.com

The first annual Colorado Craft Spirits Festival will take pace today at the Dusty Loo Bon Vivant Theater in Colorado Springs. The festival will feature over fifteen distilleries with more than thirty varieties of spirits ranging from rums to moonshines and even kombuchas. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased here.  

Jackson's is throwing a charity event today with a very strict dress code enforced: no flip-flops, no entry. The sixth annual Flip Flop Ball will take place from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. and will feature drinks, music, dancing and ultra-casual footwear. Tickets to the ball are $39 in advance or $50 at the door;  the event will benefit MyLifeLine.org Cancer Foundation. Find out more here.  

Sunday, June 28

The Denver Zine Fest Pancake Brunch will be flipping free vegan and gluten-free pancakes today from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and serving them with fresh orange juice. The event will take place at 900 South Jason Street; for more information, visit denverzinelibrary.org

For information on dozens of culinary events around town, visit our online Food & Drink listings — and if you have information for a culinary event you'd like included in our online calendar, send it to cafe@westword.com.

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