Imbibe launches today with deals on drinks, food and Denver-centric experiences

Imbibe, an experience-oriented deal site that's not related to the publication of the same name, was born of Casey Berry's desire to help people get the most out of Denver. "You know that feeling you get when you find out about someplace new and you go there and it's awesome? That's what we're trying to do. We're not just trying to sell packages," he said when he launched the site a month and a half ago.

To do it, he's working with some of the most popular spots in the city to put together packages -- most of which have a built-in alcoholic beverage perk -- aimed at driving Denver's young, social population to places they might have missed. "We're selling experiences: $10 for pizza and beers, for instance," he notes. "It's tough when you're our age and you see a $15 cocktail on a list," he adds. "Sometimes that's hard to justify. That's why we're putting together a package for, say, two drinks and some food. That way, you get to try everything and taste things. You get out of your comfort zone a little bit and try different things." This is not a deal-site like Groupon, he emphasizes, not least because you don't actually have to print out a coupon; instead, you buy your experience through the Imbibe website and then bring your ID to the venue, which has your name on a list.

If this sounds like your shot of tequila, you can officially start, um, imbibing: After a beta test at Williams & Graham went off without a hitch, Berry launched his site publicly this week, and the first deal is already posted. He's putting together a party that includes a couple of sweet spots on South Broadway: Drinks at El Diablo -- your first margarita is free -- and a private screening of Wet Hot American Summer at the Mayan, where your first beer is also free. Tickets cost $15 and are available through Imbibe's website.

Berry promises there's more to come as the summer progresses -- and says he's open to suggestions for parties, as well.

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Laura Shunk was Westword's restaurant critic from 2010 to 2012; she's also been food editor at the Village Voice and a dining columnist in Beijing. Her toughest assignment had her drinking ten martinis and eating ten Caesar salads over the course of 48 hours. She still drinks martinis, but remains lukewarm on Caesar salads.
Contact: Laura Shunk