On Sunday, September 23, eight of the city's finest bartenders will gather at Ghost Plate & Tap and do battle with one another in the Beer Cocktail Shakedown. They'll use beers supplied by the Breckenridge and Wynkoop breweries and spirits provided by Campari and Southern Wine & Spirits. The person who makes the tastiest beer cocktail -- a designation that will be determined by a lineup of celebrity judges -- wins $500.
"I want it to be all about the love of beer," says Tara Curry, who recently took over the bar program at Ghost. "Does the cocktail embrace the beer and then expand on it? Is it drinkable and great-tasting and retain the integrity of the beer? Does it taste good?"
The Shakedown runs from 2 to 6 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door and include all-you-can-drink beers from Breckenridge and Wynkoop (the parent company for both breweries also owns Ghost), cocktail samples, snacks and door prizes.
Beer cocktails aren't about masking the flavor of the beer, Curry notes: "What we're saying is that your beer is so good that we want to enhance it. Whiskey is good. So is a Manhattan. No one is saying that beer should be replaced beer cocktails at all, but if I can use a beer cocktail to get a customer to try beer, then it is all awesome."
Follow Westword's Beer Man on Twitter at @ColoBeerMan and on Facebook at Colo BeerMan