Beer Man

Mix your beer and your booze at Ghost Plate & Tap's Beer Cocktail Shakedown

Beer cocktails have found a niche at bars across Colorado over the past two years, as mixologists look for new ways to blend flavors.

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.

See more - Tara Curry takes over the bar at Ghost Plate & Tap - Ten Colorado bartenders will showcase beer cocktails at Star Bar this weekend - Ghost Plate & Tap is now pouring

"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."

Bartenders will be on hand from such establishments as Euclid Hall, Bitter Bar, Star Bar and Linger. The judges will come from 9News, Westword and Denver Off the Wagon.

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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes