Eating Adventures

Taste Farm Food, Local Spirits and Foraged Beers This Weekend in Lyons

Farm-to-table caterer GB Culinary culls most of its ingredients from its own farm.
Farm-to-table caterer GB Culinary culls most of its ingredients from its own farm. GB Culinary
We know, we know. Your GABF dance card is already full of events, and by Saturday night, you're more likely to be nursing your injured liver than seeking out another party. But for those of you who can make the room — or who are avoiding other beer-related festivities because of the crowds this weekend — there's a dinner in Lyons that's worthy of your attention.

On Saturday night, a trifecta of farm-to-table boosters — Longmont-based farm-to-table caterer GB Culinary, Illinois foraged-beer specialist Scratch Brewing Company, and a distiller that works primarily with Colorado ingredients, Spirit Hound — will team up for a dinner party that will benefit the Berry Center, which uses agricultural activist Wendell Berry's work as a road map to advocate on behalf of farmers, build sustainable agricultural economies and promote good land stewardship in rural communities.

click to enlarge Scratch makes beers from foraged ingredients, like mushrooms. - SCRATCH BREWING COMPANY
Scratch makes beers from foraged ingredients, like mushrooms.
Scratch Brewing Company
Claire Ploegman, head of operations for GB Culinary, describes the event as a "meeting of the minds." The dinner will also showcase Berry's philosophies. Chef Grant Buchanan, owner of GB Culinary, culls most of his ingredients from his company's own farm, Peachtree Farmstead, and supplements the remainder of his cooking needs from neighbor La Dolce Vita Family Farm, plus a network of other farms in Boulder County. Scratch brews beer from ingredients foraged near the rural Illinois brewery, including maple sap, dandelions and lavender. "They medaled at GABF last year for a foraged-mushroom beer," notes Ploegman. And Spirit Hound uses Rocky Mountain ingredients to make its products, including Colorado malted barley for whiskey and local juniper berries for gin.

On Saturday, the party kicks off with a cocktail hour featuring Spirits Hound gin and a peach soda made by Scratch, and ends with a tasting from one of the distillery's whiskey barrels. In between, GB Culinary will roll out a menu of four courses that includes Peachtree Farms pork belly with creamed corn, smoked pumpkin, rye croutons, preserved cherries and pumpkin-seed dukkah. Each course is paired with beers from Scratch; offerings include a basil IPA and an experimental sour beer brewed with tree bark.

click to enlarge An example of GB Culinary's food and presentation. - GB CULINARY
An example of GB Culinary's food and presentation.
GB Culinary
Ploegman says the event will be intimate to facilitate conversations with the chef, brewers and distiller, but there are still a few tickets available. The event kicks off on Saturday, October 7, at 6 p.m. at 160 East Main Street, Lyons, in the former home of Ax & Oar restaurant.
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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