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The Five Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Weekend

Mockery Brewing's homebrew competition starts this Sunday.EXPAND
Mockery Brewing's homebrew competition starts this Sunday.
Scott Lentz
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It's going to take a lot of luck to find anything to do this weekend that doesn't involve Irish whiskey or corned beef and cabbage — in fact, it would be easier to find a pot of gold. But we've put together a few options for those who aren't inclined to fill up on Guinness and green beer (though if that's your thing, take a look at our list of seven lucky food events to check out on Saturday). Here are five food and drink events from Friday, March 16, through Friday, March 18, that will keep you away from the fray.

Paul Reilly and Aileen Reilly in front of Beast + Bottle, which will soon turn five.EXPAND
Paul Reilly and Aileen Reilly in front of Beast + Bottle, which will soon turn five.
Mark Antonation

Friday, March 16
Beast + Bottle is such a fixture on the Denver dining scene, it feels as if it's been around far longer than five years. But on Friday, March 16, the tiny but welcoming dining room at 719 East 17th Avenue will be the site of its fifth-anniversary celebration. As with any birthday party, the drinks, guest list and food set the tone, and owners Paul and Aileen Reilly will host some of the best chefs in town. Justin Brunson (Old Major), Jamey Fader (Lola), Brandon Foster (Project Angel Heart), Jen Jasinski (Ultreia) and Alex Seidel (Mercantile & Provision) will each whip up an appetizer for the evening, while B+B's bar will mix up characteristically delicious (and delightfully named) cocktails. The fun starts at 6 p.m.; reserve your spot for $85 by calling 303-623-3223.

Nothing says spring like sauerkraut.EXPAND
Nothing says spring like sauerkraut.
Danielle Lirette

Saturday, March 17
Four Seasons Farmers and Artisans Market is invested in operating during all four seasons; it just might not have its finger on the pulse of topicality every day. Why else would it teach a class on making German sauerkraut on a spring day dedicated to the Irish? Nevertheless, Saturday, March 17, will see a sauerkraut workshop that's a great deal if you want to avoid the cacophony of revelers that comes with St. Patrick's Day. Two workshops (at noon and 1:30 p.m.) at the market, 7043 West 38th Avenue in Wheat Ridge, will guide you through the process of fermenting cabbage, and you'll head home with a jar of kraut you can eat now or save for a more German day (though Oktoberfest is months away). Get your tickets, $25, at Eventbrite.

Get lost in the details at Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse's intricate decor on Sunday.EXPAND
Get lost in the details at Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse's intricate decor on Sunday.
Flickr/Carl Meuller

Sunday, March 18
Think your home brew can stand up to the suds pouring at every new taproom in Denver? If you roll your eyes and think, "I can do better than this," with every sip from your local nanobrewery, prove your mettle at Making a Mockery, Mockery Brewing's second home-brew competition. On Sunday, March 18, the brewers at 3501 Delgany Street will make a virgin wort to distribute to home brewers and brew clubs. Pick up the wort between noon and 3 p.m., and you'll have eight weeks to put together a beer that will knock the judges' socks off. You still have time to purchase your wort ($10 for five gallons or $20 for ten gallons); visit Mockery's Facebook page for contest rules and entry. And if we have to explain what wort is, this isn't the competition for you.

Navruz, or the Persian New Year, isn't until March 21, but Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse knows nobody likes to celebrate such a momentous occasion on a weeknight. So on Sunday, March 18, the famed teahouse, at 1770 13th Street in Boulder, is pulling out all the stops for for an all-day celebration. Starting at 1 p.m., the plaza outside will host Persian dancing and music, with apps and sweets available all day. The already elaborate interior will be further decorated with Persian silks and a Haft-Seen table, a display of food and spices traditionally set out for the holiday. At 5 p.m., dinner guests will be treated to a five-course Persian dinner; potato dolma with saffron-tomato butter sauce and lamb and butternut-squash stew with dried plums are on the menu. Reservations for dinner, $40, are highly recommended; call 303-442-4993 for yours and visit boulderteahouse.com for more info.

Enjoy the Bard of Avon's plays as they were originally performed: not in a hushed theater filled with rich old women dripping in jewels, but in a raucous space with working-class drunkards heckling the stage. On Sunday, March 18, Shakesbeer sets up shop at Alpine Dog Brewing, 1505 Ogden Street, for a free production of the not-quite-Shakespearean comedy Arden of Faversham. You'll be drinking, the actors will be drinking, and hilarity will ensue. The performance runs from 5 to 6:30 p.m., but you'll want to get there earlier to indulge in a pint or two before the thespians begin. If you can't make it to this showing, visit The Wit theater company's Facebook page for more performances at breweries around the Denver area through April 8. Huzzah!

Keep reading for more tasty food and drink events after this weekend.

You can exchange a meal at SAME Cafe for time, homegrown produce or money.EXPAND
You can exchange a meal at SAME Cafe for time, homegrown produce or money.
Mark Antonation

Thursday, March 22
If you've eaten at the SAME Cafe, you know it's not the same old story. Because of the restaurant's mission to provide people of all income levels healthy food, the menu doesn't include prices; customers pay what they can or swap volunteer hours in exchange for a meal. But there are other, subtler touches that aren't immediately apparent. For instance, there are always two pizza, soup and meal choices on the menu — one vegetarian — so that customers are able to make a real choice about what they want to eat. That's an organization dedicated to treating people with real dignity, and you can support the eatery at the So All May Eat Gala on Thursday, March 22. From 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., Space Gallery, 400 Santa Fe Drive, will host the fundraiser, where you'll enjoy small plates and beverages from Que Bueno Suerte, City, O' City, The Corner Beet, Renegade Brewing Co., Woody Creek Distillers and more. Tickets are a bargain at $60; find out more on the SAME Cafe Facebook page and snag your tickets at eventbrite.com.

Culinary Quick Start is a free four-week training program for potential service-industry employees. Offered at the Emily Griffith Technical College and funded primarily through a State of Colorado Workforce (WORK Act) Grant, Culinary Quick Start still needs additional funding to keep the program running. On Thursday, March 22, participating Denver restaurants will donate 10 percent of their sales as part of Culinary Quick Start Giveback Day. Restaurants that wish to participate can sign up on the CQS website, and a list of participating eateries will also soon be available for diners who want to donate a portion of their breakfast, lunch or dinner bill that day.

You'd be excited if you had four beers in your hands, too.EXPAND
You'd be excited if you had four beers in your hands, too.
Danielle Lirette

Saturday, March 31
Imagine that old stalwart The Dating Game was still on the air. Imagine you went on it and didn't end up on a date with a serial killer; instead, you went out with a nice boy or girl and had to brew a beer together the first time you met. In a nutshell, that's the premise of Collaboration Fest. The beer festival has spent the past five years teaming up breweries and seeing what maniacal brews come from the partnership. This year, the fun is moving to bigger digs at the Hyatt Regency Denver, 650 15th Street, where on Saturday, March 31, you'll be able to imbibe creations from nearly 100 teams of brewers. Our most anticipated collabs? Local favorites Our Mutual Friend and TRVE Brewing Co., and Renegade Brewing Co. and French brewery Brasserie du Baril. The event runs from 4 to 7 p.m., though VIP ticket holders get in at 3 p.m. Get your ticket before the fest sells out at the Collaboration Fest website.

Belgians all day, every day at Bruz Beers.
Belgians all day, every day at Bruz Beers.
Jonathan Shikes

Saturday, April 28
If you don't know your farmhouse beer from your Flemish reds or your Westvleteren from your witbier — or even if you do — get a mouthful of ale and education at Bruz Beer's second Belgian Brew Fest on Saturday, April 28. Early-bird tickets are currently on sale for $40 at belgianbrewfest.com, which will get you unlimited tastes of Belgian-style beer from local breweries Paradox Beer Co., River North Brewery, Crooked Stave, Bruz and more. Brewery Ommegang will also be venturing out west to join the day of dubbels, which runs from 1 to 4 p.m. at the taproom, 1675 West 67th Avenue. Get your tickets before early-bird pricing is gone and admission goes up to $48.

If you know of a date that should be on this calendar, send information to cafe@westword.com.

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