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The Twelve Tastiest Events on Denver's Culinary Calendar, December 9-11

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If you don't have an unfortunate sweater by now, you'd better ask Grandma nicely: This winter is all about the ugly holiday sweater — your pass to good beer, good times and even fabulous prizes. Wear it with pride this weekend as you sample new holiday beers, build a gingerbread house, grab a free shake or try some fleeting Chinese eats. There are plenty of options where you can warm up and wet your whistle this weekend; here are the top culinary events in Denver.

Friday, December 9

Raid the closet, because Boulder's Finkel & Garf Brewing is throwing its Ugly Sweater Party. There will be cookie decorating, prize giveaways, and a competition for the ugliest sweater. The bash goes from 6 to 9 p.m., and admission is free; RSVP on the event's Facebook page.

Homegrown burger chain Larkburger is marking a decade since its first store opened in Edwards, and today all twelve Larkburger locations are celebrating the occasion by giving away small birthday-cake shakes — no purchase required. The company will also offer prizes to fans on social media for answering trivia questions. Head to Larkburger.com to find a restaurant near you.

Saturday, December 10

The GoldenBoys — that's Adam Midkiff and former Denver chef Hunter Pritchett — are returning to the Source from Los Angeles for a one-day-only pop-up lunch. Presenting a new vision of modern Chinese food, Pritchett and Midkiff will post up at the RiNo Yacht Club with signature dishes like a crispy orange chicken sandwich or shaved kampachi in Tsing Tao vinegar, with the Yacht Club contributing simpatico beverages. Food will be served from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; get it before it's gone.

Cholaca liquid cacao and Breckenridge Brewing are teaming up for a new seasonal brew — and throwing a party to celebrate. Try the new Nitro Chocolate Orange Stout and some liquid cacao, make holiday ornaments, check out the Nitro Ice Cream Bar and enjoy music from Sophia Scott. The party takes place at the brewery's Littleton headquarters from noon to 2 p.m.; visit the Breckenridge Brewery site for more details.

Head for the giant milk can in LoHo to find a gingerbread house decorating party for the whole family. Little Man Ice Cream will provide aspiring architects with house-making kits as well as free ice cream, hot cocoa and live music. You can also enter a raffle for a chance to win skis, a snowboard or a four-pack of lift tickets for Copper Mountain, all chipped in from sponsor FirstBank. Your $10 donation will go to support real houses for Habitat for Humanity. The party runs from 1 to 3 p.m.; check out the Facebook event page for more information.

Read on for more food events happening this Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday, December 10 (Continued)

Bring your ugliest sweater, win prizes, drink new beers and dance the night away with Black Shirt Brewing tonight. The Ugly Sweater Party starts at 8 p.m., with a sweater competition as well as the return of the spicy seasonal beer Fourtrack Chai Porter, tunes by DJ Details and food from the Roaming Bull Brasserie. Admission is free, and the party goes until 11 p.m.

Longmont is anticipating the opening of a new Whole Foods, and the market is partnering with Oskar Blues to give back to the community before the grand opening on Wednesday, December 14. Today at the OB brewery, volunteers will be helping to build 113 bikes for first- and second-graders at Northridge Elementary, and you can pitch in — no previous experience required. Coffee from Hotbox Roasters, eats from Whole Foods and Oskar Blues beer will keep your gears turning from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The bikes will be given away at the store's opening next week. Check out the event's Facebook page to find out how to get involved.

The recently opened Bruz Beers on West 67th Avenue is holding its first holiday party to celebrate the season, new beers and ugly sweaters. From 6 to 10 p.m. tonight, enter the ugly sweater contest, grab some homemade cookies or arepas from the Arepas House food truck, enter a prize drawing and enjoy the tapping of a brand-new holiday beer. Check out the details at the Bruz Beers site.

Sunday, December 11

The Way Back is hosting a throwback dance to ensure our future tonight. The Protect Our Winters Formal invites you to don your corsage or powder-blue tuxedo to enjoy special cocktails, retro music and food from Pizzeria Locale. Tickets are $20, and all the proceeds go to benefit Protect Our Winters, a nonprofit promoting climate-change awareness. The event goes from 7 to 11 p.m.; get your tickets online at the event page.

Quaker City Malt hard sodas are debuting in Denver, and the company is hosting a Merriment and Mirth concert to celebrate the holidays and malt beverages. From 8 to 11 p.m. tonight at Star Bar, Banshee Tree will perform, $4 cans and $6 cocktails of QC Malt will be served, holiday sweaters will be worn, and a festive photo booth will be on hand. Admission is free and limited to those 21 and up.

Strongwater, a local supplier of artisan bitters, shrubs and other cocktail accoutrements, has been counting down 12 Days of Cocktails, offering drink specials and giveaways at a different bar each night. Past hosts have included Euclid Hall, the Terminal Bar and more. Stay tuned to Strongwater's Instagram and Facebook pages today and tomorrow for the next locations.

For more Food & Drink events, go to our online calendar. If you know of an event that should be included in that calendar, send information to cafe@westword.com.

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