Twenty-Plus Tasty Events on Denver's Culinary Calendar, September 30-October 2

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With Oktoberfest season in full swing and the Great American Beer Festival just around the corner, you can expect to see plenty of suds around Denver this weekend — but there will be plenty of other libations pouring, too. At everything from sake to cider events, and even a few wine fests, Denverites will be hitting the bottle this weekend. And there will be plenty of great food to pair with those drinks. Keep reading for the details on 22 tasty events.

Friday, September 30 

Illegal Pete's is hosting the first of what it hopes will be an annual golf tournament at Broken Tee Golf Course, starting at 9 a.m. today. The tournament is $120 per golfer and includes eighteen holes, a cart, and food after the game. Proceeds will benefit Veterans Expeditions; get all the details here.  

The 29th annual Firefighter Chili Cookoff fundraiser will heat up Larimer Square today starting at 11 a.m. Firefighters from across the state will cook up their favorite green and red chilis, competing for the favor of judges — and the public. Admission is free; you can buy bowls of the good stuff. Find out more here.

The fourth annual Vail Beaver Creek Restaurant Week kicks off ten days of dining at altitude today. You can dig into a variety of prix fixe menus and specials, all set at $20.16, through Sunday, October 9. For more information, including a list of participating restaurants, visit diningataltitude.com.  

Today the third annual Beer Flights beer garden lands at Denver International Airport, where you can find it through October 10. The beer garden will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, on the DIA outdoor plaza between Jeppesen Terminal and the Westin Denver International Airport. Tickets are $10 and include a souvenir glass to taste ten, two-ounce samples of beer. 

Explore the more scandalous side of Denver during the Clear Crawl this evening. Hop on the party bus and join Clear Intentions to crawl to three stops: Mell's Cheese, Cana Wine Bar and a burlesque show at the Clocktower Cabaret. Your $50 ticket includes snacks,  drinks, a ride on the party bus and the show. You can find tickets and more information here.

Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse is hosting a Colorado Beer Dinner at 6:30 p.m. today. You can enjoy Odell and Fort Collins Brewery beers paired with a three-course menu by executive chef Mario Hernandez. The dinner is $75; make your reservations by calling 303-796-0100.

The Great American Beer Festival starts October 6, but you don't have to wait — or fork over much cash — to celebrate Denver's favorite potation. Starting today, Denver Beer Fest takes over the city for nine days of beer-centric fun, including beer tastings, firkin tappings, bike nights, midnight beer breakfasts, beer dinners, brewery tours, brewer competitions, meet-the-brewer nights, tap takeovers, beer quizzes, street parties and more. Visit denver.org to get the full scoop.  

Keep reading for more tasty events in Denver.

Saturday, October 1 

The South Gaylord Festival Series is back and celebrating fall with a Farm to Bottle fest today. The street festival, which combines a farmers' market and a beer fest, takes over South Gaylord Street between Mississippi and Tennessee from 3 to 7 p.m. Tickets are $35 for general admission or $65 for VIP; get yours and learn more here.  

Marczyk Fine Foods holds its annual pig roast today, when it will serve up slow-roasted Niman Ranch pork with market-made sauces, baked beans, coleslaw, Pete’s Mom’s potato salad and freshly baked cornbread. Grab a plate for $14.99 per person. The roast starts at 11:30 a.m. and continues until food runs out. Get all the details at marczykfinefoods.com.  

Dive into the Downtown Aquarium's fifth annual Wine Festival from 1 to 4 p.m. today. Your ticket — $60 in advance and $65 at the door — will get you wine tastings, a wine glass, light bites, the chance to win 24 bottles of wine, 50 percent off Aquarium exhibit passes, and free parking. There will also be a Silent Auction benefiting the Greenway Foundation. You can find tickets and more information at aqwine.com.

Taste of Fleet is kicking off its first-year celebration at Utah Park in Aurora starting at 9 a.m. today. The event will feature food from nearly twenty restaurants, games and carnival activities, a pumpkin patch and even a mobile dog-adoption center. Proceeds benefit St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Max Fund No-Kill Animal Shelter, Rebuilding Project and Patrick Fitzgerald Distracted Driving Campaign. Admission is free, but bring some cash for food and games. Check out the event's Facebook page for more information. 

Blue Sushi Sake Grill is celebrating National Sake Day today with half-priced premium cold sake bottles all day long. Call the restaurant at 303-640-3655 for details. 

Chef Jorel Pierce hosts a Stoic & Genuine School of Fish cooking class on the first Saturday of every month. Today from 10 a.m. to noon, you'll learn everything you need to know about scallops, mussels, clams and periwinkles. Tuition for today's class is $60; RSVP to info@stoicandgenuine.com. 

Outward Hound joins forces with top dog and social-media celebrity Manny the Frenchie and UFC star TJ Dillashaw to host the Denver stop on Manny's  sPETacular US Charity tour benefiting the Dumb Friends League. Your $30 ticket includes appetizers and gift bags worth $50, and there will be photo-booth opportunities with Manny himself. The event takes place at Central Bistro from 3 to 5 p.m. Fetch your tickets and learn more at mannythefrenchie.com

Cider Days takes over the Lakewood Heritage Center today and tomorrow. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days, you can enjoy tractor pulls and vintage power displays, wagon and barrel train rides, children’s activities, historic demonstrations, a variety of exhibitors and vendors and everything apple. There will be apple-pressing, apple cider by the glass or gallon, an apple bake-off and more. Tickets start at $7 for adults and $4 for children; get yours and learn more at lakewood.org.  

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and Wazee Supper Club is doing its part to fight breast cancer by serving a “Pink Ribbon Pizza” to contribute funds to the Colorado chapter of Casting for Recovery. The pizza will have a beet-infused pink crust, topped with a garlic cream sauce, goat cheese, beets, mozzarella, artichoke hearts and a balsamic drizzle. Throughout the month of October, the Wazee will donate $1 for every small pizza, $1.50 for every medium pizza, and $2 for every large pizza purchased to Casting for Recovery. Call the restaurant at 303-623-9518. 

In celebration of its ten-year anniversary, Bonacquisti Wine Company is hosting the Northside Wine and Music Festival, featuring tastings from several Colorado wineries, food and music. The event takes place from 2 to 8 p.m. and is free — but $10 will get you a commemorative tasting glass and five tastings of various Colorado wines. Visit bonacquistiwine.com, for more information. 

The first annual Townie Fest brings food, live music, games, family activities and plenty of beer to the Post Brewing Co. from 1 to 5 p.m. today. Tickets for the event are sold in several package deals, ranging from $5 for the kids up to $100. All of the proceeds will be donated to the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce community events fund. You can find tickets and get all the details here

Two Parts and the Colorado Brewers Guild are teaming up for the eleventh  annual Fresh Hop Festival, which will take place at 2403 Champa Street, the future home of Brewery Liberati. The event, which runs from 1 to 4 p.m., will highlight fresh-hopped beers from more than two dozen breweries. Tickets are $40 and include unlimited beers and a commemorative glass; pick yours up here.   

Sunday, October 2 

Throughout September, twenty local chefs have joined in the Culinary Cricket Challenge, a fundraiser for Cooking Matters Colorado, in which each chef cooked up a special made with an unexpected, unusual ingredient. Today each special will be judged and a winner announced at the Cricket Ticket party from 4 to 7 p.m. at Avanti Food & Beverage. For $40 ($45 at the door), you'll get two drinks and appetizers from Avanti's eateries; grab your ticket here

Balistreri Vineyards is holding its fourteenth annual Harvest Party from noon to 5 p.m. today. The event will feature food, wine tastings, a grape-stomping for children, and live music. Tickets can be purchased here for $70 each, or for $80 at the door.  

GoFarm, the Golden Farming Cooperative, will hold a community harvest dinner starting at 4 p.m. at Parfet Park today. You can indulge in a four-course meal by local farmers and chefs; there will also be a cash bar and live music. Grab tickets and learn more here.   

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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