Happy 303 day Denverites! Living in this city is absolutely amazing and I love it soooo much. In honor of this glorious holiday, a lot of venues around town are giving out free stuff or running deals for those who show support for Colorado. I’ll be compiling a list and updating it as I find out more – go enjoy yourself, you deserve it 🙂
Denver Festivus 2014: I loved it and it was hilarious but dear lord, there was so much to drink. Going into the event, I did not expect to be drinking so many big beers. When I say big beers, I’m speaking about the Epic/New Belgium collaboration called Eternal Consequences that rings in at 10.7% ABV or Jagged Mountain’s Voodoo Goat Barleywine at 10.9% ABV. Luckily, I created a strong pizza base to help me withstand the TWO floors filled with boozy beverages. The donuts from Glazed and Confused also helped.
The variation of drinks offered was a welcome change from other beer parties. I often find that festivals have lots of similar beers, whether that is high alcohol, low alcohol, all Belgians, etc. At Festivus, the “beer festival for the rest of us,” there was a beer style for every drinker. If I had to give an award for the beer that embodied the night though, it would go to Crooked Stave’s Cranberry and Spice Vielle. Maybe I’m biased because I totally have a crush on this brewery, but Cranberry and Spice Vielle is exactly what I want my holiday beer to be: fruity, warm, and tastes like Christmas. After drinking my way through the two floors of beer at Festivus, I still couldn’t get that beautiful Vielle out of my mind. If I have to name a second place winner to my self proclaimed Festivus contest, it would be the American Wild Ale from Our Mutual Friend. I even went back to get seconds of this funky, red wine barrel aged Brett creation. When a brewery does red wine barrel aging right, like OMF was able to do, it is fantastic. I feel like it gives the beer a complex, full-bodied taste. OMF’s choice to age a lighter, citrusy brew in the red wine barrels created a multi-layered flavor experience. Take me back to the festival, please.
Overall, Denver Festivus turned out to be a raging party, just like all of the other Imbibe/Denver Off the Wagon sponsored events. I loved the Christmas themed outfits and plethora of Santa but the most outrageous thing I saw was the male stripper themed playing cards. Ladies, if you had a picture of a naked man in your pocket at the end of the night, you know what I’m talking about. Whoever brought those…bravo. It was hilarious. If you were at Festivus, you might have also seen me, the lady wearing a Santa hat with a beard attached. You might have even taken a picture with me. If you did, tag me @drinkandspoon – wassup social media!? If you weren’t at Festivus, you seriously missed out. Go mark your calendar now to prepare for the beer party that puts all other holiday parties to shame.
Cranberry and Spice Vielle!!!!
American Wild Ale!!!
So. Much. Bacon. My mind is still whirling with pork filled thoughts and dreams of never ending beer. Once again, Denver Bacon and Beer Festival, hosted by EatBoston and Denver Off the Wagon, was an extreme success. This year it was held at the Curtis Hotel and the fun atmosphere provided a great way to escape from the frigid outdoors. Over the past three years, the Denver Bacon and Beer Festival has donated the proceeds from the event to Project Angel Heart and Metro CareRing. Although festival goers left feeling glutinous, they could also give themselves a pat on the back for being charitable. Drinking/eating for a good cause is the only way to do it.
It would be hard to describe all of my favorite dishes because I’m obviously going to love anything that includes bacon. I will however tell you about the two that stand out most in my mind. The first was the Pale Ale and Goat Cheddar Soup along with a BLT Pesto, Pork Belly Bread Pudding, and Bacon Espuma by Kevin Taylor Restaurant Group. Every part of this dish was divine. First off, the BLT Pesto – how does someone come up with that? The taste remained true to the name in that it gave off smokey bacon flavors, tang from the tomatoes, and the herbal goodness from the basil. Then, there’s the goat cheese. This is my second favorite food next to bacon and because this dish included both wonderful ingredients, it is still haunting my dreams in the best way possible. The other dish I thoroughly enjoyed was probably the most simple creation at the party: Jalapeño Honey Bacon at The Corner Office. It was cooked to a crispy crunch, just the way I like it. This bacon was spicy, smokey, and sweet. It reminded me of frying up thick cut bacon and dipping it in maple syrup, only 10x better. I’m pretty sure I never want to eat another type of bacon ever again.
If you didn’t attend this year’s Bacon and Beer Festival, you seriously missed out. Here are the pictures to prove it to you..
If you aren’t able to attend Denver Bacon and Beer Festival or you just feel like you need more bacon in your life, then this is the event for you. The Bacon and Beer Chef and Brewer Dinner is coming in hot with bacon filled dishes from the best chefs in Denver all paired with our awesome Colorado brews. It will take place on November 15 from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. at The Lobby and it is hosted by Denver Off The Wagon and EatBoston so you know it will be a good time. Go ahead, treat yourself, you know you want more bacon.
This dinner will feature a five course meal prepared by five different local chefs paired with beer from five different Denver area breweries. Now, the moment your taste buds have been waiting for. Here is the menu for the dinner.
Welcome Beer from Breckenridge Brewery
72 Imperial Chocolate Cream Stout
First Course Prepared by John Little from Harman’s Eat & Drink
Squash and Baking Spiced Surette
Beer: Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project Autumn Surette
Second Course Prepared By Drew Watson from Hops & Pie
Celery Root Purée with Pork Belly, Fig and Frisee
Beer: Copper Kettle Brewing Company French Saison
Third Course Prepared by Vincent Vigil from Panzano
Coriander and Coffee Dusted Pork Loin with Renegade Coffee Beer Sauce and Sautéed Pumpkin Gnocchi and Wild Mushrooms
Beer: Renegade Brewing Company Hiatus Coffee-Infused Oatmeal Ale
Fourth Course Prepared by Brandon Muncy from The Lobby
Bacon Wrapped Pork Belly Meatloaf served over Parsnip Puree with Caramelized Wort Catsup and Crispy Sprout Leaves
Beer: TRVE Brewing Company Dunwich Robust Porter
Fifth Course Prepared by Samm Sherman from Root Down and Linger
Coffee Cremeux with Bacon Oreo, Malt and Cider Caramel with Great Divide Hibernation Whipped Cream
Beer: Great Divide Brewing Company Hibernation Ale
Tickets are on sale now for $65 at http://www.wheretoeat.in/2014-denver-bacon-and-beer-festival/. A portion of proceeds from tickets sales benefit Project Angel Heart and Metro CareRing.
During Great American Beer Festival, all kinds of new beers were debuted. One of them was Magic Hat’s newest creation, Hop Drip IPA. The brewery invited me to the morning release to try out the new coffee-infused IPA along with some donuts. I’m sure I’ve had a coffee IPA before, but none of their names seem to come to mind. Hop Drip on the other hand, is a name I won’t forget. When I think of coffee and beer, my mind usually goes right to porters and stouts – never an IPA. Hop Drip is brewed with coffee from Speeder and Earl’s – a coffee shop that is down the street from the brewery and fuels brewers like Ross Thompson on a daily basis. Now that I’ve officially tried a coffee infused IPA (that I can remember), I can proudly say that I’m a fan. You’d think that hops and coffee would be overwhelmingly bitter, but that wasn’t the case. Hop Drip was actually quite refreshing, including the flavors of the roasted coffee beans without adding to much bite. It also happened to be perfect way to start day 2 of GABF.
Get your tickets here: http://www.wheretoeat.in/2013-denver-bacon-and-beer-festival/
Cap City Tavern
Copper Kettle Brewing Company
Crazy Mountain Brewery
Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project
Elevation Beer Company
Epic Brewing Company
Former Future Brewing Company
Glaze by Sasa
Great Divide Brewing Company
Grimm Brothers Brewhouse
Hops and Pie
Jax Fish House – Glendale
Jonesy’s Eat Bar
Kevin Taylor Restaurant Group
Little Man Ice Cream
Oskar Blues Brewery
Our Mutual Friend Tenth Acre & Brewery
Renegade Brewing Co.
River North Brewery
Second Home Kitchen + Bar
Strange Craft Beer Company
Sunnyside Burger Bar
The Corner Office Denver
The Rocky Mountain Institute of Meat and Unit X
Wit’s End Brewing Company
Wynkoop Brewing Company
A few of my favorites that will be attending include: FATE, Great Divide, Black Bottle, and Odell (among many others).
Tickets are $40 when purchased in advance at http://www.imbibe-events.com/fresh-hop. Ticket includes unlimited beer tastings and snacks while they last. Ticket price will increase at the door if available. A portion of proceeds from ticket sales benefits the Colorado Brewers Guild.