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Fermentation Festival Is Back!

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Last August was the first Fermentation Festival & Market at the Highlands Masonic Center in Denver.  And it’s back again this year, August 9th & 10th, 2014. This two-day festival features all things fermented and is host to numerous excellent food and beverage vendors.

I had a great time at Fermentation Festival last year and am already looking forward to going again! I had several delicious beers, sampled lots of interesting food, and even tried kimchi for the first time ever. Here is the line-up of participants so far:

Wineries

Coming Soon

Fermented Foods

Vibrant Veggies
Mobile Meltz
5280 Caters 
More Coming Soon

N/A Fermented Beverages

Happy Leaf Kombucha
More Coming Soon

Check out this awesome video of last year’s festival:

 

In addition to all the food and drinks, several interesting classes will be offered for just $5 each:

  • Homebrew Kombucha
  •  Kefir Fermentation
  •  Cheesemaking by Fromage to Yours
  •  Crafting Seasonal Small Batch Fruit Wines
  •  Fermented Korean Foods
  •  Making Beer at Home
  •  Sake 101, Tasting and Homebrewing
  •  Lacto-fermented Vegetables

Check the schedule for class dates and times. Fermentation Festival tickets are available here. Options include General Admission, VIP and a food-only option (includes non-alcoholic beverages).

I almost forgot to mention the pickle toss contest! It takes place both days at 4:15, and you could win $50 and a gallon of pickles! How fun! Get your tickets today for this fantastic festival.

Sierra Nevada’s Beer Camp Across America Tour Comes to Denver July 25th!

Sierra Nevada‘s Beer Camp Across America kicks off this Saturday, July 19th in Chico, California. That is the first of seven stops on their 7 city travelling beer festival and will be followed by stops in San Diego, DENVER–July 25th, Chicago, Portland (Maine), Philadelphia, and Mills River (North Carolina).

Sierra Nevada just released a special, limited edition 12-pack of beers they collaborated on with some of America’s finest breweries: Allagash, Ballast Point, Bell’s, Cigar City, Firestone Walker, New Glarus, Ninkasi, Oskar Blues, Russian River, 3 Floyds and Victory, plus the Asheville Brewers Alliance. This one time only 12-pack not only contains these rare collaborations, but it’s the first of its kind in that the pack contains both bottles and cans. And, while I can’t speak for the rest of the country, if you’re in the Denver area consider yourself lucky if you’re able to come by one of these treasures. Most of the liquor stores I tried had sold out within the first day they arrived. But with a little due diligence I was able to track one down. I also found that they are typically limited to one per person. So what to do should you fall in love with these beers, knowing it will be impossible to get your hands on more? The answer is clear:

GO TO THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN EDITION OF THE SIERRA NEVADA BEER CAMP TOUR ON JULY 25TH!

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All of the breweries who worked with Sierra Nevada to create this 12-pack will be at Beer Camp, pouring those beers and much, much more. More than 200 craft beers from 100 breweries from Colorado, Indiana, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming will be served at the event. Wow!

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In addition to beer there will be entertainment: the provocative Oregon-based MarchFourth Marching Band (a blend of burlesque, vaudeville, horn-driven funk and marching band madness) will play a live set. There will also be plenty of food available for purchase from up to a dozen area food carts including Big Kiwi, Church of Cupcakes, Cilantro Truck, Crazy Good Food, Crock Spot, Fried Pie Mama, Little India, Meatball, Moe’s BBQ, O.T. go, OG Burger and Still Smokin.

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You might be thinking, “This is Colorado. There are beer festivals every weekend. Why attend this tour?” Well, simply put–this event is one of a kind and not to be missed! Never again will we get the chance to try these 12 collaborations in addition to having access to many awesome breweries that don’t distribute in our state.

Get your tickets now–it’s only 9 days away!!! Don’t miss out!!!

Special Beer brewed for Renaissance Denver Downtown City Center Hotel

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Tivoli Sigi’s Wild Horse Buck Beer & Former Future’s Countinghouse

The Renaissance Denver Downtown City Center Hotel recently opened in the old Colorado National Bank building at 17th & Champa. Built in 1915, the building is absolutely beautiful in every way. Its original character has been preserved while being modernized at the same time. It’s a wonderful mix of old and new.

Hotel lobby and Teller Bar

Hotel lobby and Teller Bar

There is a bar in the lobby, appropriately named Teller Bar, as it occupies the spot where the bank tellers’ stations used to be situated. It’s a nice place to have a drink while admiring the building’s grand interior. Murals from 1925 by artist Allen Tupper True still remain:

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One of 16 murals by Allen Tupper True

There is also a restaurant (with full bar) called range. It has a very comfortable, welcoming atmosphere. There are plenty of options as far as where to sit too: there’s a bar, booths, high-top tables, and a cozy corner with window seats.

Inside Range. I want to sit here next time!

Inside range. I want to sit here next time!

The hotel has a special beer on tap that was brewed just for them, and the brewery behind it couldn’t be more fitting. Countinghouse is a Pre-Prohibition Style Cream Ale by Former Future Brewing Company. As described on their website, “Former Future is a small-batch, artisan brewery in Denver, CO that focuses on combining modern science and innovation with the styles and traditions of the past.” Countinghouse is a very approachable, easy drinking, flavorful ale. It is only available here and at Former Future’s tap room.

Range

Range

range has beers from other local breweries on tap as well: Great Divide, Left Hand, Odell, Pug Ryan’s, and Tivoli. Plus bottles from Oskar Blues, Boulder Beer, New Belgium, and more. Range offers happy hour deals from 3-6 seven days a week with $4 drafts, $5 Colorado cocktails, $6 snacks, and more.

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Street view of the hotel

I really enjoyed my visit to this amazing hotel. I will definitely return for more good beer at Teller Bar and range. Plus, I didn’t get a chance to try any of the food at Range when I was there, so that’s even more incentive to go back soon!

P17: Pints & Plates on the Patio

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P17 Bistro in Denver recently rolled out a new summer brunch menu, and since going to brunch on the weekend is always at the top of my list, I stopped by to check it out.

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There are a few things I look for when deciding where to eat. First–and most importantly–is what’s on the menu. Next is the drink selection; I often like to start with a mimosa or two then move on to a good craft beer. And finally is atmosphere. Weather permitting, I prefer a patio table, so this is important to me. Well, P17 has all of the above: a menu that interests me, mimosas (in addition to several other inventive cocktails), craft beer, a nice atmosphere and a patio. So it seemed like the perfect choice for a leisurely brunch.

Gougeres, (aka “French cheese puffs”)

Gougeres, (aka “French cheese puffs”)

My guest and I started with a carafe of mimosas while we looked over the menu. There were quite a few small plates I wanted to try, but in order to save room for my entree I decided to get just one: the Gougeres, aka French cheese puffs. Yum! Light and airy, it was just the snack I needed while sipping my mimosa, enjoying the beautiful day.

P17 French toast, stuffed with blueberries, walnuts & ricotta, corn flake crusted & deep fried, crème anglaise, blueberry coulis

P17 French toast, stuffed with blueberries, walnuts & ricotta, corn flake crusted & deep fried, crème anglaise, blueberry coulis

One of the other small plates that sounded tasty was the P17 French Toast. And, fortunately for me, my guest decided to order it instead of an entree. I’m not exactly sure what I was expecting, but it was quite different than what I had imagined. I was thinking more like small individual pieces of fried French Toast, but what came out looked (and tasted) like a dessert. It was delightful! I personally prefer to stick with more savory brunch plates, but it was great to be able to have some sweet bites in between. The best of both worlds!

Grilled asparagus, two poached eggs, lardons, frisee, citrus aioli & mustard vinaigrette, home fries

Grilled asparagus, two poached eggs, lardons, frisee, citrus aioli & mustard vinaigrette, home fries

One of the many things I love about P17 is that they were able to accommodate my vegetarian diet by making a slight adjustment to the meal I selected. I have been on an asparagus kick lately and really wanted to order the asparagus and poached egg entree, but one of the ingredients is lardons. I asked if they could omit it and was told is was no problem. So I got to order the dish I wanted, and I’m so glad it worked out because I loved it! The asparagus was grilled to perfection, and the citrus aioli & mustard vinaigrette gave it just the kick it needed. I felt that it was a fairly healthy option too, which made it even better. And it paired well with my beer, a White Ale from River North. P17 also had beers on tap from Upslope, Left Hand, and Funkwerks, as well as a handful of others in bottles & cans.

Close-up of the P17 French toast

Close-up of the P17 French toast

P17 has been added to my personal list of great brunch spots. With reasonably priced, delicious food, plenty of beverage options, and a nice patio, it’s got everything I need for a relaxing weekend meal.

Ladies: WIN TICKETS TO GOOSE ISLAND COOKING WITH BEER CLASS TOMORROW!

Attention ladies of craft beer! Tomorrow night, Tuesday June 24th, there will be a Goose Island Cooking With Beer Class at The Seasoned Chef in Denver.

Goose Island Cooking with Beer Class
Tuesday, June 24 from 5:30 – 9 PM
The Seasoned Chef in downtown Denver

Chef Dan Witherspoon will be cooking with four exquisite beers while Goose Island educator, Christina Perozzi, explains each selection with guests.

Would you like to win two tickets? All you have to do is leave a comment on this blog post and tell me your favorite Goose Island beer and what sort of food you enjoy pairing with it. This class is for females only–sorry, guys. So enter to win if you want to spend a fun, free evening learning about cooking with beer from Goose Island.

The winner will be drawn randomly and will be announced by 9 a.m. tomorrow, 6/24 (winner must contact me before noon tomorrow to claim prize). Good luck!

United Tastes of Belgium 2014: Update!

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Last week I posted about Wynkoop’s United Tastes of Belgium on July 19th. I listed many of the breweries that will be in attendance, but now it’s even more exciting. I just got the list of beers that will be poured at the event. It is going to be AMAZING!!! Click on the list below to check it out:

UToB 2014 Beer List

 

Original Post from 6/16:

It’s almost that time again! Time to taste some unique Belgian-style beers at Wynkoop‘s United Tastes of Belgium 2014.

This event will be held on Saturday, July 19th from 12:30-4:00. I was out of town last year and had to miss it, but I will definitely be in attendance this time! While the brewery list isn’t yet finalized, take a look at all the great ones already signed up:

  • Epic
  • Crooked Stave
  • Upslope
  • Strange
  • Verboten
  • Avery
  • New Belgium
  • Caution
  • Elite Brands
  • Our Mutual Friend
  • Left Hand
  • Squatters
  • Wasatch
  • Denver Beer Co.
  • Great Divide
  • Grand Teton
  • CR Goodman Brands
  • Kannah Creek
  • Elevation
  • Trve
  • Crazy Mountain
  • Oskar Blues
  • Perennial
  • Crooked Stave Brands
  • Odyssey
  • Yak n Yeti
  • Tommyknocker
  • Wynkoop
  • Stone Brewing

This is your chance to try some rare Belgians, wild ales, barrel-aged beers, and much more. And Belgian chocolates and cheese! It is just a month away, and if you buy now you can get your ticket for only $30! That is an amazing deal for unlimited samples from some of the best breweries around. Grab your tickets now. United Tastes of Belgium is always fantastic and such fun; you won’t want to miss it!

Sierra Nevada’s Beer Camp Across America

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This summer Sierra Nevada is releasing an exciting new 12-pack of collaboration beers brewed with some of America’s best breweries: Allagash, Ballast Point, Bell’s, Cigar City, Firestone Walker, New Glarus, NinkasiOskar Blues, Russian River, 3 Floyds and Victory, plus a beer from the Asheville Brewers Alliance. And, as if this concept isn’t already unique, this variety pack is the first to contain both bottles and cans. Look for it on the shelves mid-July. To celebrate this release, Sierra Nevada is taking a road trip across the country with what is sure to be one of the best festivals ever!

There will be seven stops on the tour, from mid-July to early August. The brewers who are part of the collaborations will join selective legs of the festival tour, and there will be countless other craft breweries at each event as well. In fact, Sierra Nevada invited every craft brewery in America (2800 of them!) to attend and pour their beer on one of the seven stops. To date there are approximately 700 who have signed up, and they are anticipating more than 1,300 total craft beers on tap, collectively representing almost every state in the union. Beer Camp Across America promises to be the largest craft beer celebration in history.

Over 80 Colorado breweries have signed on to take part in the historic event. The following will be at the Rocky Mountain edition taking place July 25 at Civic Center Park in Denver:

Arvada, Odyssey, Yak & Yeti, Dad & Dudes, Mu, Crazy Mountain, City Star, Asher, BJ’s, Boulder, FATE, J Wells, Mountain Sun, Redstone, Twisted Pine, Upslope, Big Choice, Wonderland, Rockyard, Bristol, Three Barrel, Baere, Blue Moon, Breckenridge, CAUTION, Colorado Cider, Comrade, Crooked Stave, Denver Beer, Denver ChopHouse, Unprecedented, Fiction Beer, Former Future, Great Divide, Hogshead, Lost Highway, Our Mutual Friend, Renegade, River North, Station 26, Strange Craft Beer, TRVE, Wynkoop, Pug Ryan’s, Bonfire, The Brew on Broadway, Black Bottle, Coopersmith’s, Horse & Dragon, New Belgium, Odell, Pateros Creek, Fort Collins, Backcountry, ACGolden, Barrels & Bottles, Kannah Creek, Crabtree, Wiley Roots, Odd13, Ironworks, 38 State, Left Hand, Gravity, Crystal Springs, Grimm Brothers, Loveland Aleworks, Verboten, Pikes Peak, Beer By Design, Elk Mountain, Hall, Elevation Beer, Telluride, CB & Potts, Rickoli, The Grand Lake, High Hops, Bier Werks & Paradox.

Click here to get tickets to the Rocky Mountain Edition in Denver on July 25th. It is going to be great! Don’t miss out!

Beer Camp Across America Schedule
Sat, July 19th: Northwest Edition at Sierra Nevada Hop Field in Chico, CA, 12-5 p.m.
Sun, July 20th: Southwest Edition at Embarcadero North in San Diego, CA, 1-6 p.m.
Fri, July 25th: Rocky Mountain Edition at Sculpture Park in Denver, CO, 5-10 p.m.
Sun, July 27th: Midwest Edition at Navy Pier in Chicago, IL, 12-5 p.m.
Fri, August 1st: New England Edition at Thompson Point in Portland, ME, 5-10 p.m.
Sat, August 2nd: Mid-Atlantic Edition at Penn Treaty Park in Philadelphia, PA,12-5 p.m.
Sun, August 3rd: Southeast Edition in Mills River, NC, 1-6 p.m.

Hard Rock Denver Adds Taps, Colorado Beers, New Menu Items & Memorabilia

Apricot Blonde from Dry Dock Brewing with a delicious nacho

Apricot Blonde from Dry Dock Brewing with a delicious nacho

I recently attended a media event at Hard Rock Cafe Denver where I got the amazing opportunity to check out their new beers on tap as well as sample several new and updated menu items.

Blue Curacao mini marg and Spinach Artichoke Dip (one of the best I’ve had!) with Parmesan Flatbread. The margarita is part of a flight of 3 called Air Mexico, which also comes with a personal portion of chips & salsa. Fun!

They now have a total of 24 taps, and over half of them are local beers. They are featuring three local breweries each month. They are currently pouring beers from Renegade, Strange, and Dry Dock; next month they will bring in beers from three different breweries. This is exciting news for Colorado beer lovers who want more variety when drinking at Hard Rock.

Grilled Chicken Arugula Salad (minus the chicken). This salad was paired with their new Red Berry Press cocktail.

There are several new items on the menu, and the Hard Rock folks were gracious enough to ensure that my guest and I got to participate in it all by catering to our vegetarian diet. We started with a yummy arugula salad, perfect for summer.

Twisted Mac & Cheese (also normally comes with chicken) and Renegade's 5:00 Afternoon Ale

Twisted Mac & Cheese (normally comes with chicken) and grilled veggies with Renegade’s 5:00 Afternoon Ale

Our next course was one of my favorite dishes: mac and cheese. I usually like mine plain with nothing extra added. But this one had roasted red peppers and I loved it! It was a good pairing, as this dish was rich and flavorful and was served with a lighter tasting beer, Renegade’s 5:00 Ale.

Fresh Vegetable Sandwich, Veggie Leggie Burger, and citrus coleslaw with Breckenridge’s Vanilla Porter

While the rest of the group was enjoying their Smokehouse Brisket, I proceeded to attempt to eat as much of the two excellent veggie sandwiches in front of me. Both were packed with fresh grilled vegetables: the burger was topped with portabellos, zucchini, yellow squash and roasted red pepper. The sandwich had all of those veggies plus asparagus, Jack cheese, and a balsamic glaze with tarragon mayo. These sandwiches were paired with Shock Top’s Pretzel Wheat. I’m on the fence about the beer, but there’s no question about the food. Vegetarians: there is plenty on the menu for you at Hard Rock!

Samples of desserts: Fresh Apple Cobbler, Hot Fudge Brownie, Oreo Cheesecake

Samples of desserts: Fresh Apple Cobbler, Hot Fudge Brownie, Oreo Cheesecake

Though I could hardly eat another bite, I of course had to at least try the desserts. And I am so glad I did! They were all delightful, but I think my favorite was the cheesecake made with Oreo pieces. In addition to all these tasty sweets, we were also treated to two different dessert-type drinks. They were both unbelievably good!!! I didn’t get good pictures of them so I’ll insert the stock photos at the end of this post.

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Everything I had was fantastic. I’m happy to know there is another spot downtown I can go to get craft beer and a delicious meal. There are more new dishes besides the ones in my post; check out their menu to see what they’ve done. And they just brought in a bunch of new memorabilia too, which is fun. I was most excited to see Jim Morrison’s boots. But there is some other interesting stuff that was added as well. unnamed Stop by Hard Rock to check out their new bar area, cocktails, craft beer, and food. They have a nice patio too, which is always a plus. I love patio weather! I will be back soon to sit outside, have a beer, and then sip on an adult milkshake. Mmmm!

Twist & Shout Shake: Bacardi Oakheart Spiced Rum, Guinness, DeKuyper Dark Creme de Cacao, chocolate syrup, vanilla ice cream and Monin Salted Caramel. Topped with whipped cream, caramel, chocolate syrup, and bacon pieces.

Twist & Shout Shake: Bacardi Oakheart Spiced Rum, Guinness, DeKuyper Dark Creme de Cacao, chocolate syrup, vanilla ice cream and Monin Salted Caramel. Topped with whipped cream, caramel, chocolate syrup, and bacon pieces.

Salted Caramel Cafe: Tia Maria, Baileys, Monin Salted Caramel, half & half, topped with whipped cream, caramel corn and caramel sauce.

Salted Caramel Cafe: Tia Maria, Baileys, Monin Salted Caramel, half & half, topped with whipped cream, caramel corn and caramel sauce.

Beer, Bubbles & Brunch: Humboldt

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Beer and brunch: a couple of my favorite things. There is almost nothing more enjoyable to me than to sleep in on the weekend and then go out for a leisurely meal (preferably on a patio), with drinks of course. And I did just that on Sunday, at Humboldt.

Nice patio

Nice patio

Humboldt has many great beverage options for brunch, such as the classic mimosa and four different types of bloody Mary, as well as several cocktails. And while they do not have any beer on tap, they do have a wide selection in bottles & cans. They definitely do their part to support Colorado breweries, offering beers from Avery, Oskar Blues, Breckenridge, Upslope, Ska, Dry Dock, Telluride, and Crazy Mountain. Depending on my mood, I usually opt for a mimosa or a good craft beer, and I take a restaurant’s beer list into consideration when deciding where to go for brunch.

Crispy Broccoli with Grana Padano, pepperoncini aioli.

Crispy Broccoli with Grana Padano, pepperoncini aioli.

I had heard good things about the Crispy Broccoli (a house favorite, as the menu states). And from my first tasteI loved it! It was the perfect appetizer to snack on while my guest and I waited on our entrees.

The omelet of the day

The omelet of the day

I had the omelet of the day: roasted zucchini and squash, basil, goat cheese, & romesco with a side of breakfast potatoes. Delicious!

Veggie Benedict

Veggie Benedict

My guest ordered the Veggie Benedict. It is on the menu as a seasonal preparation; on our visit it was a Mushroom Benedict made with portobellos and served with breakfast potatoes. I tried a bite and thought it was very tasty.

Beer & bubbles!

Beer & bubbles!

We were so full after all the yummy food and beverages. However, I absolutely cannot pass up anything with chocolate, caramel, and sea salt. So we ordered dessert. It was one of the best desserts I have ever had! Amazing.

This is to die for

This is to die for

Brunch at Humboldt was excellent. The food, service, patio, drink selection–it was all spectacular. I will be back, as there are more menu items I’d like to try. And I will definitely keep Humboldt in mind for happy hour on the patio too!

Exciting Craft Beer News at The Rio!

R&R MPA, a Mexican Pale Ale by Renegade Brewing

R&R MPA, a Mexican Pale Ale by Renegade Brewing.

I have been a fan of the Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant since first moving to Colorado 15 years ago. I’ve always enjoyed their margaritas, food, patios, and atmosphere. And now, as a craft beer drinker, there is even more to love. All six of the Rio’s locations have (or soon will) at least one beer on tap that was created exclusively for them by a local brewery.

Veggie Quesadilla

Veggie Quesadilla

The Ft. Collins location was the first to tap these special beers, by Odell and Coopersmith’s. Coopersmith’s brewed Rio Trigo, a wheat beer with blood oranges. And Odell created Battalion, a tequila barrel-aged imperial stout with dark chocolate, cinnamon, house-roasted poblanos and dried chipotles, as well as Sangre de Chueco, a tequila barrel-aged  imperial Vienna lager with agave nectar, blood oranges, and lime. The Rio in Denver recently tapped Renegade’s R&R MPA, a Mexican Pale Ale made with El Dorado hops, a full-flavored citrus forward pale.

Mexican beers and local beers on tap

Mexican beers and local beers on tap

The other four locations will soon tap the beers that have been brewed for them. At this point the breweries involved are: Lone Tree Brewing (at the Lone Tree Rio), Sanitas Brewing (Boulder), and Wiley Roots Brewing (Greeley). The Steamboat location does not yet have a brewery partner finalized, but it is in the works.

While these breweries are currently participating in this new craft beer program, The Rio is also open to working with other local breweries as well.  It is great to see Colorado companies supporting each other. I absolutely love this idea and am looking forward to trying as many of these new creations as possible!

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