Colorado Beer Girl

A blog focusing on Colorado beer, breweries, bars, beer & food pairings, restaurants with craft beer, beer events & more

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Watch Hard Rock Denver’s BARocker Competition on 11/18!


Hard Rock International is shining the spotlight on the brand’s talented bartenders for Hard Rock’s third annual global BARocker competition, which calls on Hard Rock bartenders from around the world to showcase their top-notch bartending skills for the chance to be named Hard Rock’s best BARocker of 2015. 


At 6 p.m. on Wednesday, November 18, Hard Rock Cafe Denver will host its local round of this global competition, featuring the cafe’s talented bartenders who will be judged by a panel of industry experts. Competitors will be evaluated on several elements, including recipe knowledge, pour testing, accuracy, speed, flair and showmanship. Spectators are encouraged to attend, and maybe learn a few tricks, just in time for holiday gatherings. 


The first place winner of Hard Rock Cafe Denver’s BARocker competition will advance to the next round for a chance to win an all-expenses-paid getaway to one of Hard Rock’s resort properties. 

Henry’s Tavern: 100 Beers on Tap & So Many Tasty Dishes!

My first visit to a Henry’s Tavern was this summer in Portland, Oregon. I was at the airport, looking for a place with a good beer selection where I could get a bite before heading back to Denver. That’s when I happened upon Henry’s: lots of local craft beers, and an appetizer called Gorgonzola Waffle Fries. I was sold. I sat down and relaxed with an Oregon beer and thoroughly enjoyed a huge plate of gorgonzola fries. The next day, I was already craving the fries. Shortly thereafter, I got news that Henry’s was opening a location in Denver. And I was excited!

Myrcenary Double IPA from Odell

Myrcenary Double IPA from Odell

Henry’s Tavern opened in September at 500 16th Street Unit 184B (in the Denver Pavilions), and it’s a great place for people like me, who love craft beer and tasty eats.

Henry’s has 100 beers on tap, about half of which are local. On my recent visit to Denver Henry’s, I decided to start with an Odell Myrcenary Double IPA (one of my favorite Colorado beers) while I looked over the menu. Since it was my first time truly dining there, I wanted to try a variety of dishes.

A cup of Henry's Beer Cheddar Soup

A cup of Henry’s Beer Cheddar Soup

Sometimes finding enough vegetarian options can be a challenge, but this was certainly not the case at Henry’s. I found appetizers, salads, pizzas, a veggie burger, stir fry and lots more. One thing I always look for is beer-cheese soup. I find it often, though it’s usually made with chicken stock, so I’m not able to eat it. But Henry’s Beer Cheddar Soup is vegetarian friendly, which was a pleasant surprise. Thick, rich and full of flavor, it also worked well as an additional dip for my giant pretzel.

Grilled Whole Romaine Caesar Salad

Grilled Whole Romaine Caesar Salad

I’m not usually much of a salad eater. But when I saw “Grilled Whole Romaine Caesar” on the menu, I knew I had to try it. The grilled lettuce really added a certain zest that I found far more enjoyable than a traditional salad. It was truly delicious–best salad I’ve ever had!

Twisted Giant Bavarian Soft Pretzel with Porter Mustard & Creamy Gorgonzola

Twisted Giant Bavarian Soft Pretzel with Porter Mustard & Creamy Gorgonzola

I love soft pretzels; they are one of my favorite things to pair with a beer of any style. The Giant Bavarian Soft Pretzel was hot and fresh with just the right amount of salt. I was happy that I got to choose two sauces at no extra cost. The Creamy Gorgonzola sauce was phenomenal! It’s the same sauce used for the gorgonzola fries, which I already loved.

Henry’s Traditional Mac & Cheese with a Wookey Jack from Firestone Walker

With 100 beers on tap, it’s never a problem to find something good to order. While I had a Colorado beer to start, for my second I went with a Firestone Walker Wookey Jack Black Rye IPA. This slightly smoky beer went well with the creamy, garlicky Mac & Cheese.

One item that caught my eye is the Mac & Cheese Burger: yes, a burger topped with Mac & cheese! (as well as cheddar ale sauce, applewood smoked bacon, garlic mayo, lettuce, tomato, onion and pickles). It sounds like such a fun meal! If anyone has tried it, please let me know how it was.

Henry’s has an excellent of local and non-local craft beers, an extensive food menu, and the patio is perfect for people-watching. If you haven’t been, consider checking it out for your next happy hour or dinner.

What I’m looking forward to next time: Tempura Fried Cheese Curds.

Holiday Gift Guide for the Beer Lover

Just some of the Maps Glassware products. See #3 on the list for more information.

Just some of the Maps Glassware products. See #3 on the list for more information.

It’s not too early to get a jump on your holiday shopping. And if your list includes a beer lover or two, take a look at these ideas which are sure to please the beer enthusiast in your life. Or maybe you’d even like to add a little something for yourself! No matter what your price range you can find affordable gifts on this list, from under $15 up to $195. Take a look at all these wonderful gift ideas.

The ManCan

1.) ManCan makes the perfect gift because:

· Take it anywhere! Whether you are tailgating, camping, fishing, or heading to your friends for a BBQ, you will never worry about breaking your growler with the indestructible ManCan.

· Always a Fresh Glass! Never worry about your beer going flat again. In a traditional glass growler, your favorite craft beer goes flat within 1 day of opening it, but ManCan preserves the unique characteristics of the craft beer you sought out to share with friends and family.

· Perfect Fit! The ManCan 128 is a full gallon of beer that fits in the door of the fridge. The stainless steel, keg-style growler alternative is designed to preserve the quality of craft beer and can be filled at most breweries. With its patented threaded cap that seals in carbonation and locks out air, the ManCan 128 keeps beer brewery-fresh for weeks, unlike a traditional growler.

· The ManCan 128 is a brewery in your fridge, or wherever you want to take it. ($195 at http://www.ManCan.Beer)



The Arctican, $19.95

2.) The Arctican by Corkcicle

This is the last can cooler you will ever need. Arctican keeps 12-ounce drinks cold without making your hands cold. Simply freeze the cooling core, twist it on and enjoy ice-cold drinks for up to 3 hours. Arctican keeps canned drinks cooler, longer — 85% cooler than an average koozie. Made of double-wall stainless steel with a vacuum seal means cold stays in and warm stays out – keeping drinks cold. What better way to treat yourself than a good, cold beer. Retail: $19.95


Many cities and glass styles available. Maps Glassware starts at $12.50

3.) Maps Glassware from the UncommonGreen

What is Maps Barware by theUncommonGreen? Think of a map of your favorite city, etched in glass, creating a unique design and pattern. Except that piece of glass is actually a piece of classic glassware. Each intricately designed map wraps entirely around the glass and extends from top to bottom, achieving a striking effect that makes any beverage more fun to prepare, serve, and drink. And because the map is engraved into the surface of the glass, the result is a work of art that has a truly unique look and feel, and is designed to last a lifetime. 

Each piece of glassware from theUncommonGreen is meticulously designed and made right here in the USA. Featuring beautiful maps of major cities throughout the US and around the world, you can say that theUncommonGreen is as all American as a company can be.


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The Craft Beer Bites Cookbook, $15.92 on

4.) The Craft Beer Bites Cookbook by Jacquelyn Dodd (Note: Craft Beer Bites is her latest cookbook, but I also recommend her first one, The Craft Beer Cookbook).

The Craft Beer Bites Cookbook takes your favorite brewpub grub and kicks it up a notch. From Buffalo Chicken Beer Cheese Dip to Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Chocolate Stout Cream Cheese Frosting, each recipe captures the complex flavors of a perfectly balanced brew, allowing you to savor the nutty notes in an American brown ale or the zesty bite of an IPA. Complete with dozens of color photographs, this book shows you how to incorporate your true love into every bite-sized snack with 100 craft beer recipes, such as:
-Hawaiian IPA Pulled-Pork Sliders
-Belgian Ale–Marinated Grilled Steak Crostini with IPA Chimichurri
-Beer-Battered Shrimp with Chipotle Lime Dipping Sauce
-Grilled Barbeque Chicken and Peach Mini Pizzas
-Peanut Butter Stout Mousse–Topped Brownies


How to Host a Beer Tasting Party in Your Own Home, $29.99

5.) How to Host a Beer Tasting Party in Your Own Home kit

Whether you’re a brew master or just a beer lover who loves to throw a party, this complete kit is for you. Carlo Devito’s How To Host a Beer Tasting Party In Your Own Home kit contains everything you’ll need to host a beer tasting in your own home. A beer-tasting party is fun and educational for everyone from novices to serious craft beer or microbrew drinkers. Within this all-inclusive kit are the elements to be a terrific host – including beer bottle covers, tasting notepads, a beer-aroma wheel, sampling glasses, beer-and-food wheel, and an entertaining and informative book that introduces you to the ins and outs of wine in a comfortable, festive, social setting – your own home. So grab some glasses, start pouring, and let’s have a party!

Includes all the brew-tasting party essentials: 64-page book with full-color photography, Beer-aroma wheel, Beer-and-food chart, 20 craft paper beer bottle covers, 4 tasting notepads, Four 2oz glasses for sampling.

Pinup Calendar, $25

Pinup Calendar, $25

6.) The 2016 Women of Colorado Craft Breweries Pinup Calendar by Copper Penny Photography

The 2016 Women of Colorado Craft Breweries Pinup Calendar features Women from 12 Craft Breweries and One Cidery in this years Calendar. The Calendar also offers $70 worth of free beer at all 13 locations featured in the calendar!


Fizzics, $169.99 on

7.) Fizzics World’s first personal beer system that delivers expertly poured draught beer

  • Revolutionary, portable beer system delivers a draft quality experience from any store-bought, off-the-shelf beer
  • Employs high-frequency sound waves and oscillation to pour a dense, long-lasting head, resulting in a rich, creamy foam that enhances the texture, aroma and flavor of beer
  • First beer dispensing system that provides users complete control, allowing them to choose their favorite level of foam for each beer
  • Compatible with all standard size cans and bottles  including “Bombers” (22-oz bottle package format) and cans from 16-oz “Tall Boys” to 32-oz “Man Cans” or 64-oz growlers, and requires no expensive consumable or proprietary keg or accessories
  • Lightweight and durable for maximum portability at a mere 3.5 pounds
  • Enhances flavor of all beer styles, including IPA’s, Hefeweizens, Pilsners, Brown Ales, Lagers, Stouts, Porters, etc.
  • Anti-microbial drip mat and system canister separate for easy cleaning
  • Powered by (4) AA batteries
Beer Food and Flavor

Beer, Food, and Flavor, $14.48 on

8.) BEER, FOOD, and FLAVOR: A Guide to tasting, Pairing, and the Culture of Craft Beer by Schuyler Schultz 

An authoritative guide to exploring the diverse array of flavors found in craft beer—and the joys of pairing those flavors with great food. Featuring new breweries and other recent developments in the world of craft beer, this beautifully illustrated book explores how craft beer can be integrated into the new American food movement, with an emphasis on local and sustainable production.

“From lessons in cheese-and-brew pairings to sketching a menu for a multi-course, beer-pairing dinner party . . . [this] excellent, 300-page guide to beer and food is a steal.” — 

Learn about the top craft breweries in your region, seek out new beer styles and specialty brews with confidence, create innovative menus, and pair craft beer with fine food, whether at home or while dining out. 

Pint Glass, $49.99 for a set of 4

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Pub Glass, $54.99 for a set of 4

9.) PubWARE Unbreakable Drinkware

PubWARE Pints and Pub Glasses, the best thing to happen to beer drinkers since the keg. PubWARE is a new line from SymGLASS comprised of unbreakable drinkware that looks and feels like real glass, but won’t crack, discolor, haze or cloud like acrylic or polycarbonate alternatives. Designed for both commercial and residential use, Pubware Pints and Pub Glasses can withstand the harshest of conditions in pubs, bars and restaurants. They are BPA-free, dishwasher-safe, microwave-safe and made in the USA.

Manufactured using a proprietary molding process, PubWARE’s Pints (16 oz.) and Pub Glasses (20 oz.) “frost up” better than traditional glass with insulation properties that keep beverages colder longer and won’t “sweat” on the outside. They can be placed into the freezer immediately after coming out of a dishwasher, with no cool-down period required.

Beer poured into a PubWARE Pint or Pub Glass won’t foam up too quickly, like it will when poured into most plastic cups. PubWARE allow a beer’s head to form exactly like a traditional glass will. PubWARE discovered that many times during product trials when beer was served to a beer rep or brewer, they didn’t immediately recognize they were drinking from something other than a traditional glass pint.

Gardening for the Homebrewer, $16.02 on

Gardening for the Homebrewer, $16.02 on

10.) Gardening for the Homebrewer: Grow and Process Plants for Making Beer, Wine, Gruit, Cider, Perry, and More by Wendy Tweten and Debbie Teashon

There’s no feeling quite like cooking with home-grown carrots or grabbing a fresh handful of cilantro from your own yard. Well, unless you’re growing fruits, vegetables, or grains for brewing that is. Gardening for the Homebrewer is an introduction to the wide variety of plants that you can use for fermentations or infusions. Learn how to tell if your yard is a perfect site for barley or whether it’s better suited to a fragrant collection of herbs. Learn how to grow, dry, and store fresh hops. Or go off the beaten path and grow everything you need for your first gruit, cider, perry, or fruit wine. Have just a balcony or a windowsill? No problem! A variety of plant recommendations will suit gardeners of all types, even ones with limited space.

The Definitive Guide to Beer Glasses

I received this cool infographic from Corr Chilled that I wanted to share.

The Definitive Guide to Beer Glasses

Check it out!

Infographic contributed by Corr Chilled

Infographic contributed by Corr Chilled

November Beer Events

  • spacer Thur., Nov. 5, 6:30 p.m.: Dogfish Head Craft Brewery Satellite Taproom at the West End Tavern (926 Pearl St., Boulder).
    Guests will get the chance to taste a full lineup from Dogfish Head and meet the brewers themselves, live and in person.

Left Hand

  • Fri., Nov. 6, 6:30-9:30 p.m.: An Evening with Left Hand Brewing Company at Baur’s Restaurant and Listening Lounge (1512 Curtis St., Denver).
    Baur’s is partnering with Left Hand Brewing Company for a beer and food pairing dinner on Thursday, Nov. 6 at 6:30 p.m. – the second in their series of beer pairing dinners. The evening includes a 5 course meal with beer pairings, culinary demonstrations, time with Left Hand Brewing Company’s brew master, and a Q&A. The event is $50 per person (includes tax and gratuity).


  • Fri., Nov. 6, 6-10 p.m.: Never Summer & Breckenridge Brewery Opening Day Party at Punch Bowl Social (65 Broadway, Denver).
    This free parking lot party includes snowboard and swag giveaways, live art and music featuring Nuns of Brixton (The Clash cover band), special showing of the Never Summer movie “This Aint a Movie” at 9pm, free board waxing from 7Twenty Board Shop, plus a mechanical bull, sledge hammer game, bowling and more.
    Come by early and grab your spot, plus catch the Punch Bowl Social happy hour from 3pm6pm to enjoy sweet cilantro wings, deviled eggs and cauliflower nachos with your choice of Old Man Cans for $2 (think PBR, Olympia and Miller Highlife).

  • Sat., Nov. 7, 6-9 p.m.: The Denver Bacon and Beer Brewer’s Dinner at The Lobby (2191 Arapahoe St., Denver).
    An intimate evening featuring five breweries and restaurants from the Denver Bacon and Beer Festival. The Denver Bacon and Beer Brewer’s Dinner will pair five chefs and five breweries for a meat filled evening. The Denver Bacon and Beer Brewer’s Dinner benefits Metro Caring and Project Angel Heart. 
    Welcome Beer
    Great Divide Brewing Company Fresh Hop:
    Fresh Hop is a labor of love meant to be enjoyed today. Brewed in the fall with wet, whole cone hops from the Pacific Northwest, Fresh Hop is the embodiment of seasonality.  Savoring this delightful pale ale during harvest season ensures that its unparalleled grassy, citrus hop brilliance will remain uncompromised. 6.1% ABV, 55 IBUs
    Course 1
    Block & Larder – Chef Lucas Forgy
    Purple Potato Causa with chilled salmon with house made bacon salad with The Post Brewing Company Townie Ale:
    Townie balances the rough and the smooth with an attitude that is never out of place. This beer delivers an amazing, complex hop aroma and flavor with a smooth malt backbone that will leave you wanting more. 6.2% ABV
    Course 2
    Euclid Hall Bar & Kitchen – Executive Chef Jake Grant
    Ham salad “sandwich” with cured pork belly, pumpernickel croutons, aioli, dried fruit and arugula with Wit’s End Brewing Company Jean-Claude Van Blond:
    Jean-Claude Van Blond is inspired by the action hero in all of us. It features a Belgian yeast strain and is built on a lighter malt profile with just a touch of oats for a silky body and some additional depth.
    Course 3
    Second Home Kitchen + Bar – Executive Chef David Anderson
    Crispy Razor Clam “Chowder” with Semolina crusted razor clams, braised Tender Belly bacon, poached potatoes, celery, clam + bacon broth with Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project Colorado Wild Sage:
    A Brett Saison incorporating fresh herbs, including white sage and lemongrass, as well as other rotating herbs foraged from the Rocky Mountains. 7.2% ABV
    Course 4
    The Lobby – Sous Chefs Lance Esparza and Steve Daniher
    Beer Belly with hop cured confit pork belly over mashed potatoes and beer sautéed kale topped with brussel sprout leaves and liquid gold with Spangalang Brewery Ms. Behavin’:
    Big malt character, balanced American hop profile, combo of dark fruit and subtle spice in the nose. 9% ABV, 35 IBUs
    Course 5
    MAX’s Wine Dive  – Executive Chef Kevin Savoy and Sous Chef Mike Jacoby
    Vanilla porter pound cake with peanut butter and banana gelato with candied bacon with Call To Arms Brewing Company Oats and Hose:
    Oatmeal porter with huge mouthfeel, yet incredibly drinkable. Rich flavor notes of chocolate covered cherries, with light sweetness. 5.25% ABV


  • Sun., Nov. 8, 2:30-5 p.m.: Bacon and Beer Festival at The Glitter Dome (3600 Wynkoop St., Denver).
    Sunday afternoon, bring your appetite to the Denver Bacon and Beer Festival at The Glitter Dome (3600 Wynkoop St., Denver CO) from 2:30 – 5:00 p.m. The fourth annual festival will feature more than 50 restaurants and breweries.


  • Mon., Nov. 9, 7 p.m.: Holiday Beer Dinner at BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse (10446 Town Center Drive, Westminster).
    The holidays mark a time to celebrate with friends and family. They also bring us some of the best seasonal offerings from craft breweries. We invite you to sample some of our favorite winter seasonals from around the country, each paired with delicious BJ’s menu items. 

Warm-Up Beer: BJ’s Annual Grand Cru

Course 1

Clam Chowder paried with St. Bernardus Christmas Ale

Course 2

NEW Root Beer Glazed Ribs paired with Lagunitas Brown Shugga’ and BJ’s Handcrafted Root Beer

Palate Cleanser: Anchor Winter Wheat

Course 3

Shrimp and Asparagus Penne paired with Samuel Smith’s Winter Welcome Ale

Palate Cleanser: Samuel Adams Merry Maker

Course 4

Cookies ‘n’ Cream Pizookie with Kona Pipeline Porter



  • Wed., Nov. 11, 4 p.m.-close: Veteran’s Day at The Post Brewing Co. (105 W. Emma St., Lafayette).
    Calling all Vets! Join us at The Post this November 11. All veterans will receive 2 pieces of chicken and a Howdy or Townie can. Thanks for you service!


  • Thur., Nov. 12, 6:30-9:30 p.m.: Beer Pairing Dinner with Golden City Brewery at Colorado Plus Brewpub (6995 West 38th Ave., Wheat Ridge).
    Join us once again for another special night with one of our favorite local breweries. We let our Chefs really have fun and showcase their talents in this 5 course, 5 beer pairing dinner. The brewer and the chef share their knowledge between each course, explaining their craft, and why the dish and beer are a match. We have always had great success with these and they are something to look forward to each and every time. Seats are limited, and go quickly so call or come in and purchase a seat today! $50/ person. Tax and gratuity not inluded.

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  • Tue., Nov. 17, 6-8 p.m.: Dumb Friends League Yappy Hour at Ratio Beerworks (2920 Larimer St., Denver).
    The first in a series of 3 Holiday Yappy Hours, $1 of every beer sold benefits the Dumb Friends League. All breweries are dog friendly, and all Yappy Hours will feature drink specials, cool giveaways and holiday festivities. Get a collectible “Hoppy Holidays” pint glass for $10 at any of our Yappy Hours. Together, we are saving lives…one pint at a time.


  • Wed., Nov. 18, 8-10 p.m.: Movember at Rock Bottom Downtown Denver (1001 16th St., Unit A-100, Denver).
    We mustache you a question, oh wait–we’ll shave it for later. Man party with man games and prizes for the best ‘stache.

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  • Thur., Nov. 19, 7-10 p.m.: Chef & Brew Festival at Exdo Event Center (1399 35th Street, Denver).
    Enjoy dishes from over 20 different restaurants with over 50 unique beers.  Each ticket includes an Exclusive Chef & Brew Belgian Beer Glass and unlimited access to beer and food.  VIP Tickets include 1 hour early entry and signature festival T-shirt.  Once you’ve tasted all the pairings you get to vote for the overall winner!


  • Fri., Nov. 20, 6-9 p.m.: MMMixer: craft cocktail + culinary pairing event at Mile High Station (2027 Old West Colfax Avenue, Denver). Note: While this isn’t a “beer event” I still wanted to share, as it features local spirits and fare.
    In the spirit of BrüFrou, the inaugural autumn MMMixer will feature exquisite cocktails from Colorado’s finest whiskey distillers paired with expertly created one-bite dishes from top local eateries. Every single cocktail is perfectly paired with a chef-created one-bite dish to excite your epicurean senses.


  • Sat., Nov. 21, 12-4 p.m.: Day of Darks at Wynkoop Brewing (1634 18th St., Denver).
    Whether you have facial hair or just love a good Guinness foam stache, it’s time to “shave the date” for Wynkoop’s Day of Darks showcase of dark beers! 
    Dozens of breweries will bring in their “stache” of dark beer to the Wynkoop on Nov. 21, with 100% of ticket proceeds going to support the Movember Foundation, benefiting men’s health. Your ticket gets you a commemorative glass for unlimited dark beer tastings, chocolates and chocolate desserts to accompany mo’ dark beers than you can imagine.


Deschutes Pop-Up Pub Comes to Denver this Sat., 10/17!

This Pop-Up Pub from Deschutes Brewery is happening this Saturday, Oct. 17, 2-10 p.m. in Denver! Please come out and join the fun while supporting Bicycle Colorado. Free to attend, and all proceeds are donated to Bicycle Colorado.


Deschutes Brewery’s Street Pub Sets Up Shop in Denver

“Crafted for Community,” this one-day-only event in the Mile High City raises money for local nonprofit, Bicycle Colorado


September 22, 2015 – Bend, Oregon – Deschutes Brewery is excited to bring their pop-up pub of epic proportions to Denver on Saturday, October 17.  The ultimate craft beer block party, this 402-foot custom bar will be pouring beers from 40 taps in downtown Denver. At each of its national stops, Deschutes Brewery donates 100 percent of the proceeds from Street Pub to local nonprofits and so far has raised more than $240,000 in 2015. In Denver, Deschutes Brewery has teamed up with Bicycle Colorado, a nonprofit organization that encourages and promotes bicycling, increases safety, improves conditions and provides a voice for bicyclists in Colorado.

Not only will there be a huge selection of Deschutes Brewery beers flowing from the Street Pub’s multitude of taps, but there will be great food to pair with it. Deschutes Brewery’s corporate executive chef, Jeff Usinowicz, will be teaming up with local Denver chefs Jake Grant of Euclid Hall and Carrie Baird of Brazen to create some dishes that complement the many beers being served (think everything from the easy-drinking Mirror Pond Pale Ale all the way to the big and bold flavors of The Abyss).

This family-friendly event will also feature activities for the kids, special samplings and an amazing live, local music lineup that includes Red Fox Run, The Outliers, Emily Clark & The Passing Fancy, and headlining act Fox Street.

Deschutes Brewery Street Pub’s grand opening is also its final night, so make sure to be there for this one day only event! 

When: Saturday, October 17th, 2-10pm

Where: Downtown Denver: 21st Street from Blake to Larimer

 Admission: Free for all ages

After Denver, the Street Pub has just one more stop in its 2015 national tour: Sacramento, CA on November 14.

For more information on each stop visit or follow the conversation at #StreetPub.


Thirsty Lion’s Fall Dishes, Seasonal Beers

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As a beer lover, I know there is always something on tap for me at Thirsty Lion. Its 52 taps has something for every beer drinker: ambers, IPAs, lagers, saisons, stouts and more. And while I typically stick with the same few beers when I stop in, I am always excited to see what’s new when the seasonal fresh sheet makes its appearance. The Fall Fresh Sheet came out, I knew it was time for another visit.

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Pan Seared Shishito Peppers with Chipotle Aioli. Paried with a Yeti Imperial Stout from Great Divide.

I wanted to try the new Shishito Peppers, but I can’t seem to visit Thirsty Lion without getting the pretzel with beer cheese fondue (which is on the regular menu). So I decided to start with both!

I’m never sure how hot shishito peppers might be, so I usually pair them with a stout, as a dark beer helps tame the heat. And the hint of smokiness complements the peppers’ blistered skin. Great Divide’s Yeti Imperial Stout was just the beer for this dish. Note: these peppers were very approachable; they were not too spicy, which allowed me to really enjoy the flavor.

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Brick Oven Baked Soft Pretzel with Amber Ale Fondue. Paired with a Märzen from Prost Brewing.

The decision about which beer to have with the pretzel was an easy one. What goes better with a soft pretzel than a traditional German lager? So I selected Prost Brewing’s Märzen, one of the fall seasonals.

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Margherita Pizza paired with an Autumn Ale from Breckenridge Brewery.

For the main course I ordered a Margherita Pizza (off Thirsty Lion’s regular menu) and a Breckenridge Autumn Ale (seasonal). The slightly sweet flavor of the ale went well with the pizza, and the mouthfeel of this full-bodied beer accentuated the chewiness of the crust and cheese.

Caramel Apple Cheesecake paired with a Shake Chocolate Porter from Boulder Beer.

Caramel Apple Cheesecake paired with a Shake Chocolate Porter from Boulder Beer.

After my meal I was ready for something sweet. I was in the mood for chocolate, but I absolutely had to try the new Caramel Apple Cheesecake. So I developed a plan: pair the cheesecake with a Shake Chocolate Porter! And it was perfect! The creaminess of the beer and the cake were a winning combination.

Since I am vegetarian there are many more fall dishes available that I wasn’t able to try. Here are some of the other items on the seasonal fresh sheet (which runs through early December):

Seared Atlantic Sea Scallops, Pomegranate, Spinach & Pancetta Salad, Fennel Sausage & Sundried Tomato Pizza, and Black Berry BBQ Pork Tenderloin.

Seasonal beers on tap are Woodchuck Fall Apple Cider, Breckenridge Autumn Ale, Elysian Night Owl Pumpkin Ale, Prost Märzen, Lefthand Oktoberfest and Leinenkugel Harvest Patch Shandy. And new cocktail items include a Pear Martini and Bulleit Rye Old Fashioned.

Fennel Sausage & Sundried Tomato Pizza

Fennel Sausage & Sundried Tomato Pizza

Don’t miss these fall drinks and dishes; they are available now through early December.

Denver Gets Funky with Sam Adams

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Jim Koch toasts two of the 2015 winners of the Sam Adams LongShot American Homebrew Competition at the Quench Your Own Thirst brunch in Denver last week.

Denver is an amazing place to be during the week of the Great American Beer Festival. In fact, it is the place to be. Craft beer enthusiasts and breweries alike travel from all over the country to attend this legendary event. And what happens when breweries and the people who love their beer come together in one place for an entire week is extraordinary.

Most craft beer drinkers are familiar with Samuel Adams‘ flagship beer, Boston Lager. And rightfully so, consdering it’s been around since 1984. But I have found that many people aren’t familiar with a lot of the other Sam Adams beers that, at least for me personally, are some of the most truly outstanding beers they brew.


GABF is the perfect opportunity for breweries to showcase the best of the best, and that’s just what the Sam Adams crew did last week in Denver. In fact, Denver was chosen as one of the locations lucky enough to be on the Kosmic Mother Funk (KMF) Grand Cru Tour. KMF Grand Cru, an American Wild Ale, is tart and funky, and is my favorite Sam Adams beer. Note to other cities: click this link to see if you’re up next, as the tour continues through December. (I’m looking at you, Portland, Seattle, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Austin…and several others).

In addition to having the good fortune of KMF Grand Cru, there were plenty of other rare and seasonal beers to be had, both at GABF as well as at tap takeovers around town. A few examples include American Kriek (from the Barrel Room Collection), small batch beer Fat Jack Double Pumpkin, and of course Utopias, a limited release.

If you enjoy craft beer and solely think of “Boston Lager” when you hear the name Sam Adams, I implore you to branch out and try some of the other interesting things they are doing. If you’re into IPAs, check out the Rebel Family. Prefer a beer that’s fit for the current weather? The seasonals have you covered whether it’s 9 or 90 degrees outside. If you like aged beers, the Barrel Room Collection is calling your name. In short, whatever your style, it’s likely that Sam Adams has a beer (or two, or three…) for you.

October Beer Events


  • Sat., Oct. 3, 12-4 p.m.: 10th Annual Falling Rock Fresh Hop Festival at Falling Rock Tap House (1919 Blake St., Denver). Hop growers have about 24 hours to get hops from the farm to the brewery’s drying kiln before they start showing signs of spoiling. When these hops connect with the wort within that 24-hour window, then you get yourself one good fresh beer! These beers are exciting because every beer is different, all have varied levels of hoppy flavor, and are super exclusive due to the fresh hop process. The majority of the beers at this festival will come from Colorado, but you may see a few out-of-state guests.
  • Oct. 4-9: Harvest Week 2015 at The GrowHaus (4751 York Street, Denver). The epitome of an independent restaurant collaboration returns for the 2015 edition! Dinners will take place all week long. Each night a group of 5+ chefs / restaurants will come together to create pop-up parties at the GrowHaus—an urban garden. Every day includes a full bar, copious amounts of food, and endless amounts of fun. All the festivities of the week go to support EatDenver and the Growhaus. **Of particular interest may be the Grapes vs. Grains event on Wed., Oct. 7: With every course, the Colorado Brewer’s Guild and the Colorado Association for Viticulture & Enology pour their best offerings of Colorado beer and wine. Patrons vote after every course as to which pairing tasted better** 
  • Sat., Oct. 10, 12-3 p.m. (1st session), 4-7 p.m. (2nd session): 2nd Annual Haunted Brew Fest at Colorado Springs Event Center (3960 Palmer Park Blvd., Colorado Springs). 40 breweries, 100 different beers, live entertainment, free prizes, discount tickets to Ghouls Gulch Haunted House.


  • Sat., Oct. 10, 12-6 p.m.: Brews and Bluegrass at City Hall ( 1144 Broadway, Denver). Who doesn’t love live music and great beer?! Brews and Bluegrass is presented by New Imagage Brewing to benefit Project Helping, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization working to create joy in the lives of people living with depression. Tickets are $25 and will include three beers. Additional drinks at the event will be cash bar.
  • Sat., Oct. 17, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.: The Grand Coffee Bazaar at Our Mutual Friend parking lot (2810 Larimer St., Denver). The event will feature tastings from 15 featured Colorado coffee roasters, multiple breakfast-focused food trucks, morning libations, and a specialty coffee bar. Your ticket includes unlimited coffee sampling, small bites from food trucks and coffee shops, a specialty coffee drink, morning cocktail or beer, and a keepsake mug. What else could you possibly want on a Saturday morning? 


  • Sat., Oct. 24, 1-4 p.m. and 7-10 p.m.: Country Beer Fest at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds.  80+ Colorado Craft Beers to taste:
    • Check the list on our Breweries Page
    • Three full hours of tasting (Four for VIPs)!
    • Live Country and Bluegrass music!
    • Great Games
    • Cool Vendors
    • Prize Giveaways
    • Plus even more surprises!

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  • Tue., Oct. 27, 7-9 p.m.: Barley’s Angels “Preview Crazy Mountain Brewing’s New Denver Facility” at Crazy Mountain Brewing (471 Kalamath St., Denver). Crazy Mountain Brewing has invited Barley’s Angels female beer group to preview its new facility in Denver before it opens to the public. The full amount of the ticket price is payable here and includes your selections from 12 taps of their beer, as well as snacks and sweets.


  • Thur., Oct. 29, 6:30-9:30 p.m.: Beethoven and Brews at Breckenridge Colorado Craft (2220 Blake St., Denver). Enjoy an exclusive beer tasting paired with light hors d’oeuvres and the sounds of a Colorado Symphony small ensemble performed in a casual setting. Beethoven and Brews features an ensemble performance and four 4 oz. samples of beer from your favorite local breweries. Additional beverage and a signature Beethoven and Brews pint glasses are also available for purchase.


  • Thur., Oct. 29, 6:30 p.m.: Dia de Los Muertos Beer Dinner at Kachina Southwest Grill (10600 Westminster Blvd., Westminster). On Thursday, October 29th at 6:30pm, Kachina Southwestern Grill honors those who have passed with a Dia de Los Muertos themed dinner in honor of the Mexican celebration to remember the dead. Kachina teams up with local brewery Grimm Brothers Brewhouse to pair unique beers with a four-course dinner. Highlights include Striped Bass + Ahi Tuna Ceviche with 3 Golden Hairs Pilsner Michelada;Pan Seared Diver Scallops with Snow Drop Kottbusser Ale; and Pork Adobada Tostada with Little Red Cap Alt Style Ale.


  • Sat., Oct. 31, 12-4 p.m. (11 a.m. for VIP): Fall Back Beer Fest at the Estes Park Event Center (1125 Rooftop Way, Estes Park). Held each year on the day we turn the clocks back, Fall Back Beer Fest is not only a celebration of beer, but also the people who make it. Returning for its third year, FBBF not only has exciting new additions, but this year we “fall back” on Halloween! Be sure to check out what’s new, including our Halloween celebration! 


  • Sat., Oct. 31, 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m.: Baur’s All Hallow’s Eve Brunch at Baur’s Restaurant and Listening Lounge (1512 Curtis St., Denver). Baur’s is serving brunch from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. All kids will receive a free pumpkin to carve at Baur’s. The pumpkins will be entered into a Jack-o-lantern contest for a chance to win $100 Baur’s gift certificate, prizes, candy and more. Kids 10 and under eat free with the purchase of an adult meal. Adults can look forward to Halloween drink specials created by Brittany Wangsness who was just named to the Zagat 30 Under 30 list, including the Meaty Maria, a unique twist on a Bloody Mary topped with charcuterie from Baur’s Chef’s Counter for $8.
  • Sat., Oct. 31, 8 p.m.-1 a.m.: Baur’s Dead Sexy Dance Party at Baur’s Restaurant and Listening Lounge (1512 Curtis St., Denver). On Saturday, Oct. 31, guests are invited to put on their best “dead sexy” costume and join Baur’s for a night of music and Halloween tricks and treats including:
  • Dance to DJ Son of Dog from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.
  • Enjoy a Halloween buffet with house made charcuterie and spooky snacks.
  • Try signature Halloween cocktails including the La Calavera Catrina, a classic clear English milk punch-style drink, whose name loosely translates to ‘elegant skeleton’ and The Zombie featuring Orange Oleosaccrum infused Plantation 5-year rum, Bacardi Limon Rum, Plantation Pineapple Rum, Velvet Falernum, house made Grenadine, grapefruit juice and lime juice. 
  • Enter the costume contest for a chance to win a $100 gift certificate from Baur’s and other prizes. 
  • Ongoing during the month of October at Colorado Rock Bottom locations: Colorado’s Classice Burger & a True Pint for Just $10. Rock Bottom’s Classic Burger begins with our handcrafted fresh signature burgers, made from Certified Angus Beef®, seasoned and cooked to your liking and served on a toasted bun. Classic Burgers are topped with cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles and a red onion, and can be enjoyed with a True Pint of one of our award-winning beers to enhance your dining experience. 

    This offer is available at the following locations in Colorado all-month long:

    • Colorado Springs – 3316 Cinema Point Dr., Colorado Springs
    • Denver Downtown – 1001 16th St. Unit A-100, Denver
    • Loveland Centerra Promenade – 6025 Sky Pond Dr., Loveland
    • South Denver Park Meadows – 9627 E. County Line Rd., Centennial
    • Westminster Orchard Town Center – 14694 Orchard Pkwy. Suite #400, Westminster
    • Westminster Promenade – 10633 Westminster Blvd. Suite #900, Westminster

GABF 2015: Recap, Best in Show

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The 2015 Great American Beer Festival promised to be “Bigger. Better. Beerier” than ever before. There was an additional 90,000 square feet in the tasting hall, a second entrance for ticket holders and around 3,800 beers from 750 or so breweries. And in my opinion, it was the best yet.

I’ve been to dozens of beer festivals over the last several years, and GABF is the most well run fest I’ve experienced. The Brewers Association–along with many other folks that make this massive event possible–clearly work extremely hard to get everything just right. A festival of this magnitude faces many potential logistical challenges. But the team is on top of it, ensuring that every aspect runs as smoothly as possible. Therefore, the Great American Beer Festival was just as organized as ever, even with approximately 60,000 people in attendance.

Nothing says

Nothing says “Welcome to GABF” like bagpipes!

The following list contains my top picks of all the beers that I tried. Even with attending more than one session, I still ended up with numerous breweries on my list that I simply didn’t have enough time to stop by, despite my best efforts. But here are my favorites out of the countless beers I drank.

GABF 2015: Best in Show (in no particular order)

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Perhaps it’s due to the fact that there were more breweries and beers this year, but I had more awe-inspiring beers than any previous GABF. I only had to dump a couple, as I was impressed with the majority of everything I tried.

I’d like to make an additional mention about a few breweries that were probably my overall favorites. First, Wicked Weed. While I didn’t get to taste the award-winning Pernicious IPA (due to the constant long lines at their booth–and rightly so), every one of their sours blew me away. If Wicked Weed ever distributes in Colorado, I’ll be one happy girl. Also–being very into sour beers–I had hoped to sample more of what The Rare Barrel had to offer. But by the time I made it they were down to one, Another World, which was one of the best beers I had at GABF. And of course The Bruery did not disappoint with my standard fave Tart of Darkness as well as a newer beer, Souren.

242 breweries took home medals at this year’s event (including 31 Colorado breweries). Congratulations to all winners! And a huge thank you to the Brewers Association and everyone else who made the 2015 Great American Beer Festival utterly amazing.

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Want to see more photos? Click here for my Facebook album.

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