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A smoked margarita from Dry Land Distillers, which hosts a virtual happy hour every Friday. Photo courtesy of Dry Land Distillers

Raise a Glass at These Boozy Virtual Drinking Parties

Digital gatherings hosted by Front Range restaurants, bars, breweries, distilleries, wineries, and more are encouraging social connection from a distance.

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Colorado’s restaurants, bars, and breweries are our happy places, so what do we do now that we can’t hang out in those places? Don’t fret: Many of our local establishments are hosting virtual happy hours, guided tastings, and other fun digital drinking affairs to encourage safe social connection, boost sales, and support their employees during this turbulent time. Here’s how you can join the party.

Breckenridge Brewery #DoYourPartCO Dance Party | April 3, 8–10 p.m.

Celebrate the end of another long week in self quarantine by hosting a dance party in your own humble abode. Download a themed Zoom background to set the mood and get your groove on with other Coloradans while the beats of DJ Andy Lubner flow. Attendees can win swag giveaways for best costume and best dance floor, and give to the Food Bank of the Rockies via the donation button on the brewery’s Facebook Live stream.
Where/How: Zoom (there is detailed info on how to join the Zoom party on Breckenridge Brewery’s Facebook event page)
What to Drink: Hop Freak IPA, Avalanche Amber Ale, Mango Mosaic Pale Ale, and others; order online here and pick up your beer at the Farmhouse Restaurant at Breckenridge Brewery in Littleton; free delivery is also available.

Adrift Virtual Tiki Party | April 5, 5 p.m.

Adrift can’t bring its tropical digs to your door, but the bar’s COVID-19 Tiki Kits are a close second. Each package comes with your choice of a potent batched cocktail (enough for five to 11 drinks), garnish, a DIY Spam musubi pack, and a thank you gift. Shed those sweats for your island best, and post pictures of your Spam creations for a chance to win a $100 Adrift gift card. All proceeds benefit the bar’s staff members.
Where/How: A Zoom link will be posted on the Facebook page on the day of the event
What to Drink: Adrift’s mai tai, house daiquiri, Macadamia Nut Chi Chi (blender recommended), Zombie, Alpine Negroni, or old fashioned; schedule pick up of your kit or have it delivered (if you live in the Denver metro area) on Saturday and Sunday.

American Elm Virtual Happy Hour | April 7, 4 p.m.

Join your fellow paloma lovers in watching bar manager Jesse Torres whip up his famed iteration of the Guadalajara-born drink. Order the cocktail with dinner for delivery or pick up from the Highland restaurant; Torres will also offer tricks on how to make the drink at home with items from your bar.
Where: Instagram Live
What to Drink: palomas

Keep Calm and Wine Down | April 7, 6 p.m.

Watch Urban Farmer Denver sommelier Katie Nielson conduct a virtual tasting of Charles Smith Wines and donate to Sage Restaurant Group’s Associate Relief Fund, which supports its furloughed employees with no-cost food and essential pantry items. Keep Calm and Wine Down is part of a weekly series launched by the group as an extension of its Keep Calm and Carry Out Campaign. (Keep Calm and Mix On, airing April 14, will star Poka Lola Social Club lead bartender Devin Chapnick.)
Where: Instagram Live
What to Drink: Charles Smith 2018 Kung Fu Girl Riesling and 2017 the Velvet Devil Merlot; call your local liquor store for availability

Restaurant Olivia First Virtual Wine Dinner | April 7, 6:30 p.m.

Treat yourself to a three-course wine dinner prepared by chef Ty Leon, with pairings from Master Sommelier Doug Krenik of Maverick Wine Company. For $75 per person, you’ll receive French onion bisque and focaccia; mafaldine with tomato-braised meatballs in pomodoro sauce; lemon olive olive cake; and three 375-milliliter bottles of wine. Leon will introduce each dish, and Krenik will guide you through the pairings, bringing the warmth and hospitality of the Washington Park bistro to your dinner table.
Where/How: Instagram Live and Zoom (a link will be sent out to those who order a dinner)
What to Drink: Raventós brut rosé, Frank Family cabernet sauvignon, and saracco moscato d’asti; email info@oliviadenver.com or call 303-999-0395 to place your order by 4 p.m. on April 6 and pick it up between 11 a.m.–6 p.m. on April 7.

Denver Beer Co. Virtual Pairing Series: Beer and Cookies | April 8, 5 p.m.

The second installment of the brewery’s Socially Distant Beer Pairing series features a guided tasting of Santa Fe Cookie Co. treats alongside a selection of Denver Beer Co. brews. Led by head brewer Jason Buehle, the $35-per-person experience is exactly what we all need right now. If cookies aren’t your jam (who are you?!), Denver Beer Co. also hosts a sugar-free virtual happy hour every Friday at 4 p.m.
Where: Facebook Live
What to Drink: Princess Yum Yum Raspberry Kolsch, Meeting Schmeeting Coffee Cream Ale, and Churro Stout; pick up your tasting kit at the Platte Street and Arvada taprooms from 11 a.m.–7 p.m. from April 6–April 8. Delivery is available to addresses within a 10 mile radius of the taprooms for a $5 fee.

Virtual Happy Hour with Verboten Brewing April 9, 4–6 p.m.

Co-owner and head brewer Josh Grenz of Verboton Brewing & Barrel Project in Loveland and his crew will host a two-hour beer-drinking party. 
Where/How: Zoom; a link will be posted at 3:45 p.m. on the Facebook page (email josh@verbotenbrewing.com if you have technical difficulties)
What to Drink: Stealth Haze IPA, Killer Boots Caramel Porter, Anybody Want A Peanut Golden Ale, and more; order the cans, crowlers, and growlers online here and pick them up at the brewery from the 3–6 p.m., Sunday–Friday, and 2–6 p.m. on Saturday.

Shelter-in-Place (SIP) Festival | April 11, 12–6 p.m.

Unfiltered, a podcast hosted by two local craft beer lovers, will host the very first (and hopefully last) virtual Shelter-in-Place beer fest to raise funds for the industry’s staff members. Buy a ticket for $5, purchase a supply of suds directly from your favorite Colorado breweries, and post pictures and videos on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook of yourself responsibly imbibing during the fest with the hashtag #SIPBeerFest. All proceeds from ticket and merchandise sales, sponsorships, and donations will go to industry employees who have been negatively affected by COVID-19. Additionally, Handoff, the official beer delivery sponsor of the event, is donating $1 of every order to local brewery workers. 
Where: Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook
What to Drink: You call it—but please pick up cans, bottles, growlers, and crowlers from a local brewery.

7Cellars NFL Draft Party | April 23, 7:30 p.m.

Calling all Broncos fans: John Elway’s 7Cellars winery, headquartered in Denver and Napa Valley, will host a party 30 minutes prior to the Broncos football draft. The 7Cellars team will be on hand to answer questions about the wines and discuss their thoughts on draft picks with you.
Where: Facebook Live
What to Drink: 2018 the Farm Collection Cabernet Sauvignon Paso Robles, 2018 the Farm Collection Chardonnay Arroyo Seco, 2018 the Farm Collection Pinot Noir Monterey, and more; order here to enjoy free shipping and 25 percent off through April

Social Distanced Drinking with Doug and Laura of Burns Family Artisan Ales | Nightly, 7:15–7:30 p.m.

Since owners Wayne Burns and Laura Worley can’t currently chat with customers face-to-face at their Valverde taproom, they are hosting a nightly 15-minute sipping sesh. Unusual glassware and food pairings are encouraged.
Where: Facebook Live
What to Drink: Maybe Mindbender West Coast IPA, Copper Wolf in the Woods Juicy IPA, Show, Don’t Tell Belgium-Style Tripel, and more; call the taproom at 720-693-9099 to find out what bottles are in stock and pick them up curbside from 5–7 p.m. daily.

Bigsby’s Folly’s Wine Tastings | Wednesdays, 7 p.m. 

Owners Chad and Marla Yetka are offering behind-the-scenes peeks inside their RiNo winery and tasting room, along with guided tastings of different vinos every week. Bonus: Order curbside pickup of Bigby’s Folly’s bottles and growlers and you might catch a glimpse of Chad fulfilling orders in one of his many costumes (we like the taco getup best).
Where: Instagram Live
What to Drink: Bigsby’s Folly 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2018 Sauvignon Blanc, 2018 Rosé of Grenache, and more; text Marla at 720-626-0414 to order and pick up your selections from 4–7 p.m., Monday–Thursday, and 12–7 p.m., Friday–Sunday.

The Storm Cellar Virtual Tasting | Wednesdays, 6:30 p.m.
Partake in guided tastings of high-elevation wines from Storm Cellar’s Quarantine Gift Pack, which comes with five or 10 bottles from the Hotchkiss winery; seasoning blends from Aurora-based the Spice Guy; recipes; and playlists curated by Western Slope DJ Koko Love. Upcoming topics include dry Riesling (April 8), Rosé of Pinot Gris (April 15), Chardonnay (April 22), and Riesling (April 29).
Where: Instagram Live
What to Drink: 2018 vintages from Storm Cellar’s Quarantine Gift Pack; order yours here

Colorado Sake Co. Sushi-Rolling Date Night | Wednesdays through Saturdays, 6:30 p.m.

Four evenings each week, Colorado Sake Co. hosts a one-hour, live sushi-rolling class paired with sake from the RiNo taproom. Learn how to make temaki (hand rolls), futomaki (thick cylinder rolls), and uramaki (rolls with nori on the inside). The $80 kits serve two and come with ingredients for three rolls and two bottles.
Place: Zoom (a link is sent via email prior to the event)
What to Drink: Colorado Sake Co. American Standard; kits are delivered to addresses in the Denver metro area on the day of each event; call 720-449-6963 to find out more

Colorado Wine Development Board Happy Half Hour | Wednesday, 4:30 p.m.

Join discussions about the Colorado wine industry and share what you’re drinking at home over a glass of vino during the Colorado Wine Industry Development Board’s casual happy half hours.
Where: Facebook Live
What to Drink: You call it—but it should really be Colorado-made, don’t you think?

Proof Wine Club | Fridays, 6 p.m.

Sarah Hauser, owner of RiNo’s Proof Wine & Spirits, and sommelier Jessica Barrand will lead you through the tasting of two reds, whites,  rosés, or sparkling wines each week. Selections are posted on Proof’s Instagram every Tuesday; the upcoming broadcast on April 3 spotlights Domaine d’Ourea Tire Bouchon (a red blend from France) and Ampeleia Alicante Costa Toscana (a Grenache from Italy).
Where: Instagram Live
What to Drink: Wines selected weekly; order online here for curbside pick up

Virtual Happy Hour with Dos Luces Brewery | Fridays, 6 p.m.

Owner and head brewer Judd Belstock will be online every Friday to chat about the Overland establishment’s creations, which are rooted in the cultures of ancient Central and South America and made with Colorado-grown blue corn.
Where: Google Hangouts
What to Drink: Chica Inti (a take on the traditional Incan staple brewed with corn), Metztli Pulque (Aztec-inspired concoction brewed with maguey nectar), Muluc Agua Fresca Dura de Limón (a hard agua fresca infused with purple corn and lime), and more; pre-order your bottles here and pick them up from 5–7 p.m. on Thursday and Friday and 2–6 p.m. on Saturday

Dry Land Distillers Virtual Happy Hour | Fridays, 5:30 p.m.

Longmont’s Dry Land Distillers’ pro mixologists will share tips and techniques on the preparation, design, and tasting of different cocktails weekly. On April 3, they will showcase Dry Land Distillers Leapin’ Lizard and Dry Tai, modern takes on tiki-style drinks. Purchase a bottle and receive a prepared cocktail mix at no cost (though donations and tips sent via Venmo to @Dry-Land-Tip-Jar are encouraged). Recipes are posted prior to the happy hours on the website, and the distillery also urges fans to submit recipes to its cocktail contest by emailing hello@drylanddistillers.com with the subject line “Community Quarantini Cocktail Competition.” Additionally, Dry Land hosts a monthly virtual Distilling Dames meeting for females interested in learning more about mixology and the distilling process; fine more information about how to join the group here.
Where: Instagram Live
What to Drink: Dry Land Distillers Leapin’ Lizard and Dry Tai; pick up bottles and cocktail mixes curbside from 11 a.m.–5:30 p.m., Wednesday–Saturday.

Bonus: Play Colorado Craft Brewery Bingo
Help craft breweries by purchasing crowlers (from the list of 24 participating taprooms below) and drink what’s inside while playing Colorado Craft Brewery Bingo! Pick up a bingo sheet from a brewery and then purchase one or more crowlers from five breweries in a row (horizontal, vertical, diagonal on the sheet) to receive five percent off each future crowler you purchase from the rest of the breweries. Be sure to take a photo of each brewery you visit and post it to Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #ColoradoCraftBingo; the first person to hit every brewery wins prizes from each of the breweries.

Participating breweries: Seedstock Brewery, Baere Brewing, Lady Justice, Bruz Beers Company, De Steeg Brewing, Odyssey Beerwerks, Factotum Brewhouse, Prost Brewing, Locavore Beer Works, Fiction Beer Company, Mockery Brewing, Woods Boss Brewing, Halfpenny Brewing, Old 121 Brewhouse, Over Yonder Brewing, Boggy Draw Brewing, LandLocked Ales, Mountain Toad Brewing, Coal Mine Ave. Brewing, Rail’s End Beer Company, CODA Brewing, Peak to Peak Tap & Brew, and Knotted Root Brewing.

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