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Colorado Proud Community Tour | August 1–31
This Colorado Department of Agriculture program launched 20 years ago to promote the food grown and raised in our fair state. This year, to launch its Next Generation of Ag campaign, Colorado Proud is visiting 13 events and farmers’ markets around the state—including the Colorado Day Celebration in Capitol Hill and the Boulder County Farmers Market. Check out the full list of events here.
The Nickel Five-Year Anniversary Celebration | August 1–31
To celebrate half a decade of operating inside the Hotel Teatro, the Nickel is stirring up Manhattans that will only set you back five cents, Monday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m. The bargain sipper features house barrel-aged Four Roses bourbon, Dolin Rouge vermouth, Dram bitters, and house-brandied cherries. You can also sign up for a special Champagne workshop (August 29), where you’ll learn how to sabre a bottle of bubbly and create three cocktails. Limit one Manhattan per person; 1100 14th St.
Give One Year of 5280 for just $16.
2019 Denver Burger Battle | August 1
Settle the age-old debate about where to get Denver’s best burger at this competitive bash. The Cherry Cricket, Hearth & Dram, Illegal Burger, and more than a dozen other local restaurants will battle for the title. A panel of judges—including burger experts like Rioja chef-owner Jennifer Jasinski—will decide on the winner while you chow down on dishes like Highland Tap & Burger’s entry: two juicy beef patties piled high with smoked cheddar cheese, barbecue bacon, and candied jalapeño on a toasted sesame bun. $65–$125; Stanley Marketplace, 2501 Dallas St., Aurora, 5:30–9:30 p.m.
If you haven’t yet dined at chef Reilly’s restaurant trio, get a taste of all three spots at this affair. The chef-owner of Beast & Bottle, Coperta, and Pizzeria Coperta will take inspiration from each concept to concoct a Roman-inspired, three-course feast—not to mention appetizers and dessert. $120; 10145 Oxford Rd., 6:30–9:30 p.m.
This Fort Collins small-batch brewery has been wowing beer lovers with its inventive brews for two years. To mark that milestone, Purpose Brewing and Cellars is throwing a party replete with live music and new beer releases. Look forward to tunes from instrumental duo JangleTHUMP and local singer Nina Forsyth, as well as the brewery’s notorious taco beer (back on tap for the weekend), which features grilled corn and jalapeño peppers. Free; 4025 S. Mason St., Unit C, Fort Collins, Saturday, 2–9 p.m. and Sunday, 2–7 p.m.
Seedstock Brewery Pop-Up Farmers’ Market | August 3
To honor the farming community that inspired its name, Seedstock Brewery is hosting farmers and other local makers for this one-day bazaar. Seek out goodies from artisans like Mountain Man Micro Farms and Lily’s Flower Farm as the twangy tunes of folk-Americana musicians Megan Bee and Molly Jo sound throughout the brewery’s twinkly light-strewn outdoor area. Arrive a couple hours early for a free, all-levels yoga class to work up an appetite for the attending food trucks (and all the incoming samples). Free; 3610 W. Colfax Ave., noon–4 p.m.
Cocktails and Ice Cream at Concourse | August 3
The bar team at Concourse and the sweets team at Constellation Ice Cream are getting together to combine their wares into boozy, creamy drinks just for you. Score full-size cocktails and single scoops or go for the flight option, which includes three tiny scoops and three tiny cocktails. Your kids (or favorite teetotalers) want in on the action? There will be salted Oreo root beer floats too. Enough said. Prices vary; 10195 East 29th Drive, Suite 140, 4–8 p.m.
Blue Sparrow Coffee Rooftop Party | August 3
Thanks to its brand-new liquor license, revelers can now imbibe all of the drinks at this RiNo watering hole. Explore Blue Sparrow Coffee’s expanding beverage selection during this soirée, including frozé, mimosas, and alcoholic kombucha on tap. There will also be barbecue to nosh on (courtesy of neighboring the Preservery), ice cream sandwiches, and yard games such as cornhole and ladder golf. Free; 3070 Blake St., #180, 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
Keystone Bluegrass and Beer Festival | August 3–4
Find 13 bluegrass bands and more than 40 Colorado breweries at this popular fête. Beer makers such as Left Hand Brewing Company and Ratio Beerworks will sling suds as three stages showcase musicians like Lindsay Lou and Grammy award-winner Peter Rowan. Be sure to snag an “Eat, Drink, Pick” pass to sample from six small-plate stations at Friday’s kick-off dinner, each featuring New Belgium beer samples and fare courtesy of local chef Chris Rybak. Prices vary; multiple locations
Take in the final episodes of Shark Week with a little liquid courage at this viewing celebration. In between shark tales, check out a shark skeleton, try your luck at the raffle for the chance to win a cave dive with the apex predators at the Denver Aquarium, and even ride a mechanical shark (!). Be sure to try Breckenridge Brewery’s Cherry JAW-some, a cherry limeade brew with subtle salty notes and a blood-red hue. Free; 2990 Brewery Ln., Littleton, 2–6 p.m.
Poka Lola Social Club’s Summer Soirée | August 4
Everything about this party will feel like summertime. Take a load off on an umbrella-adorned beach chair as you peruse the special menu of Peroni cocktails; we’re ordering the spritz, made with Aperol, Peroni Nastro Azzurro, and grapefruit and lemon juices. Free; 1850 Wazee St., noon–6 p.m.
Halcyon Hotel Martinis & Movies | August 5
What happens when you combine a killer rooftop pool deck, cold cocktails, and free movies? Happiness, that’s what. Sip and savor the sunset while watching 10 Things I Hate About You (or the Hangover on September 9 or Black Panther on October 7) and, well, be happy. Free, but reserve your spot here; 245 Columbine St., 7 p.m.
Meaningful Monday at Gaku Ramen | August 5, 12, 19, 26
Thanks to its charitable program, the warm fuzzies you experience after dinner at this Japanese-style restaurant will be from more than just the ramen. Every Monday beginning in August, Gaku Ramen donates 10 percent of sales to a chosen charity (which changes week to week), from 5 p.m. to close. The eatery kicks off by supporting Realities for Children, a nonprofit that provides resources to at-risk Boulder County youth. 1119 13th St., Boulder, 5 p.m. to close
Delve into the topics and issues facing women in the culinary world at this empowering talk. Restaurant entrepreneur Beth Gruitch will discuss her career and life lessons she’s learned in the restaurant industry as listeners enjoy wine and appetizers. $10; 3350 Brighton Blvd., 5:30–7 p.m.
Raw Dinner at Altius Farms | August 8
Il Posto chefs Andrea Frizzi and Chase Carlson will highlight this urban garden’s freshest ingredients with an uncooked feast. Each of the four courses will be prepared in an Italian raw format, with optional wine pairings courtesy of sommelier Tony Lima. Enjoy a donation-based tour of the RiNo greenhouse during the evening’s reception. Tickets start at $75; 2500 Lawrence St., 6:30–9:30 p.m.
As if you needed another excuse to treat yourself to this quintessential summer delight, every dollar you pay (with a $3 minimum) is donated to Children’s Hospital Colorado. Along with the classic iteration, you can also sip the cookies-and-cream float, brimming with cookies freshly baked by executive chef Scott Skomal. 1550 Court Pl., 11:30 a.m.–2 p.m.
Winemakers from Oregon and Napa Valley will lend their finest vino for this pairing dinner. Sip Chardonnay from Alexana Wineries, Cabernet from Revana Family Vineyards, and more luscious varieties alongside five courses crafted by Guard and Grace’s culinary team. Expect elevated dishes like pan-roasted sturgeon with Osetra caviar, chanterelle brodo, and freshly-foraged mushrooms. $150; 1801 California St., 6:30 p.m.
Dine amid the bustling Union Station open-air marketplace at this informative, family-style meal. Chefs Paul C. Reilly (Beast & Bottle, Coperta) and Alex Seidel (Fruition, Mercantile) will prepare the meal and lead discussions with attending farmers about the industry and the importance of farmers’ markets. Meanwhile, savor dishes featuring seasonal ingredients and a peach bellini-esque mocktail. $50; Union Station, 1701 Wynkoop St., 7:30–9 a.m.
Bacchanal x Denver | August 10–11
New Orlean’s crown-jewel bar—dubbed “the coolest in the world,”—will come to Denver, with its finely curated cheese plates and constant stream of live New Orleans jazz in tow. The Source’s parking lot will channel Bacchanal’s lush patio vibes with tropical plants and tunes from Big Easy jazz bands Harmanouche and the Co & Co Travelin’ Show, while Safta’s Alon Shaya churns out delights like grilled black bass with roasted pepper Romesco from a wood-burning oven. Don’t skip the Old World wine selection from small producers like Sonoma’s Scribe Winery, a collection curated by Bacchanal’s own beverage team. $15; the Source, 3330 Brighton Blvd., 11 a.m.–11 p.m.
This celebration of sustainable farming and cooks takes diners back to a time before gas stoves and barbecues. More than 50 chefs and butchers from near (ChoLon’s Donald Beaney, Basta’s Kelly Whitaker) and far (Scott Pampach of Minneapolis’ 4 Bells) will build their own flames and cook a total of about 3,500 pounds of meat from heritage-breed animals, including dry-aged beef and responsibly raised fish. The hungry horde can also look forward to libations from Stem Ciders, Blanchard Family Wines, and others, as well as a pop-up demo from Western Daughters’ butcher aficionados Kate Kavanaugh and Josh Curtis. $150–$200; 1380 Horizon Ave., 4:30–7 p.m.
Beckon Boulder Pop-Up: The Arcana Moon | August 12
Experience two of Colorado’s most innovative restaurants during this collaborative evening. Arcana will transform its bar to emulate Beckon’s unique, 16-person chef’s counter—where chef Duncan Holmes will create and plate eight courses right in front of guests. Beckon will also prepare optional wine pairings. Tickets start at $175; 909 Walnut St., 5:30–8 p.m.
Wine Down at Kisbee on the Roof and Narrative | August 13, 28
Attention bubbly lovers: The Jacquard’s new rooftop bar is offering $2 off prosecco for National Prosecco day on August 13. If bubbles aren’t your thing, make your way to Narrative on August 28 instead for $30 premium Pinot Noir flights. Sip juice from winemakers in Oregon, California, and even Burgundy, France. 222 Milwaukee St.
Que and A with Jim Auchmutey | August 13
Learn about the current trends and history of barbecue from cookbook author Jim Auchmutey (Smokelore) and the evening’s host, food writer Adrian Miller. As you absorb the knowledge, dig into a buffet of brisket, ribs, and more from Rolling Smoke BBQ, and sip on beer from Cheluna Brewing Company. $20; 2501 Dallas St., Aurora, 6 p.m.
Oak at Fourteenth Annual Tomato Dinner | August 15
Whether you say it tow-may-tow or tow-mah-tow, we can all agree that now’s the tastiest time to savor that glorious fruit. One way to do so is to attend Oak at Fourteenth’s five-course dinner dedicated to the season, prepared by chefs Steven Redzikowski and Kyle Mendenhall. Each dish will feature the produce from Longmont’s Red Wagon Farm… and there will be Maine lobster tortellini with stewed tomatoes, fennel, and citrus crumbs. Even dessert will incorporate the fruit in a tomato and peach Galette with brown sugar crumble and crème fraîche ice cream. Make your reservation here; tickets start at $85; 1400 Pearl St., Boulder, 6 p.m.
RARE, the Denver Steak Championships | August 15
This meaty competition gives attendees a multitude of master-grilled steaks to sample. Chefs from two dozen restaurants will each submit juicy cuts of humanely-raised beef for consideration in one of two categories: traditional and creative. In the former, taste bites from Denver restaurants like Corrida, Citizen Rail, and Ocean Prime; in the latter, sample steak prepared by Avelina, Butcher’s Bistro, and Señor Bear. $110–$150; 1400 Curtis St., 6 p.m.
Telluride Reserve | August 15–18
Colorado has its fair share of summer food and wine fests, but the organizers of this cozy event envisioned a more intimate affair than the rest. With attendance for each of the eight events capped at 50, you’ll get to know your cohorts well while sabre-ing and sipping your own bottles of Champagne, tasting varieties from nearly 40 acclaimed wineries—including Hotchkiss’ the Storm Cellar, 5280’s editor’s choice for Best Winery—and sampling dishes from chefs like Mercantile’s Alex Seidel. You can even hone your pairing techniques with lessons from experts like Roland Micu, the youngest certified Master Sommelier in the world. Prices vary; multiple locations
11th Annual Cherry Creek North Food & Wine | August 17
Experience the food scene of this posh residential district at this recurring festival. Among the 20 eateries participating is newcomer Le Bilboquet, as well as Cherry Creek North stalwarts True Food Kitchen and the Cherry Cricket. Wash down gourmet bites with sippers from Vineyard Wine Shop, Wynkoop Brewery, and Stranahan’s Whiskey. Prices vary; Fillmore Street between 1st and 2nd Ave., 5–9 p.m.
Harvest of Hope Dinner | August 17
Harvest of Hope Pantry provides Boulder residents in-need with food assistance; you can contribute to their mission at this al fresco dinner. After a tour of the nonprofit’s farm, dig into a true farm-to-table meal prepared by Fresh Thymes chef Christine Ruch. Alongside your choice of beer, wine, or cocktails, savor dishes like grilled leg of lamb (raised at Buckner Family Farm) with a roster of sides featuring freshly plucked Munson Farm produce. Tickets start at $150; 2700 N. 75th St., Boulder, 4:30–8 p.m.
Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant Fifth Annual Harvest Days | August 20–September 15
Taking advantage of the last few precious weeks of summer, this Tex-Mex eatery (which has locations all across Colorado, including Denver and Fort Collins) is sending the season off with a special menu. Menu items feature the most delectable ingredients Colorado farms have to offer, including Olathe sweet corn and Palisade peaches. You can also find Rocky Ford watermelon in dishes like the watermelon and arugula salad, topped with pepitas, pickled red onion, carrots, cotija cheese, and a drizzle of Champagne vinaigrette. Multiple locations, excluding Frisco
Denver Brunchfest | August 25
The time has come to throw on your “Brunch Please” or “Mornings are for Mimosas” t-shirt (we’ve been waiting for the right occasion, too). This brunching extravaganza features the sweet and savory mid-morning fare of more than 25 restaurants—Syrup, the Whiskey Biscuit, and Courier among them. Don’t worry: There will of course also be bottomless mimosas and bloody Marys. Ticket prices vary; 144 W Colfax Ave., noon–3 p.m.
Lamb Jam | August 25
At the Denver stop of this traveling competition, locally loved chefs will compete with their most succulent lamb creations. This event, which celebrates family-owned lamb farms and ranches across the country, showcases the talent of Old Major’s Justin Brunson, Safta’s Alon Shaya, and more than a dozen other Denver tastemakers—all for the benefit of local nonprofit the Growhaus. Chefs will compete in four cuisine categories—Asian, Latin, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern—churning out dishes like Caribbean lamb roti and lamb dan dan noodles. Tickets start at $75; 2027 West Colfax Ave., 2–6 p.m.
Sushi Den Summer Rooftop Party | August 27–28
Experience a range of Japanese cuisine against a stunning Rocky Mountain backdrop at this annual al fresco bash. Denver talent will prepare fusion dishes while 20 visiting chefs—flown in from southern Japan for the occasion—wow attendees with traditional fare. Expect everything from tonkatsu to unagi to ramen. Tickets start at $90; 1501 S. Pearl St., 5:30–9:30 p.m.