The Local newsletter is your free, daily guide to life in Colorado. For locals, by locals. Sign up today!
Stem Cider and Courier Pairing Menu | June 1–30
With its low alcohol content and high acidity, cider’s pairing possibilities are endless; experience three of them in as many courses when you order from this June-only pre-fixe dinner menu at Courier on Welton Street. Elevated dishes including tempura fish tacos and harissa-braised lamb will be paired with a hibiscus session and a pear apple cider, respectively, answering the age-old question of what to drink, apart from beer, with fish tacos. $45 per person; 1750 Welton St.
Purchasing an international plane ticket may not be in the cards for your 2019 summer plans, but for a fraction of the cost, you can visit a Japanese open-air food festival right here in Denver. Come August, street food galore will be served by the twenty chefs that the Kizaki brothers fly in from South Japan, as well as local chefs like Elise Wiggins and Alon Shaya. And unlike that plane ticket, the price of admission will benefit We Don’t Waste, a non-profit fighting hunger in Colorado. $90-$110
Give One Year of 5280 for just $16.
We’re always sad to see the Inventing Room close its doors in the fall, but now that the Willy Wonka-esque sweet shop is making its summer comeback, all is made right. You’ll be amazed by the Harry Potter tasting menu at the reopening celebration, and soon enough chef Ian Kleiman will unveil a new trick: a liquid nitrogen robot. Be sure to try a handful (or five) of the complementary nitrogen popcorn. Free; 4433 W. 29th Ave., 2-10 p.m.
More than 70 beer makers—including Crazy Mountain Brewing Company and Oskar Blues Brewery—will pour sudsy samples of ales, lagers, and sours at Lyons’ own version of the Olympics. Get there early to enter the beer relay, where you and one to three of your friends can chug a brew before running a 5K. $5-$69; 199 2nd Ave., 10 a.m.–11:30 p.m.
Shake your taste buds from their bland breakfast routine at this decadent event. Over 20 Colorado whiskey artisans—including Deerhammer Distillery and Bear Creek Distillery—will dole out sips of barrel-aged bourbon, rye, and single malt whiskey, while six of Denver’s top bakers will share their sugary concoctions; look for Habit Doughnut Dispensary’s buttery brioche creations infused with shots of the featured spirits. $39-$69; 3560 Chestnut Pl., 2–8:30 p.m.
Fans of Colorado Sake Co.’s titular beverage can still imbibe the same rice-based spirits when they visit, but now, they can do so in the brand’s bigger, brighter tasting room. Head to the opening party to check out the renovated (former Wine & Whey) space, play games, eat grilled things, and try 12 fresh sakes on tap. 3559 Larimer St., noon–10 p.m.
Upstairs Cocktail Lounge Summer Tiki Takeover at the Kitchen Boulder | Now–September 2
Now that temperatures are (finally) heating up, our hands are itching to hold a colorful, umbrella-adorned cocktail. Every Friday through Labor Day weekend, the Kitchen’s elegant upstairs space is the place to do so, where a nighttime-only Tiki menu, featuring vibrant drinks like the Polyphonic (made with two types of rum, pineapple juice, ginger, lime), will be topped with a tiny umbrella, of course. 1039 Pearl St., times vary
Wings & Whiskey at Ace Eat Serve | June 2
At this annual charity event, Cho77 will return to defend its title of Denver Wing King while seven other chefs from restaurants like Chook, Super Mega Bien, and Smōk battle for the right to the crown. Those with especially large appetites can enter the wing eating contest for the chance to win a Larceny branded electric guitar, and whiskey drinks will flow while SuperMagick plays live. Proceeds benefit the Denver Housing Authority Youth Culinary Academy. $55; 501 E. 17th Ave., 3–7 p.m.
Support the work of Planned Parenthood, which provides women with essential, affordable health care services (including cancer screenings and infertility treatments), while treating yourself to sweets from lauded Denver chefs. Safta, Annette, and fourteen more restaurants will sell nosh-worthy desserts like tahini cookies, caramelized white chocolate blondies, and Bananas Foster muffins. 3163 Larimer St., 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Sustainable Sunday at Il Posto | Launches June 2
You can literally take a bite out of food waste with this special, weekly menu, during which three courses will feature off-the-menu ingredients that would have otherwise been thrown away. And with half-priced bubbly on offer, you can easily celebrate your eco-minded good deeds. Menu starts at $38; 2601 Larimer St., times vary
Raw Night at Vital Root | June 3
Followers of the mantra “if you cook it, you kill it” will be delighted at the raw spread at this monthly dinner. This month’s theme is Thai blossom, which translates to four courses of fresh dishes like nori cucumber noodles and green papaya salad with avocado. $30; 3915 Tennyson St., times vary
The twangy, soulful tunes of Americana songs performed by local open mic musicians will fill the air at Seedstock’s West Colfax brewery during this monthly affair. Be sure to grab a vanilla espresso stout or another of Seedstock’s smooth brews as you delve into this complex music genre. Free; 3610 W. Colfax Ave., 7-9 p.m.
The gustatory heaven that a molting blue crab delivers is substantial, but the time to savor it is not—the season only lasts from now until late summer. Enjoy it while you can at this special dinner, where you’ll be treated to four courses of whole, fresh crabs, including panko-fried soft shell crab with creamed corn, pancetta, and spring peas. Call 303-444-3622 for reservations; $110; 1400 Pearl St., starting at 6 p.m.
Raise a blush-colored glass to the wines of the world at this festival, featuring vinos from across the globe and around the block. Sample dozens of newly-released rosés from grape wizards like Creekside Cellars alongside gourmet sustenance like oysters from the raw seafood bar. Don’t just drink pink—wear it too, and you’ll be entered in the “best in pink” contest for a chance to win a case of, you guessed it, rosé. $75-$100; 500 Interlocken Blvd., 5-9 p.m.
Shopping with Chef at Citizen Rail | June 7
In this seasonal hotel package taking place on the first weekend of every month from June through October, guests experience the pleasure of a night at the Hotel Born and then a shopping/dining experience with Christian Graves, Citizen Rail’s executive chef. Graves will lead a trip to the Saturday Union Station Farmers Market, where you’ll help him select ingredients like Acres at Warren Tech’s vibrant greens and veggies, then return to the restaurant for a cooking demo and feast. Starting at $500; 1600 Wewatta St.
Tambien Dinner | June 8
Set inside GrowHaus’ airy, greenery-filled “growasis,” each of four courses at this culinary affair will be prepared by one of four local chefs. Guests will be welcomed with light bites from Hop Alley, followed by three savory courses and dessert from Duo, Tavernetta, Eclat Culinary, and Vesta respectively. Wash it all down with cocktails crafted by Ratio Beerworks. $75; 4751 York St., 6-9 p.m.
Lake Dillon Brew Festival | June 8
There’s nothing like drinking beer by the water, and in Colorado, we get the added bonus of resplendent mountain views. Marvel at the Ten Mile and Gore Mountain ranges as you sip on beers from more than 25 local makers (think: Highside Brewing and Vail Brewing Company) on Lake Dillon’s grassy shores. $5–$35; W. Lodgepole Street & Marina Drive, Dillon, 12:30–4 p.m.
To kick off its recurring series of coffee-making workshops, Pablo’s Coffee’s brewmasters will teach attendees how to make their own cold brew. Participants can look forward to learning the nuances of techniques like extraction, grinding, and steeping. Free; 7701 E. Colfax Ave., 1-3 p.m.
Rosé on the Roof at Linger | June 11
If you ask us, sipping rosé on a rooftop is the ultimate summer indulgence—kick it up a notch with dinner and a Master Sommelier’s guidance at this seated soirée. Luxuriate in four seasonal courses (we hear there will be artichoke fritters), with six pink vinos expertly paired by Master Sommelier Thomas Price. $78; 2030 W. 30th Ave., 6:30 p.m.
Chamucos Tequila Dinner at Zolo Grill | June 12
Wine pairing is great and all, but sometimes a meal calls for the bolder je ne sais quoi of tequila; this is one of those dinners. Featuring Latin-inspired dishes like Colorado lamb al pastor with grilled pineapple salsa, attendees will be treated to a roster of paired Chamucos’ tequilas including its zingy reposado. $80; 2525 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder, 6:30 p.m.
Unofficial rosé mascot Charles Bieler continues his mission of championing pink vino on the Denver stop of his cross-country road trip. With his signature blush-colored Cadillac in tow, Bieler will pull up to Improper City to join attendees for a few glasses, a corn hole competition, and grub from a bevy of food trucks. Improper City, 3201 Walnut St., 5-7 p.m.
Moovers & Shakers Cocktail Competition | June 13
The hybrid nature of Vapor Distillery’s Boulder Ginskey (barrel-aged gin) means there’s even more delicious cocktail possibilities, which you can sample at this annual competition. Mixologists from beloved Boulder eateries like Arcana and Mateo will craft signature drinks for your vote. Soak up all that booze with bites from restaurants like Oak at Fourteenth. $60-$70; 2590 Walnut St., 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Pride Party at Ignite | June 13–16
Celebrate Pride Week with Ignite’s sparkly, limited-time mermaid lemonade made with Keel vodka. When you do, 10% of your drink’s cost will be donated to the GLBT Community Center of Colorado. In fact, the same donation applies to all food and drinks purchased throughout the weekend at the Ballpark watering hole, which will also host Drag Queen Bingo on Thursday. 2124 Larimer St., times vary
Former the Bachelor star Ben Higgins may be in a committed relationship, but that doesn’t mean he can’t help you find the love of your life. Higgins will host the Dairy Block whiskey bar’s first ever speed dating event, which will boast $10 Woody Creek cocktails and a live performance by psychedelic rock band Moonlight Bloom. And hey, if it doesn’t work out: ABC is always taking applications for its notorious dating show. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your spot; free; 1855 Blake St., 7-9 p.m.
Molly’s Spirits In-Store Pride Party | June 14
Stop by this celebration of equality for free wine and food truck fare. For instance, sample rosé from House Wine’s rainbow-colored “pride” cans, which donate $2 from every case sold to the Human Rights Campaign, a national advocacy group that fights and protects the rights of LGBTQ individuals. Free; 5809 W. Ave., 4-6 p.m.
The Colorado BBQ Challenge | June 14–15
Pitmasters from Colorado and across the nation will show off their skills at this smoky Frisco festival. Barbecue lovers can sample everything from Texas-style brisket to Kansas City burnt ends. Between snacks, cheer on contestants in the Firefighter Cook-Off and pig races, or taste Breckenridge Distillery’s award-winning spirits during the whiskey tour. Prices and times vary
Denver BBQ Festival | June 14–16
Give your pops a well-deserved break from flipping burgers and telling dad jokes with this Father’s Day weekend celebration. Take in music from live acts like the Austin Young Band as you pile every barbecue delicacy onto your plate, from pulled pork to smoked brisket from pitmasters like Denver’s own Jason Ganahl (GQue BBQ). Free; Broncos Stadium at Mile High, 1701 Bryant St., times vary
RiNo Beer Fest | June 15
With unlimited beer, the mouthwatering fare of local food trucks, and RiNo Beer Garden’s German-influenced outdoor vibe, this festival has all the makings for a magical summer afternoon. 20 breweries—including River North Brewery and Mockery Brewing—will pour samples to wash down New York-style pizzas from Rocky Mountain Slices. Bonus: If you like to double fist your brews, hands-free fare will also be available in the form of pretzel necklaces. $28-$30; 3800 Walnut St., 2-6 p.m.
This event draws in more than 25 chefs, butchers, and restaurateurs who cook more than 25,00 pounds of whole heritage-breed animals, such as lamb and pig. This gathering’s lineup boasts Blackbelly’s Hosea Rosenberg, Hearth & Dram’s Adam Vero, the Wolf’s Tailor’s Kelly Whitaker, and many, many more. Don’t worry, you won’t go hungry (or thirsty) as the chefs roast over their open fires, with plenty of charcuterie, wines, and microbrews to go around. $150-$200; 120 Carriage Way, Snowmass, 5-7:30 p.m.
The idea of making your own pasta at home might sound a little daunting, but this class will introduce you to all the skills you’ll need. Pasta masters Gabe Wyman (Rioja) and Danielle Youngerman (Ninja Pasta) will guide you and, after the class, you’ll be rewarded with the fruits (or, in this case, noodles) of your labor during a sit-down lunch. $40; 1431 Larimer St., 10:30 a.m.–noon
The Vail Farmer’s Market & Art Show | June 16
More than 135 local produce, food, and artisan vendors will return to the heart of Vail Village for the first Farmer’s Market of its 18th season (which runs until October 6). Find goodies like triple chocolate marshmallows from Mountain Mallow and fresh baguettes from Avon Bakery and Deli. Free; E. Meadow Dr., Vail, 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
Visiting from Blackberry Mountain resort (which sits at the base of Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains) tastemakers Josh Feathers and Joel Werner will join Frasca chefs Kelly Jeun and Eduardo Valle Lobo to create a multi-course tasting menu utilizing summertime ingredients sourced from Colorado and Tennessee. Blackberry Farm’s sommelier, Andy Chabot, will curate the perfect wine complements. Reservations can be made via Tock or by calling 303-442-6966; $165; 1738 Pearl St., seating starts at 5 p.m.
The Big Eat | June 20
Denver’s thriving independent restaurant scene will be on display at this tasty event. Sample goodies from 60 local eateries (think: Avelina’s truffle potato agnoletti and Bubu’s grilled fish taco bowl), along with wine, beer, and specialty cocktails from Carboy Winery, Ratio Beerworks, and 13 more drink artisans. $65; The Galleria at Denver Performing Arts Complex, 1400 Curtis St., 6–9 p.m.
Vail Craft Beer Classic | June 21–23
With its wealth of outdoor adventures, seminars, tastings, and, of course, beer, there’s no shortage of entertainment at this mountain festival. Be sure to check out the inaugural Rocky Mountain Burger Battle, during which restaurants like Back Door Grill and Sweet Basil will churn out inventive burger masterpieces. And with more than 40 breweries in attendance for the weekend, you’ll have no trouble tracking down a beer to wash it down with. $25-$195; locations and times vary
La Arcana Progressive Mexican Pop-Up | June 21–22
Guest chefs Aron Pobereskin (NOMA Mexico, Benno) and Malcom Simkoff (Arca Tulum, Boka Restaurant Group) will collaborate with Arcana’s culinary team at this incredible four-course extravaganza in honor of traditional Mexican fare. Each course—which will comprise of several dishes—will highlight local ingredients like Dry Storage’s heritage grains, as well as imported products. Look forward to bites like barbecued Colorado lamb with pomegranate salsa roja. Reservations required via Tock with a $10 deposit; $65; 909 Walnut St., Boulder, seating starts at 5 p.m.
Negroni Week at Bar Helix | June 24–30
For the entire week, stop in at this sexy LoDo watering hole for discounted $10 Negronis, a house specialty. Try the classic Bar Helix iteration (made with Barr Hill gin, Montanaro 6 pm Aperitivo, and Carpano Antica Formula vermouth) if you’re a bitters beginner, or the Supersonic (a mix of the Family Jones’ Juniper Jones gin, Bruto Americano, and Berto Ross de Travaj vermouth) if you’re a pro. 3440 Larimer St., 8–10 p.m.
Listen to an ensemble from the Colorado Symphony while sipping on your choice of cocktails during this intimate performance. As the musicians play popular string quartet songs and Mozart, you can sample Leopold Bros. Distillery’s more than 20 spirits and light hors-d’oeuvres. $50-$75; 5285 Joliet St., 6:30 p.m.
Team Negroni Bicycle Ride Fundraiser | June 30
The Team Negroni program raises money for the Helen David Relief Fund, a foundation that provides financial assistance to women in the bar industry that have been diagnosed with breast cancer. Support its efforts at this all-levels, nearly 20-mile bike ride, which takes off near Cheeseman Park and concludes at Golden’s Miners Saloon bar for an after-party. The very last stop is Golden Moon Distillery for celebratory cocktails including, well, Negronis. Register here for $20; rides back to Denver are provided; 9:30 a.m. start time