Craft brewery cited for innovation and also coming to Boulder.
Mid-country restaurants and other purveyors are largely like the Rodney Dangerfield of the food and beverage biz: They “don’t get no respect,” or not enough respect. Coastal myopia, I’m afraid.
Denver and other Colorado locales have a robust craft brewing industry, from giants like Fort Collins’ New Belgium (the country’s 4th-largest brewer) and Blue Moon (Coors’ craft-beer sidekick) to tiny breweries in very small towns (Silverton Brewery and the Crestone Brewing Company, respectively deep in the San Juan Mountains and in an off-the highway community in the San Luis Valley). The Denver Festival is one of the largest in the country.
But when it came to listing “The 25 Most Important American Craft Beers Ever Brewed,” Food & Wine could think of only one (Longmont-born and -based Oskar Blues) and that was for its retro innovation (packaging), not for any of its beers or ales. Relying on a perhaps biased panel that includes a number of brewmasters, F&W wrote:
Not all innovation happens in the brewing process. In 2002, Colorado’s Oskar Blues did something with a solid, but otherwise unassuming pale ale that changed craft beer forever: They put it into cans, becoming the first craft brewery to do so independently. Dale’s Pale Ale launched a movement (currently 2,162 beers strong, according to CraftCans.com) and this once-lowly container now holds some of the world’s most coveted beers.
On another note, Oskar Blues is coming to Boulder’s Pearl Street, taking over the space at No. 921 vacated by the World of Beer. Sometime late this summer, the location just west of the Mall will become taproom and live-music venue. I’m not sure what, if any, food service there will be, but the food at Oskar Blues brew pubs, CHUBurgers, CylceHops Cantina and other Oskar-owned venues is very good and very fresh.
My earliest visits to Utah were in a time that was not appealing to those who enjoy adult beverages. Buying hard liquor was complicated and involved short-run membership in “private clubs,” beer was 3.2 and wine was rare. That was then, and this is now, and seven Salt Lake City brew pubs have been identified for their mastery of the brewing art in a hospitable city.
Located in neighborhood, Avenues Proper has the feel of a neighborhood hangout and offers an extensive comfort food menu for lunch, dinner and brunch. Think General Tso’s pork belly tacos, a meatloaf sandwich or chicken and waffles, paired with an array of brews that have become local favorites, such as Brumblin’ Brown, Faultline IPA and Patersbier.
Desert Edge Brewery
Desert Edge was serving beer in historic Trolley Square as far back as 1972 and got into craft brewing in 1995. They been producing “session” beers long before it was cool. And their brews, such as Happy Valley Hefeweizen, Utah Pale Ale and Cluster Fuggle, have a strong core of devotees. The lunch and dinner menu is broad and casual, covering salads, sandwiches and Mexican fare.
Former aviation equipment factory now hub for food, shopping and community.
Being a fan of markets and of adaptive reuse of old buildings, I have cheered the development of the Stanley Marketplace from the other side of metro Denver since I first read about it. Yesterday, a friend visiting from New York, my husband and I went to take a look. It is located near the Aurora-Denver line and near the old Stapleton Airport, an area mushrooming from open space into a dense new urban development of housing, shops, offices and parks.
The cavernous building, once the home of Stanley Aviation, is being remade into a cutting-edge, multi-use building that hyper-industrial in design. It works. Businesses are moving in gradually (Cheluna Brewing and the fourth location of Comida being among the first and Mister B’s Wine and Spirits opening today, being the newest ), and with each opening and each special event, the attraction grows. Even on a weekday morning, there was activity, It was not just construction crews. Parents and little kids were playing in a tumbling space for tiny tots, gym rats were umping heavy iron in a weight training studio) and people needing their hair or faces done were visiting a hair salon, aesthetician or barber. .
We popped in and out of boutiques with wonderful fashions and accessories and peered into construction sites, and I even went upstairs to the shell that will become the newest location of The Infinite Monkey Theorem Winery. Here are some current eating/drinking opportunities, with more soon to follow.
I am, in general, unenthusiastic about chains, but my husband and I did try the Pearl Street location of Florida-based World of Beer, and other than the noise level inside, I thought it offered a good happy hour. Click here for my post.
Boulder has now lost is WOB, evicted due to more than a year’s unpaid rent of more than $116,000 for its 3,800-square- foot space at 921 Pearl Street.
It’s not the only shuttered WOB in the Denver/Boulder metro area. In February, the even larger 4,100 -square-foot LoDo location (1555 Blake Street, along the 16th Street Mall next to ChoLon Bistro) closed after less than two years of pulling and pouring. The remaining area WOBs (Belmar and CitySet in Glendale, which the company promotes as Cherry Creek) are reportedly unaffected by the other locations’ problems. So far, at least.
All you can eat and all you can drink at DCPA event.
More than 40 Denver restaurants and other food purveyors are doing their culinary thing in the shadow of the “Two Dancers” sculpture at the Denver Performing Arts Complex tomorrow, September 25, 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. during the 22nd annual Westword DISH food festival. It’s a bargain as such things go — $20 general admission and $75 VIP early entry. Both levels include unlimited food samples and beverages (Stella Artois beer and others).
Syrup, Little Man Ice Cream, The Real Dill, Aikopops, Onefold, Biker Jim’s, Roaming Buffalo BBQ, The Vegan Van, Dirt Coffee Bar, Interstate Kitchen, Neighbors Wine Bar, Milk & Cake, Brazen, Il Porcellino, Frijoles Colorado, Amore Gelato, Jozi’s Kitchen & Sheebeen, Americatus, the Nickel and more will all be dishing samples at DISH. It’s not a family event, however, as it’s 21+. (Take RTD and bring an ID.)
You can buy tickets online or at the entrance beginning at 10 a.m. with no service fee.
A Taste of Colorado, the long-running Labor Day Weekend tradition of food, entertainment, carnival attractions and vendors galore, packs ’em in to Denver’s Civic Center Park. But an option in the mountains holds more epicurean appeal –.away from the Front Range’s late summer heat. The commonality, in addition to being in Colorado, is that entry to both events is free. You pay for what you eat.
The 10th annual Gourmet on Gore, a comparatively new classic culinary festival, takes place in the heart of Vail on Labor Day Weekend (September 2-5) and features gastronomic creations from some of Vail’s most renowned chefs, sips from world-class vintners, exceptional beers and events that highlight the natural beauty of Vail. In short, you won’t fine BBQ turkey legs or funnel cake.
In addition to the open-air tasting with wine, beer and spirits selections and food from the Vail Valley’s top restaurants, Gourmet on Gore offers also offers a variety of additional pairing events and outdoor activities throughout the weekend. The Tasting Tour kicks things off on Friday, September 4, and Open-Air Tastings take place on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 5 and 6, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Brunch on Bridge Street closes the weekend on Monday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Find a full schedule of events, lodging packages and other details or purchase Tasting Tour tickets online, FoMoInfo: 970.476.6797 x712.
Most Boulder happy hours end at 6 p.m., but the World of Beer’s downtown Boulder location of this franchise has a well-priced happy hour that starts at 3 p.m. and lasts until 7 p.m. That’s one of the things I really like about the place.
Billing itself as a “craft tavern,” WOB puts out a ginormous beer list with a goodly number of Colorado brews. Other pluses: the menu of substantial and shareable dishes, the congenial sidewalk tables and the fact that cocktails, wine and non-alcoholic beverages are also available. What I don’t like at all is the volume of the sound system. Outdoors is OK, but the noise level guarantees I won’t be there when it gets cold.
Price check: At happy hour, craft beers, $4; shareable food, $5; wine and cocktails, $6.
Zomato has not yet discovered this World of Beer, which is at 921 Pearl Street (former Bácaro location), west of the Mall. The phone number is 303-728-9155.
Claire Walter's Colorado-oriented but not Colorado-exclusive blog about restaurants, food and wine events, recipes and related news. For address of any restaurant, click on the Zomato icon at the end of the post.