Colorado Craft Beer Week 2014

Welcome to Colorado Craft Beer Week, going on March 21 – 29, 2014. Check out the calendar and participate in events all around Colorado at favorite breweries, pubs, and restaurants.

Don’t see your favorite brewery, pub, or restaurant on the event page? Check their websites or Facebook pages! Odds are, they’re planning something for you, your family, and friends to enjoy for Craft Beer Week!

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Check out Tommyknocker’s beer flights! Photo Credit: DenverSpeax, 2013

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DenverSpeax enjoys trying out new beers and keeping up with old faves. Photo Credit: DenverSpeax, Mar 2014

 

Tell us your favorite breweries and why – help us out with new places to visit. We have a Michigander coming into town this weekend, and would love to enjoy a new experience alongside him!

 

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Denver Dishcrawl Stop 1: LoHi Steak Bar, A Gathering Place

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Check out the gathering space provided in the private room of LoHi Steak Bar! Click on the pic to be re-directed to the LoHi Steak Bar’s website to check out their menu, specials, and events going on. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Mar 2014

 

A gathering place, LoHi Steak Bar is centrally located on 32nd Ave & Tejon St. – right in the middle of all the LoHi (Lower Highlands Denver, for you newbies) action.

With an easy locale, a welcoming atmosphere, and a killer restaurant and bar menu, it’s easy to see why LoHi Steak Bar is an easy choice in LoHi.

The first stop on our Denver Dishcrawl, LoHi Steak Bar, accommodated our vast group in a private dining area. With name tags on our shirts signaling vegetarian or otherwise, dishes composed of their specialties were placed before us.

On other organized  “crawls”, it’s not uncommon to receive a dish or two crammed onto one, crowded plate; it’s also not uncommon to receive a well-versed speech regarding said crowded dish from some trainee who barely knows the joint.

LoHi sent out their best dishes and friendly, intelligent staff to go over the SEVERAL dishes they created and disbursed. Details of local ingredients and other facts of each dish were provided in advance of each plate devouring.

 

Check out the deliciousness LoHi Steak Bar prepared for the Crawl: 

First, we were provided button mushrooms stuffed with Polidori Sausage (a local Colorado company!). Lemon was provided to be squeezed over the mushrooms, adding an incredibly tangy flavor to the hearty plate. Well done, LoHi… well done. Also pictured is a fantastic Moscow Mule in the proper, copper mug. Just a friendly, DenverSpeax reminder – if it doesn’t come in a copper mug, it’s not real. Write that down.

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We have a weakness for Moscow Mules – it’s true… And, stuffed mushrooms? Let’s just call this photo “Heaven”. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Mar 2014

 

Next, we’re presented with “not your average” Hummus PlateLoHi uses fresh ingredients to concoct a thick, creamy Hummus with olives and red pepper. DenverSpeax feels there’s a fine art in creating your own house Hummus, especially when it tastes as great as their’s (and when you’ve tried countless times at home, each ending in failure…)! Great starter for your table of friends.

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LoHi Steak Bar’s Homemade Hummus. Click on the photo to check out this, and other, menu items. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Mar 2014

Here we go – the pride and joy of Stop #1 at LoHi Steak Bar – the vegetarian Portobello Sandwich (made especially for the Dishcrawl) and the House Ground Chuck Hamburger. Both were exceptionally prepared: juicy, fully dressed, and flavorful. There wasn’t the slightest hint of stuffy or dull – just two classics that delivered nothing short of satisfaction. Oh! Their seasoned, crispy House Frites were fantastic as well, and served as a welcomed and complimenting, over-indulgent side.

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Mmmm…..portobello sandwich. How we love thee! Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Mar 2014

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For all of the carnivores out there, this one’s for you. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Mar 2014

As if all of this weren’t enough, LoHi went ahead and dished out creamy, delicious Cheesecake as well! Sorry, this went too fast for the camera to keep up – our sincere apologies.

Please keep in mind that this was only Stop #1 of 4 on the Denver Dishcrawl, folks. We understand that at this time you must REALLY be kicking yourself for not attending. We get it, and luckily there are more Dishcrawls coming up in Denver. Make sure you stop by the Dishcrawl site to check out the next events, and secure you & your friends’ spots. Even though we’re only one stop in to this magical, dish crawl blogging journey, I’m sure you’re understanding the great value and experience Dishcrawl.com is prepared to provide us all.

Not only does Dishcrawl bring us together within our beloved Denver community, it introduces us to great gathering spots, like LoHi Steak Bar. I think Maggie said it best when describing our first stop as a “non-stuffy” place; we agree that LoHi Steak Bar is perfect for relaxing and hanging out with those who mean the most. Check out their events, specials, and menus on their site. Also, make sure you invite us to your food fest – it hasn’t even been a week, but we’re ready for more mushrooms, burgers, and frites!

 

DenverSpeax First Dishcrawl: Denver

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Annelise, our newest writer for DenverSpeax standing next to some impressive, and exclusive, bamboo bikes at our second stop on the Dishcrawl. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Mar 2014

Last Wednesday, Annelise and I (Kirsten) went on a foodie adventure via Dishcrawl Denver. We visited four, happening spots that each displayed the true meaning of communal and friendly gathering, while also providing a flexible and fun environment to try their specialty dishes. Let’s be honest – it was a foodie’s paradise.

From portobello sandwiches to salted, oreo ice cream – we indulged in much of what LoHi has to offer in the arena of “good eats”… in only a few hours’ time. We also got to meet a ton of new friends from various industries, all calling themselves “foodies” as well! Food + New Friends = Can’t Go Wrong.

Maggie, our Dishcrawl ambassador, did a fantastic job of highlighting not only the specialties, but also the contributions to the community of each stop. We mowwed down on meat and vegetarian dishes alike, and are proud to bring you the low down on all that is good in LoHi in these next few features.

Stay tuned for our upcoming, exclusive features on each stop of the Denver Dishcrawl in LoHi. Not only did we find new mouth-watering eats, but also small businesses that are strengthening our Denver community in very unique way.

Make sure you check out Dishcrawl and pencil in the Denver dates on your calendar. With the combination of great food, fun, and new friends, it’s just silly not to be there.

WordPress Meet and Greet – All Bloggers Welcome

This is a great idea from a blog chocked full of fantastic ideas – new to blogging? Want to connect and find new blogs and site to read? Check out this post and peruse through! Thanks, OM!
Your Colorado fraaaaan, DenverSpeax

To check out the low down on what’s good in Denver, CO, visit http://www.denverspeax.com
We are not a glorified Yelp, but an honest look at what’s GOOD, only posting positive reviews. Come hang out!

Denver Dishcrawl in LoHi – Wednesday, Mar 19th, 2014

Denver Dishcrawl in Lohi – Wednesday, Mar 19th, 2014

Go ahead and mark your calendars for an upcoming cool event put on by Dishcrawl.com; Denverspeax will be there, getting a better understanding of the community, local happenings, and… well, eating, of course! This event, beginning at approximately 7 pm (meeting place provided upon ticket purchase) will take us on a tour to 3 eateries in the Lohi (the lower highlands) area – what a better way to get to know a few fun places to eat and hang with new friends? The possibility of meeting chefs and other creators is high while we munch on dish crawl creations and surprises! You know you want to go…

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Last summer, a bike ride with an unfortunate pedal issue took us to a cool spot in LoHi. Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Mar 2014

Check out the website and sign up for this Wednesday’s crawl in LoHi. For more information on this great event, contact Maggie, Denver’s Dishcrawl ambassador, email: Maggiek@dishcrawl.com.

Stay tuned for our write-up on on this cool experience – hope to see you there! We love guest features 🙂

Check us out on Facebook!
We’re on  the Twitter as well – @denverspeax

Quick Colfax Pub Crawl: Three Lions, Sancho’s Broken Arrow, and Cheeky Monk

With the nice weather coming, we feel it’s important to create fun and safe Bicycle Pub Crawls. Yesterday, Jeff and I (Kirsten) set out to visit a few pubs on Colfax, and ended up riding 7 miles round trip while visiting. Check out the highlights of our three stops!

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Jeff representing Detroit underneath the Detroit street sign; first stop was Three Lions on Colfax. Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Mar 2014

Stop #1: The Three Lions: A World Football Pub

We’ve been hooked on this Football (or, soccer) pub since last summer when we experienced a bus trip from the place to see The Colorado Rapids.

Three Lions is all things Football, have a variety of great beers, and some killer appetizers. Bonus, their patio out front sports a few fantastic picnic tables so you can enjoy the sun and your brew simultaneously!

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Stop #2: Sancho’s Broken Arrow on Colfax. Pictured: Jeff & Kirsten (above). Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Mar 2014

Stop #2: Sancho’s Broken Arrow – A Thinking Place

Sancho’s is another place we really enjoy – who can’t with all of the Grateful Dead parafanalia, pool tables, and ridiculous specials. 2 for $3 Coors Light drafts yesterday? Don’t mind if we do! We also made a friend from Wisconsin who had stopped in before going to finish up some errands. There are always friendly people at Sancho’s with interesting stories to tell. Stop in and say hi.

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Jeff introduced me to Kwak at The Cheeky Monk! Pictured: Jeff, Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Mar 2014

Stop #3: The Cheeky Monk Belgian Beer Cafe

Yesterday was my first time at the Cheeky Monk. Jeff introduced me to a Belgian Strong Pale Ale, Pauwel Kwak. A heavily fruity beer, there was a brief banana after-taste – something new! Try it out – it gets great ratings, and is served all fancy-like. In addition to the Kwak, we also had some tasty frites (fries) served with a garlic aioli as well as delicious pretzel bites served with a spicy mustard. Specific appetizers were half off while we visited – check out the Cheeky Monk online to see when they host happy hour and other specials.

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Delicious garlic frites with a garlic aioli on the side. Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Mar 2014

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Pretzel bites – delicious! Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Mar 2014

There you have it – a mini pub crawl on Colfax Ave with 3 great locations. We look forward to planning more of these epic excursions to explore more brews and good eats around the city.

Where should we go next? Let us know in the comments below, or on our Facebook page!

Mardi Gras 2014 in New Orleans, LA

We love visiting New Orleans. Period.
Not only do Steve and I, (Kirsten), get to see a large part of our family, but New Orleans is truly a flexible vacation spot. You can make the trip to NOLA whatever you want it to be.

I know, I know… I must be lying, right? Bourbon street, Bourbon street, Bourbon street…. NO! Honestly, New Orleans is more than just flashing, beads, and obnoxious Bourbon street – it’s like, the holy grail of culturally preserved areas that still remain within the United States. Let’s think about this – the state still follows Civil Code, established by French emperor, Napoleon, in 1804 (see Napoleonic Code), is the birthplace of Jazz (look up Buddy Bolden, born 1877), and has upheld tradition by producing the most delicious “fried fritters”, famously known as beignets, since 1862 at Cafe du Monde.

Because there is so much to do in this fantastic city, you can create a one-of-a-kind trip. Our kind of trip included going out and seeing the sights, staying in and catching up on some quality time with the family, and everything in-between. Check out our 4 night stay in New Orleans below over Mardi Gras, Carnival Season, 2014.

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Colorado Sunrise. Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Mar 2014

We took off from DIA at 6:30 am on a plane headed to Houston, TX. Steve and I had found tickets for less than $50 each way, and picked up a rental car for less than $300. We had never driven from Houston to New Orleans before; be aware, driving in on the Friday before Mardi Gras is going to add about 3 hours to your already 6 hour trip. Here’s a tip if you do take this way – as soon as you can get on Airline Highway, or HWY 61, do it!

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The Mississippi River – in all of its dirty glory. Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Mar 2014

Aside from using the car for transportation, going between Algiers Point and downtown New Orleans we used the Canal Street Ferry. In order to keep the ferry up and running in good, operating order, this past year a fee has been imposed of $2 each way. Coupons can be purchased in advance of travel that allow admission onto the 15 minute ride across the Mississippi River. Check out the view of downtown at night:

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Downtown New Orleans, all lit up! Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Mar 2014

We attended a few parades both downtown and in Metairie. All of the areas we gathered to watch were family-friendly. Downtown, we set up shop in front of the Palace Cafe. Here’s a small taste of the fun:

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AH! Real Monsters! No, not really – but check out the cool costumes worn in one of the parades downtown. Credit: Kristen Ebey, Mar 2014

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Down in Fraggle Rock – a cool float we saw while attending a parade downtown. Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Mar 2014

We find the parades just as fun as the kids do – stuffed animals, toys, and snacks are thrown in addition to beads. Our niece and nephew brought bubble guns to play with as well as played catch with a soft football in-between parades rolling. Mardi Gras parades are some serious fun, for grown-ups and kids alike.

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Our niece and her Uncle Steve enjoying a parade downtown on Canal St. Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Mar 2014

Because we brought a newbie with us, we had a brief visit to Bourbon Street and explored the French Quarter; kidless, of course! We always make sure to keep our wallets safe, and not leave our drinks unattended. As long as you don’t act like a moron, you can have a really great time in the Quarter.

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The sun setting in the French Quarter. Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Mar 2014

Here are a few great places to visit:

  • Pirate’s Alley – an Absinthe house (bar), close to Jackson Square that captures the New Orleans charm. Their Pimm’s Cups and Bloody Mary’s are to die for, and the staff is fast, quirky, and enjoyable.
  • The Original Cafe Du Monde in the French Quarter – Grab a chocolate milk or coffee, and beignets at any time – they’re open 24 hours. Be aware, there will most likely be a line… but, it’s so worth it!
  • New Orleans Musical Legends Park – This is a great place to stop, listen to some live music, and grab a delicious bite to eat.
  • The Spice & Tea Exchange – if you love the food of New Orleans, you’ll need to stop by this shop on St. Louis to pick up spices to bring home. Their Cajun Spice and Gumbo File are phenomenal! Don’t pass this place up.
  • The Dry Dock Cafe– a neighborhood bar and grill, this place serves amazing seafood. Our favorite is the seafood platter, or the catfish po’ boy, fully dressed. Situated right across from the ferry in Algiers Point, it’s the best place to stop and get a brew on the way to the ferry, or even on the way home from the parade.

 

New Orleans is a great place to vacation at any time of year; there are actually more festivals than days in the year, meaning there’s always something cool to experience. Also, there are tons of tours you can pay for that will guide you through the haunted areas of New Orleans, swamps, above-ground cemeteries, and more.

Our advice: Set out in the morning, grab some beignets, and just bum around the Quarter and Jackson Square – meet some interesting people, listen to live street music, and take a peak at the amazing artists set up in and around the Square. There’s so much to do that it’ll be hard to leave.

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City at your fingertips! Credit: Jeff Doorn, Mar 2014

It’s a city that dangles fun before your eyes; a city at your fingertips! We can’t wait to go back in a few months and find fun, new and exciting places to go to share with you all!

For more on New Orleans, check out our sister-site, Nolaspeax and stay up to date on what’s good in New Orleans, LA.

 

DenverSpeax takes on OneSpark in Jacksonville

We’re very excited to announce that we will be featured in the Hemming Plaza venue of OneSpark, the world’s crowd-funding festival being held in Jacksonville, FL, this April 9 – 13, 2014. 

What’s OneSpark, you ask? OneSpark is a festival that brings creators from all over the world to one central place, Jacksonville, FL, to showcase their projects in fields like art, technology, innovation, and so forth, for a chance at $310,000 in crowd funds as well as $3.25 million in direct and capital investment. 

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CitySpeax in its initial phases!

We have launched a project called “CitySpeax – Your City, Your Love”, which is the expansion umbrella that sites like DenverSpeax, JaxSpeax, and NolaSpeax will be housed under. This one, central site of CitySpeax will support all of the cities under the umbrella brand, providing a one-site option to see what’s good in multiple cities around the globe. 

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First, there was DenverSpeax.

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Next came JaxSpeax! The low down on what’s good in Jacksonville, FL.

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Our latest site: NolaSpeax! The low down on what’s good in New Orleans, LA.

Why does CitySpeax matter? Good question – one that we have an easy answer for: COMMUNITY.
It strengthens local communities and economies by featuring local businesses, events, and other things to do within the given city / surrounding areas. It provides a place for small business to shine by being featured. It provides advertising that’s aimed at a small business’ budget, not a large corporate spend. It provides tourists and natives alike the access to what’s good in their targeted city with a few clicks of the mouse. 

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DenverSpeax, June 2013 – we’ve grown so much!

Why should you care about OneSpark? Well, because you, the reader, made this possible. Your love and support has provided us with the motivation to spread the good world all over the globe about what’s GOOD. By staying positive, and never focusing on the negative, you’ve provided us with the love and support to keep going, and to dream big. Thanks for having a positive impact on our lives, as we hope we have had on yours. 

 

Over the next month, we will be working hard to draw up plans for our 10 x 10 booth, which will showcase our CitySpeax project. Also, we will be working on free merchandise to give away to those who visit our booth, so make sure you stop by and say hello! We will make sure to keep you updated on our progress, and the results of OneSpark. 

 

Thanks again for being in our court, and providing the unlimited love and support that you have – it’s incredible, and we truly appreciate it. 

 

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Instameet for Colorado Instagram – Saturday, Mar 15th, 2014

Did you know that Colorado has its own Instagram Community? Yep, totally does! Colorado Instagram is strengthening our community by organizing cool and fun meet ups for anyone and everyone to participate in – totally free.

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Click on the photo to check out Colorado Instagram on Facebook. Credit: Colorado Instagram, Mar 2014.

For those of you who can’t get enough of Colorado, photography, art, or meeting people that have those plus many additional interests, you should really check out the next Instameet: an event where everyone gets together, takes photos around a given area, and shares them. Usually there is a theme, or style of photography to inspire those creative minds.

The next Instameet for Colorado Instagram will be held Saturday, March 15th, 2014 – everyone is to meet up at New Belgium in Fort Collins at 11:30 am. The theme will be portraits. I, Kirsten, see some fun makeup in my future for this Instameet… Also, as Denverspeax has never been to Fort Collins before, we’ll be killing two birds with one stone! Any suggestions of places to stop by? Give us a holler in the comments section.

You can check them out on Instagram or Facebook to get up to speed on all of the details, and their first Instameet. Make sure you tag your pics on Instagram with #focoinstameet – follow them on various social media, and pass along the good word about this cool new community!