Black Shirt Brewing – Chasing Perfection

536819_10151573180636776_874004873_n

Click for Black Shirt Brewing Website. Source: BSB Facebook

Here at Denverspeax, we have always been drawn to people who are passionate. We recently had the opportunity to interview one of the most passionate breweries in town: Black Shirt Brewing (BSB). Our first visit to Black Shirt Brewing was on the Slow Roll Pub Crawl a few weeks back. We really enjoyed the beer and vibe in the short time we spent there, and wanted to experience more. We were given the opportunity to sit down and explore the mind of Chad Miller CEO and co-founder of Black Shirt Brewing.  Continue reading

Advertisements

DenverSpeax – A Reminder

 

 

Image

 

The power of reminder can be very interesting and thought-provoking, to the point of near meditation:

A song comes on the radio, and you’re instantly placed into a time previous of extreme joy, or maybe content, or possibly sadness.

You head west out of Denver to visit the Rockies, and you’re reminded of your first trip to Loveland Pass, or your first drive through the Eisenhower Tunnel.

montanaandlift

View from Arapahoe Basin – Click on the photo to see more beautiful pictures in this area.

These places serve as reminder for us as to why we moved here, and why we started DenverSpeax. It’s important to reflect, and have our reflection over the past (almost) year rejuvenate our spirits and provoke motivation. I thought it would be good to pass this along to you all who have supported us.
The Story:
When we moved here, we had a few friends from back home, but they were fairly new as well. It was difficult to find places to go or see because we didn’t know what we were looking for, per se – try using Yelp to find a restaurant when you’re in the mood for a certain atmosphere, or when you’re trying to make friends – is there a filter for those? Although we believe Yelp is a great application and very helpful, sometimes a star-rating just doesn’t cut it. Sure, there’s another great site called TripAdvisor – we use it when we are traveling…but we weren’t traveling any longer. We weren’t looking for advertised Bed & Breakfasts and their ratings – we were looking to call a place home.

 

The best way to learn and begin to understand a community is by fully emerging yourself. This is what we’ve learned in our various travels domestically and internationally, as well as with this move to Denver. Out of boredom, and lack of known resources within the Denver community & beyond, DenverSpeax was born.

city park jazz June 2013

City Park hosts City Park Jazz for many Sundays each summer. Click on the picture to read more!

We roam around Denver and the surrounding areas looking for what’s good in the community. The good comes in all shapes, sizes, and experiences. We support small, local businesses when we eat out, and prefer to stay local with our purchases as well. Luckily, there are so many festivals, parks, food and beverage, volunteering, and natural beauty here that we’ll never run out of things to write about.

jeff cow

Walking around on the 16th Street mall can be a ton of fun. Click on the picture to check out more!

DenverSpeax exists to promote positivity within the community, helping out natives and transplants alike with what to do, where to go, and how to experience all of the good that’s so aplenty here. Know someone who’s moving to Denver? Show ’em our website. Ran out of things to do and experience? Look through the site! Planning a trip to Denver and want the real feel of our diverse community? Well, we have a website for that!

Thank you for your endless support. We are devoted to continue to bring you the low down on what’s good in Denver. A few things we’re looking at tackling next:

  • Volunteering – how can we give back to the community we love so much? There are so many ways – we just need to DO IT.
  • Collaboration with other Colorado start-ups that need support with getting noticed in the community.
  • Visiting Bed & Breakfasts local to Denver so that we can provide our visitors with features on great places to stay.

How you can help: Come with us! Or, let us know…

What other features would you like to see on the website?

What is local and positive that you just can’t live without?

For more on what’s good in Denver, follow us in real-time on Facebook, Instagram (@denverspeax), or Twitter (@denverspeax).

 

 

 

 

Kombucha, Bamboo Bicycles, Juicing, oh my! – BambuCycles

 

Image

Check out BambuCycles in the Highlands – stop in and slam a green one for us, Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Mar 2014

Healthy, scrumptious things to consume and cool bicycles are two things that Denverites go bananas over; it’s not hard to see why Denver, Boulder, and the Loveland areas made top 10 on a recent study’s slimmest cities! Check out this local business that’s helping us reach such lofty fitness goals – Stop #2 on the March 2014 Denver Dishcrawl, BambuCycles.

 

Using a masticating juicer (that means no blades, my friends) the fruits and veggies juiced by the guys at BambuCycles leave nearly all of the vitamins and nutrients in tact, extracting all of the pulp and fiber; the process uses a slower, crushing and squeezing method than other commonplace juicers. Another cool fact: BambuCycles in LoHi succeeds at extracting about 90% juice instead of the typical juicer’s 60% return. They make our Jack LaLanne juicer look like a joke! Check out the differences between masticating (more expensive) and centrifugal (more common, less expensive) juicers here for an easy run-down on the two.

Image

BambuCycles doing what they do best! Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Mar 2014

The guys at BambuCycles juiced two, glorious samples for us- one green, and one made of fruits including pineapple, cantaloupe, and watermelon. Ever wondered about how juicing works, or wanted to take advantage of the many health benefits juicing provides? Stop in and chat with Angel and the guys; not only a wealth of knowledge, the staff are happy to assist you with customized juice orders, detoxes, and cleanses.

 

Image

Bright and full of flavor – The Mexican Salad at BambuCycles. Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Mar 2014

Some of the fruit was saved from juicing and chopped into small salads with a spicy twist (pictured above).

Try a rendition of this vibrant, flavorful melon salad:

  • Take your favorite melons (cantaloupe, watermelon, etc), and chop into 1” chunks – we like to fill a standard dinner-bowl full of the fruit to split between two people.
  • Drizzle lemon juice (to taste). We prefer a TON of lemon juice simply because the tangy and sweet combination of the lemon juice and the fruit is incredible.
  • Dust some cayenne (we prefer) or chili pepper throughout the salad – be careful! (also, to taste)
  • Sea Salt (to taste).
  • Mix the fruit, lemon juice, salt, and cayenne / chili pepper together, making sure each piece of fruit gets this crazy combination of ingredients for the best variety of flavors in every bite. Seriously, it’s like a party in your mouth.

 

Image

 

Another great experience provided on this Dishcrawl stop? Kombucha on tap! If you’re not familiar with Kombucha Tea, let us explain: Happy Leaf is a well known Kombucha producer, pulling from multiple types of tea in their brewing: green, white, and black. Benefits of Kombucha per The Food Renegade:

#1. DETOX!

 

#2. Helps with those pesky joints

 

#3. Digestion & Gut Health

 

#4. Boosts the Immune System

 

Check out The Food Renegade for more great info on Kombucha.

 

 

BambuCycles offer a stylish ride that stands out in a crowd. Not only are they cool looking, but they also provide natural shock absorption that simply can’t be replicated by other machined bikes. Stop in and check out these sweet rides!

 

Alright, alright… juicing, healthy & delicious snacks, Kombucha, AND bamboo bikes? Does BambuCycles NOT do anything awesome?

AnneliseStop2

Annelise, enjoying some juice and Bamboo Bikes. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Mar 2014

The answer is obviously no. They offer some serious benefits to the LoHi community, and definitely have a blast doing it. We look forward to stopping in again soon and learning more about their interesting business.

 

 

 

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!

Image

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

stop 3 cheeky monk

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!

 

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

stop1lohigroup

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.

stop1mushroomsmule

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.

stop1hommus

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.

stop1portobella

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

stop1sirloinburg

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

AnneliseStop2

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.

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!

Image

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!

Image

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.

Image

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.

Image

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

Image

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!

The Oriental Opry – From Coffeehouse to The Big House

Genuine. Organic.  Vintage. Authentic.

These are just a few words that hit the nail on the head when discussing the Oriental Opry, an event held at The Oriental Theater the second Tuesday of each month. Two Sundays ago, I met with Jane Manly and Joe Kellogg, the master-minds behind this great event that aims to strengthen the community through musicianship. After witnessing two captivating Oprys, I had to get the behind-the-scenes-scoop!

joeandjane

Jane Manly and Joe Kellogg, organizers of The Oriental Opry. Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Feb 2014

So how did The Opry start? The event actually stems from weekly jam sessions out of musician and friend, Rick Franz’s, garage. Jam sessions grouped with (Jane Manly and her friend, Vince Leclair’s,) suggestion of the band Dirt Simple taking the big stage at the Oriental Theater, and BOOM! The Oriental Opry was born last June 2013.

A variety show, The Oriental Opry aims to provide a variety of acts, currently consisting mostly of folk, blue grass, jazz and blues music. Coming up, Jane, the producer and organizer, is working on integrating other community acts, including magic and performances by kids in the community.

oriental opry picstitch marq

Shots from the first Oriental Opry that DenverSpeax attended in January 2014 – we were instantly hooked! Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Jan 2014

What makes The Oriental Opry so unique and special is that it’s “all about putting local musicians on the stage to create community; it’s about bringing people together”, Joe said best. Musicians reinforce this sense of community and camaraderie  by collaborating with each other on stage- many times without sheet music, simply supporting their fellow musicians. The musicians, Jane, and Joe rely heavily on word-of-mouth advertising for the Oriental Opry each month. No one participates in this event for the money – performers trust Jane’s producing skills and Joe as the MC, while musicians and viewers alike understand the mission behind The Oriental Opry.

Jane and Joe have created a supportive environment allowing musicians an opportunity to make the move from playing at the coffee house to performing in the big house. “The Oriental Opry allows musicians that are isolated to come together and collaborate”, explained the two, continuously stressing the importance of the community the event creates. Additionally, they described the amazing support they receive for the event from Oriental Theater owners Scott LaBarbera and Andy Bercaw. Lots of love toward them as well as Lara Moore for all of their assistance and belief in this fantastic event.

Oldtime band photo

Jeffrey Dallet and band at the February 12th, 2014 Oriental Opry event. See more photos by clicking on pic and visiting our Facebook page! Credit: Steve Mercer, Feb 2014.

bluestage

Nearly There jamming at the Opry! Credit: Steve Mercer, Feb 2014

picstitch feb 2014 opry

Come check out the talented musicians at the Oriental Opry – check them out by clicking on the pic above to be brought to their Facebook page. Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Feb 2014

Once you experience this show, it will be easy to understand and feel a necessity to share in the mission; it’s not just another event – it’s a great time with some of the most talented musicians DenverSpeax has ever heard. They have a knack for entertainment, allowing you to forget to check the time on your watch and how many likes you got on your Facebook selfie that evening. The sounds are creative and captivating, all while giving you a sense of inclusion into The Opry’s community.

oldtime photo2

Check out The Oriental Opry every 2nd Tuesday of every month at The Oriental Theater. March 11th, 2014, is the next Oriental Opry – don’t miss it!

For information on playing in the Oriental Opry, please contact Jane Manly for additional information via the Oriental Opry’s Facebook Page.

The Oriental Theater: A Tennyson Staple

Here’s a place we feel doesn’t get nearly enough credit for the incredible acts and fantastic shows put on: The Oriental Theater.

Image

The Oriental Opry, Jan 14th, 2014. Top: the Oriental Theater’s marquee. Bottom: Friends jamming at the Oriental Opry. Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Jan 2014

Located at 44th and Tennyson in Denver, CO, sits this intimate venue, boasting performances by such greats as Leon Russell. The charming, vintage environment enhances the experience – the murals, grand stage, lush curtains, and statuesque balcony come together to form a bold statement about the place – it’s a staple within the community.

Our first visit to the Oriental Theater was to experience the Oriental Opry – a night chocked full of groups of friends performing various blues, bluegrass, and jazz tunes, both original and recreated. Because of the close-knit community and camaraderie of the musicians that grace the stage at the Oriental Theater, we immediately felt at home.

Image

Mike & Moses playing a slow, jazz number. Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Jan 2014

The Oriental Theater also hosts other events aside from live music; comics grace the presence of the stage, as well as this past Superbowl 48 game! Upcoming, Oriental Theater will host Masters of the Brewniverse this Thursday, February 13th. 15 breweries will provide unlimited tastings and participate in a beer pageant (yes, a pageant). $25 scores you unlimited craft brew samples and admission to watch the competition. Even COOLER – 100% of the profits go toward the Mile High United Way.

For more great events, check out the schedule here on the Oriental Theater’s official website. Ticket prices are extremely reasonable, the staff are kind and knowledgable, and the experience surely memorable.

We will see you all at Masters of the Brewniverse this Thursday!

Check us out on Facebook – we’d love to hear from you!

Headed to Seattle

20140110-200122.jpg
When flying out of DIA (Denver International Airport)’s East Terminal, make sure you stop by Chef Jimmy’s Bistro and Spirits for a Spicy Bloody Mary. They actually infuse the vodka themselves; we always ask for the spiciest seeing as it’s absolutely delicious.

We are off to Seattle, friends! Fly out this evening and fly back to Denver Sunday night. Steve and I (Kirsten) found tickets for $58 each way via Frontier Airlines and couldn’t pass it up. Look forward to many random photos and stories as we bum around this great city for a whole 48 hours with zero plans and even less accountability. Cheers!

20140110-200950.jpg

Follow us on Instagram and watch our weekend Seattle journey: @denverspeax

Follow us on Twitter! @denverspeax