Black Shirt Brewing – Chasing Perfection

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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

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OneSpark 2014 – CitySpeax Project Promo Video

Thanks to all of our friends and family that have made this trip to OneSpark in Jacksonville tomorrow possible. Watch our brand expansion project’s video – CitySpeax – your city, your love.

Also, please please PLEASE vote for our project to get NOTICED and FUNDED here. “Bookmark” it, and help us rise through the ranks of popularity. Thanks again for your support!

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!

 

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.

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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. at the Bluebird Theater in Denver, Colorado

Detroit natives Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. will be hitting the Bluebird Theater stage Saturday, March 8th, 2014. Tickets are only $15 in advance and $17 at the door, catering to ages 16+.

We’re suckers for happy-fun-sunshine, toe-tappin’, positive vibe music, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. definitely delivers on all counts. The fact that they never really planned to make it big, as well as choosing a band name that seeks out musically open-minded individuals only adds to the cool factor of this band.

Before or after the show, hit up Goosetown Tavern across the street and get some great grub! Maybe a pint to wash it down with as well.

Hope to see you at the show!

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Colfax Ave’s Goosetown Tavern

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Watching the game at Goosetown Tavern. Click on the picture to visit their Facebook page! Make sure you like ’em! Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Jan 2014

Last Friday, we stopped into Goosetown Tavern, located in our neighborhood on Colfax. A few of the Denverspeax crew directed us here because of the relaxed atmosphere, great staff, and delicious food. We sat at the bar, watched the New Orleans Saints pound the Philadelphia Eagles, and devoured the most delicious nachos in the universe. Oh, you think I’m joking?

Seriously.

Best. Damn. Nachos. Ever.

But we’ll get to that- let’s talk about the place for a second. Like I mentioned, it’s located on Colfax, between York and Colorado Blvd. Finding parking can be like a scavenger hunt, but because the Cleaners / Laundromat located next door was closed, we decided we more than likely wouldn’t be towed if we parked in their parking lot. Across the street from Goosetown Tavern on Colfax, there’s metered parking, and better luck down the side-streets as well. This will definitely be a location we ride our bikes to once the snow clears up! Goosetown is open 7 days per week, 11 am – 2 am for your visiting pleasure.

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Nice view from in front of the bar. Click on the picture above to be redirected to their website! Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Jan 2014

In addition to a creative, daily Happy Hour, each day having a naming convention inclusive of some fantastic punk band, Goosetown also provides an eclectic menu, trivia night, and random events / parties. Sitting right across the street from the Bluebird Theater, Goosetown is a perfect place to catch a drink and meet up with friends before and after the show. Another plus: pool tables!

Everyone we came into contact with at Goosetown was friendly; it was super easy to hold a conversation with the guys and gals that worked there. We all chatted about football, traveling, music… Not for a second did anyone put off that “I’m cooler than you” vibe. You know the one I’m talking about, right? Everyone’s felt it before. Nope – not at this place!

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Try out the Southern Pork Nachos at Goosetown – click on the picture to see the menu. Credit: Steve Mercer, Jan 2014

Now, let’s get to the food. If you haven’t checked out Goosetown’s menu, please do – there are so many interesting dishes; some of which utilizing home-made sausage! From Potato Cheese Pierogis to Southern Pork Nachos, there are so many good choices that it makes it difficult to order just one thing. We opted for the Southern Pork Nachos, consisting of shredded, barbeque pork atop tri-colored tortilla chips. Add shredded, cheddarjack cheese, fresh jalapeños, and ‘slaw and you’ve got yourself mouth-watering, deliciously-crafted Southern Pork Nachos. Two of us wiped out an order in under 10 minutes, and needed another.

Make sure you visit Goosetown Tavern, a local establishment providing much love to the city of Denver. Great for watching a football game, meeting before/after a show at the Bluebird, or to relax and shoot some pool. Hope to see you there, Denver!

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Denverspeax Band Photo

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If Denverspeax had a band, this would be our representative band photo – eat your heart out.

Tonight, we hopped “the 15” bus, and wandered on down to Sancho’s on Colfax; it’s a “thinking place”.

Actually, it’s a really relaxed, chill bar to meet and reunite with good friends, new and old. The Grateful Dead is blaring, and I can’t help but live up to the mantra, “a thinking place”.

Thinking about the website, denverspeax, and the great ways to go in 2014 and beyond…
Thinking about the travels that 2014 will provide…
Thinking about the small businesses in Denver that are putting their livelihoods on the line, and hoping we can help them out through the website…
Thinking about how we reciprocate in giving back to the Denver community through volunteerism…

So many things to think about and tackle for 2014. We are so glad you’ll all be there to witness and support. Without you all, there wouldn’t be any thinking going on at Sancho’s tonight.