• A new guy is heading up the hop-slinging at Phantom Canyon Brewing Co. (2 E. Pikes Peak Ave., phantomcanyon.com): Alan Stiles, a Colorado Springs native. Stiles, 45, was brought in last month, after Andrew Bradley departed to the under-construction Colorado Mountain Brewery (coloradomountainbrewery.com).
"Andy [contacted me] when he decided he was leaving ... because I told him if the job ever came open, I'd like to have my hat in the ring," says Stiles.
Most recently in his 13-year beer career, Stiles has worked at the Shamrock Brewing Co. in Pueblo, the Warehouse Restaurant and Cheyenne Mountain Brewing. With him at Phantom's helm, expect to see a rye lager at Christmas, plus a new coffee stout and a pre-Prohibition-style pilsner down the road.
• With the success of their first attempt at using Manitou spring water in wine creation, owner Tracy Fagner and D'Vine Wine (934 Manitou Ave., dvinewineusa.com) are planning on two more varietals to be released in the next few months. Having already created a Ute Indian Spring-based raspberry pinot noir in October — Fagner believes D'Vine is the only winery in Colorado to attempt such a pairing — she plans to release a sauvignon blanc and a malbec, though she's not yet sure which other local spring she'll source.
• Oenophiles rejoice: Kimball's Peak Three Theater (115 E. Pikes Peak Ave., kimballstwinpeak.com) will soon build a second bar. Owner Kimball Bayles says that by March 2010, what used to be his second-floor office will become a more "intimate and quiet" wine bar, with later hours, couches, movies playing and an expanded wine selection.
"We'll have wines that people traditionally couldn't get by the glass," says Bayles. "Lots of reds."
• Take advantage of a new special from Trinity Brewing Co. (1466 Garden of the Gods Road, trinitybrew.com): Purchase any food item from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday, and receive a gratis Trinity-brewed pint when you bring back your receipt within three days during evening hours.
À la carte
• Attend a holiday tasting of Champagnes, Cognacs, ports, scotches, wines and beers next to appetizers by Garden of the Gods Gourmet, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 1, at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center's Café 36 (30 W. Dale St., 389-0973). Tickets are $65 and benefit the Crawford House, which provides transitional housing for homeless military vets.
• The Miramont Castle (9 Capitol Hill Ave., Manitou Springs, miramontcastle.org) will host a Victorian Christmas between Nov. 27 and 29, featuring refreshments and entertainment. Entry costs $6 to $10. High tea ($25) may be scheduled separately.