Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Jess Fierro's Doña Neta taste test with Focus on the Beer

Posted By on Wed, Jun 21, 2017 at 2:01 PM

On June 2, local homebrewer Jessica Fierro was announced as the winner of Beerland, a homebrewing documentary/competition TV show aired by Viceland. Her winning recipe, a tamarind biere de garde called Doña Neta, was chosen over brews from across the country, and was brewed for mass consumption by Golden Road Brewing of Los Angeles, the Anheuser-Busch InBev-owned brewery that sponsored the show.

While Doña Neta has yet to hit shelves in Colorado, the show's promoters set us a few cans to sample. So we tapped Indy food reviewer Griffin Swartzell and production director Ryan Hannigan, who also runs the blog Focus on the Beer, to give it a try. Check out their reactions below.
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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Whirlyball to bring recreation, craft beer to central Springs

Posted By on Tue, Jun 20, 2017 at 1:56 PM

Comfortable seating and lane-side food and drink delivery are just a few nods to craft culture that make Whirlyball interesting. - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • Comfortable seating and lane-side food and drink delivery are just a few nods to craft culture that make Whirlyball interesting.
Adam Elias has been playing Whirlyball since age 3. It's a sport of sorts, a cross between lacrosse, basketball and bumper cars, playable up to five-on-five. It's also a Chicago-based restaurant and entertainment chain, owned by the Elias family, and Adam is the Vice President of strategic planning. He's helping to open the first Whirlyball location outside of Chi-town, located at 3971 Palmer Park Blvd., in the Rustic Hills shopping center. It's set to open on Saturday, June 24.

Elias says the Springs made sense as Whirlyball's first expansion outside of Chicago for a few reasons, not least of which are the city's emphases on active entertainment and craft beer. While the neighborhood he chose for the 30,000-square-foot, $2.5 million renovation isn't the most happening part of town — the only other business in the shopping center is a Gold's Gym at the moment — he hopes Whirlyball can help revitalize the neighborhood.

Whirlyball stands out from similar venues like Dave & Buster's with plush service nuances and an emphasis on adults and corporate events. The venue at large fits around 600, and the dividable private event suite in back can host up to 160. Posh details include couches and big tables at the 12-lane bowling alley, plus lane-side food and drink delivery.

Speaking of food and drink, we saw some promise when we stopped by for a preview. Corporate executive chef John Cosnotti, formerly executive chef at Google's Chicago office, helped build the menu, which adds a few local items to a list of company wide standards. Day to day, the kitchen will be run by executive chef Charlie Roberts.

For drinks, Whirlyball has 24 taps and another 30 bottles, mostly featuring Colorado craft beers, including brews from Bristol Brewing Company, Denver's Great Divide Brewing Company, Boulder's Avery Brewing Company, and Dillon, Colorado's Pug Ryan's Brewing Company. Every menu item was designed to pair with a particular style, according to Elias. There will be a short house cocktail list. The company won't be featuring any locally distilled spirits at opening, but Elias says they're open to the idea.

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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Sakura Speakeasy holds grand opening in Rooster's

Posted By on Wed, Jun 14, 2017 at 10:55 AM

This signature martini uses a delicate infused gin with yuzu, Indian peppercorn and pomegranate. - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • This signature martini uses a delicate infused gin with yuzu, Indian peppercorn and pomegranate.
Sakura Speakeasy, located behind a door inside of Rooster's House of Ramen, will hold its grand opening tonight at 5 p.m. The sorta-secret bar, owned by Sean and Inez Fitgerald of The Wobbly Olive and The Collective, will seat up to 24 patrons. Dylan Currier, formerly of Cowboy Star and Brooklyn's on Boulder, will take the role of bartender, having helped design the cocktail program.

"We intend to provide the level of service and experience that will create a continued desire to come not just once or twice, but for every guest to become regular patrons, while setting service standards city-wide," says Sean.

For more info on the bar's offerings, check out this article from one of our recent Side Dish columns.
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Friday, June 2, 2017

Sakura bar offers a taste of some bigger news

Posted By on Fri, Jun 2, 2017 at 5:22 PM

  • Griffin Swartzell
We've been hearing about a new bar from a major player in the Springs' cocktail scene for a while now. Its name: Sakura. We're going to keep the details on this bar quiet for a few days longer, but check out the June 7th issue of the Independent for a full and proper run down.

In the mean time, we can share a few details about what the spot's going to be serving. Recently, we sat down with some of the bar's staff to sample an early version of the cocktail program — we don't see a lot of craft cocktail programs that incorporate Asian ingredients in the Springs, so this promises to be a unique spot.

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