Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Piglatin Cocina soft opens on Dublin Boulevard

Posted By on Tue, Jan 30, 2018 at 4:27 PM

Located on the north end of town, Piglatin Cocina will introduce the Velezes' cooking to a largely untapped customer base. - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • Located on the north end of town, Piglatin Cocina will introduce the Velezes' cooking to a largely untapped customer base.
As of Saturday, Jan. 27, Andres and Tricia Velez have soft-opened their brick-and-mortar eatery, Piglatin Cocina. It's the the long-awaited expansion to their popular Piglatin Food Truck, which closed for repairs in August 2017.

I had the good fortune to stop by for a friends-and-family preview on Thursday, Jan. 25, and while I was only able to stick around for a plate of Caribbean nachos ($10) and a shot of Colombian aguardiente, a cane sugar-based spirit flavored with aniseed, everything looked promising. Keep an eye out in our Side Dish column for more information soon. Until then, check out their hours and menu here and make your own judgement.
Those who enjoyed Piglatin Food Truck will be happy to know the Velezes appear to have maintained their standards of quality. - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • Those who enjoyed Piglatin Food Truck will be happy to know the Velezes appear to have maintained their standards of quality.
Location Details Piglatin Cocina
2825 Dublin Blvd
Colorado Springs, CO
Diner/comfort food

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Thursday, January 25, 2018

Sunbird Mountain Grill & Tavern to close

Posted By on Thu, Jan 25, 2018 at 3:37 PM

It's sad to hear that the 42-year-old Sunbird Mountain Grill & Tavern plans to close shop for good after service on Sunday, Feb. 4. But the last few years have been far from smooth for the California-based Specialty Restaurants Corporation-owned spot. We saw the fine dining standby transform into a Western-themed bar and grill in 2013, and found plenty of points for improvement during our visits.

Before closing for good, the restaurant will host a series of specials and celebrations, including a three-course prix-fixe dinner and a "Drink the Bar Dry" party. Check out the press release below for details.
Anaheim, Calif. – January 24, 2018 – After 42 years of serving the Colorado Springs community, the Sunbird Mountain Grill and Tavern will be closing its doors on February 5th. Sitting on top of Rattlesnake Hill, the restaurant has been a destination for local cuisine, special events, Sunday brunch and amazing views. “We want to end on a high note and honor the Sunbird before it takes its last flight. Our guests will have a few more weeks to dine and reminisce with us before we close,” said John Tallichet, President and CEO of Specialty Restaurants Corporation which owns the Sunbird, “We hope you’ll stop by, raise a last glass with us and send the Sunbird off in style!”

Opened in 1975, The Sunbird became an icon in Colorado Springs with award-winning cuisine and “one of a kind” views of the city scape, Pikes Peak and Cheyenne Mountain. Specialty Restaurants Corporation and The Sunbird would like to thank their loyal customers, many of whom have been frequenting the restaurant since it first opened 42 years ago, as well as the City of Colorado Springs, the dedicated staff, and all the longtime partners of the Sunbird. “Over the years, we’ve made many friends here and I’m proud of our amazing staff for their hard work and contributions that helped make this a great restaurant,” said John Tallichet.

The Sunbird will be open through Sunday, February 4th. The restaurant will continue to serve its a la carte menu along with a special three-course prix-fixe celebration dinner menu, Sunday Champagne Brunch, and Happy Hour specials in the Tavern. In addition, the Sunbird will host a final “Drink the Bar Dry Party” with Well Drinks and Domestic Drafts for $3, Premium Drinks and Craft Beers for $5, and Food Specials on the last two days of service, February 3rd and 4th.

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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Dueces Wild Brewery opens

Posted By on Tue, Jan 23, 2018 at 4:01 PM

Dueces Wild Brewery has opened, as of the afternoon of January 23. Earlier this month, holiday delays pushed back the Colorado Department of Revenue's final walkthrough of the brewery, owned by Richard Hysing and William Gillette. But at around 12:30 p.m., they received final go-ahead and immediately opened their doors for business.

Hysing says that they are finalizing plans for a grand opening sometime later this month. But for now, they're welcoming customers and serving up six flagship brews, plus a vanilla porter.
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What kind of beer drinker are you?

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Are you the definition of a beer snob or the overwhelmed type when you walk into a local brewery? Do you live by Untapped recommendations or order by ABV percentage only?

You're not alone.

Take the quiz to find out, and $1 off your first pint of Cerberus Brewing Company's Jan. 24 Lemon Meringue Tiny Umbrella Party IPA Firkin!

(Password given at the end of the quiz; valid 1/24 only, must be 21+)

Brought to you by Cerberus Brewing Company.

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Monday, January 22, 2018

Viceland's Beerland winner Jessica Fierro buys Great Storm Brewing

Posted By on Mon, Jan 22, 2018 at 4:39 PM

Jessica Fierro, center. - SCREENSHOT
  • Screenshot
  • Jessica Fierro, center.
In June 2017, local Jessica Fierro won on cable network Viceland’s Beerland homebrewing competition show. Her winning brew, Doña Neta, a tamarind Bière de Garde, was brewed, canned and retailed by Anheuser-Busch InBev-owned show sponsor Golden Road Brewing. At the time, Fierro said she hoped to open her own brewery somewhere down the line.

Somewhere down the line is now — as of Friday, Jan. 19, Fierro owns Great Storm Brewing. She’s been working with former owners Jeff and Lynn Jacobs on the move since summer.

“Jeff and Lynn are great people, and they decided it was their time to sell,” says Fierro via e-mail. “We were lucky enough to have just won Beerland and were looking to move the brewing out of the garage.”

Of course, there’s a big difference between homebrewing and pro brewing — recipes don’t scale one to one for reasons you’ll find in any physical chemistry textbook, to list one of many complications. Fierro knows there's a difference. She says she’s been brewing on large systems across the front range to prep. Further, Great Storm’s current brewers Gretchen Foster, Kelly Bugbee and Ian Steele will be staying on. Long-term, Fierro plans to change the name and refocus the lineup to emphasize Latin flavors, honoring her heritage as she did with Doña Neta. She will, of note, be paying homage to Great Storm’s beers as well. She’ll also be redecorating the space in short stints — craft fans can expect a few one- to three-day closures throughout the process.

Unfortunately, she will not be brewing Doña Neta — Golden Road owns the trademark for the beer, which she named for her grandmother.

“I have other things I can do, and of course I can make a tamarind beer like nobody’s business, so there will be a tamarind beer in our future.”

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Friday, January 19, 2018

Monse's Taste of El Salvador announces grand opening in Old Colorado City

Posted By on Fri, Jan 19, 2018 at 9:32 AM

  • Courtesy Monse’s Taste of El Salvador
Monse Hines has never owned a restaurant before, but she’s established her new pupuseria, Monse’s Taste of El Salvador, on well-tested recipes. Since she and husband Tim moved to Colorado from El Salvador in 2011, she’s been producing pupusas as a wholesaler. Locals may know her frozen pupusas from Natural Grocers and certain Safeway stores in northern Colorado, as well as Whole Foods, where a UPC code change has temporarily caused her products to be pulled from shelves.

At first, Hines says she planned to use the space to increase her production. But the city’s lack of a brick-and-mortar pupuseria (all respect to food truck Sosa's Pupusas) weighed on her, and she decided to use the former Venue32 as a restaurant. And based on her soft opening on January 12 and 13, the customer base is there.
Location Details Monse’s Taste of El Salvador
115 S. 25th St
Old Colorado City
Colorado Springs, CO

“We had 20 to 30 people out waiting — some people were waiting two hours to get inside,” she says.

For those unfamiliar, pupusas are a Salvadoran specialty, essentially an extra-thick corn tortilla stuffed with meat, cheese and vegetables. Hines has been making them since she was very young, learning from her mother “the rustic way.” Hers are all gluten-free (corn flour is good for that), stuffed with organic ingredients, including specialty peppers grown in Pueblo. For the soft opening, she offered three vegetarian options with cheese and three cheeseless vegan options.

“We learned a lot with the soft opening, so we’re going to add more flavors,” she says. She plans to offer a full menu of Salvadoran cuisine, featuring dishes like curtido, a Salvadoran pickled cabbage salad. The grand opening for Taste of El Salvador will be on Wednesday, Jan. 31.
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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Ditch Your New Year's Resolutions Day can't come soon enough

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As if you haven't already, it's time to forget about all that "new year, new me" stuff — who are we kidding anyways?

The best excuse to put it off for another year is Wednesday, Jan. 17: Ditch Your New Year's Resolutions Day.

To no surprise, this "holiday" is as old as New Year's resolutions are, according to daysoftheyear.com, which also points out what a shame it is that this annual self-accountability tactic usually proves to be as effective as "a hole-ridden umbrella is at keeping the rain out."

Given our propensity for vices, our minds immediately thought of all the pleasure-inducing events we'd be missing had we actually stuck to our stated goals. Cerberus Brewing Company's Firkin Wednesdays seemed one of the greatest sacrifices. If craft beer is wrong, we don't want to be right.

Celebrate Ditch your New Year's Resolution Day and get $1 off a pint of Elysium IPA w/Experimental hops Wednesday, Jan 17. - CERBERUS BREWING COMPANY
  • Cerberus Brewing Company
  • Celebrate Ditch your New Year's Resolution Day and get $1 off a pint of Elysium IPA w/Experimental hops Wednesday, Jan 17.

The brewery, voted 2017's Best New Brewery (as well as winning/placing in 11 other Best Of categories) by Indy readers, is known to test the boundaries of beer and the palates of customers with its weekly tappings — among 30+ local breweries satiating the Springs thirst for craft beer. It'd be downright irresponsible for us to resolve not to support them. But if one-of-a-kind small batches (and the economy of the Springs) aren't enough to coax you out of #dryanuary, more power to you. We all know it's just a matter of time. 

Perhaps your grade school gym coach didn't tell you, but sometimes it's OK to be a quitter. So throw in the towel on this resolution business all together, or at least consider a more sensical, moderate approach to your 2018 personal goals. At least you won't be completely miserable for the next 11 months.

2019 is our year for sure.

Who's your 2018 spirit animal?

Take our Ditch Your New Year's Resolution Day quiz and get a password for $1 off your first pint of Cerberus Brewing Co.'s Jan. 17 firkin, Elysium IPA w/Experimental hops (offer good Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2017 only; must be 21 or older). Passwords given at the end of the quiz.

Location Details Cerberus Brewing Company
702 W. Colorado Ave.
Colorado Springs, CO
Brought to you by Cerberus Brewing Company and the Indy Promotions team.

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Friday, January 12, 2018

Colorado Craft to replace The Ritz

Posted By on Fri, Jan 12, 2018 at 3:22 PM

On Thursday, January 11, members of various local media outlets were invited to a preview dinner at Colorado Craft, the public house concept that takes the place of the long-standing Ritz Grill. We'll have the full story in the issue coming out Wednesday, January 17. In the meantime, check out the slideshow below and prime your appetite.
Location Details Colorado Craft
15 S. Tejon St.
Colorado Springs, CO
11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays; until midnight Fridays; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays; and 5 p.m. to midnight Saturdays
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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

New Belgium's Juicy Haze IPA the latest Voodoo Ranger variant

Posted By on Tue, Jan 9, 2018 at 3:29 PM

  • Courtesy New Belgium
It's that time again: free beer has entered my mailbox (or, in this case, Indy IT director/Focus on the Beer co-founder Ryan Hannigan's mailbox), so I offer the following review.

Fort Collins-based New Belgium Brewing Company sent us two bottles of their Voodoo Ranger Juicy Haze IPA, an East Coast-style IPA defined less by the bitter alpha acids in hops and more by their aromatic terpene compounds, the result of adding the hops later in the brewing process. It's a new release from the brewery, to be available year-round. It's out in bottles and on draft now, with four-packs of pint cans set to come out in March.

A press release says it's the first of four New Belgium special releases set for 2018. It's also the fourth Voodoo Ranger variant, alongside an IPA, Imperial IPA and 8 Hop Pale Ale.

Right off, this cloudy, golden Juicy Haze IPA sips with a citrus note that reads mandarin oranges and something funky. More of aroma/flavor compounds in the Citra, Cascade, Centennial, Simcoe, and Nugget hops used in this beer have stuck around than one might expect from most beers, leading to a more complicated flavor that tastes more like a hop flower.

There's almost no bitterness to be found until the end of the sip, cleaning off a leading sweetness and leaving a lingering coating on the tongue. It's also impressively fresh — I've had homebrews go into the bottle tasting like this, though there has been some mellowing. Surprisingly, this 7.5 percent ABV beer was brewed with a hefeweizen yeast, which probably bolsters the haziness and the almost-sticky mouthfeel.

Hannigan, when he shared this beer with me, talked about "implied bitterness" from the hops. It's an interesting way to balance out everything else going on in the beer, and I've found it can make hoppy beers accessible to people who would otherwise balk at actual, direct-hop bitterness. For more experienced drinkers, beers like this can give people a new perspective on the flavor profiles of various hops.

But all told, I won't be seeking this out on my own. I dig that bitterness that East Coast IPAs tend to eschew, and this beer cloys my palate a little more than I'd like. But it's definitely an interesting beer, and from a beer nerd standpoint, I respect what they appear to be going for.

  • Griffin Swartzell

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Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Cerberus owners to reopen Brewer's Republic

Posted By on Tue, Jan 2, 2018 at 3:03 PM

Brewer's is gone, but not for long - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • Brewer's is gone, but not for long
Award-winning craft beer bar Brewer's Republic closed suddenly on Wednesday, Dec. 20, but it won't be closed for much longer. Once-and-future owners Jerry Morris, Tom Halfast and Joshua Adamski, who also co-own Cerberus Brewing Company, will reopen the spot soon (along with co-owner Cindy Geiser), under the extended moniker: Brewer's Republic: A Cerberus Taproom. Morris hopes to reopen before Feb. 1.

“We didn’t really intend to take it back or want it back, but when you get lemons, you make lemonade,”  Morris says. He explains that he and Halfast sublet the Brewer's/Underground Pub/Tremors Nightclub complex to now-former-owner Jeff Haigh. The business closed before the lease was up.

“We’ve got our hands full with Cerberus," Morris adds. "It’s wildly busy — substantially busier than it was a year ago... We would have loved nothing more than to have had [Haigh] be successful.”

Between now and Brewer's reopening, the space will be undergoing extensive repairs and renovations, including a full remodeling. They're also bringing back the old Brewer's leadership, re-hiring Meredith Champion as manager and teaming her up with Cerberus brewers Adamski and Taylor Donner to curate the beer offerings.

Cerberus executive chef Mark LeFebvre will design the new menu and, given his Culinary Institute of America-forged chops, customers can expect some elevation from the old pub-style menu, though Morris says the popular pizzas aren't going anywhere.

Morris says, though, that they will not be reopening the Underground Pub or the Tremors Nightclub. The Underground will be used as a banquet space, drawing on LeFebvre's experience as a banquet Chef de Cuisine at the Broadmoor. Tremors will act as a much-needed expansion for Cerberus' brewing operations, hosting its barrel-aging program. The former dance floor will also be used as a yoga studio.
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