Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Lee Spirits Co. releases peppermint schnapps

Posted By on Wed, Jan 2, 2019 at 8:09 AM

Lee Spirits Co.'s peppermint schnapps drinks under-sweet and aggressively minty, recalling an Altoids mint. - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • Lee Spirits Co.'s peppermint schnapps drinks under-sweet and aggressively minty, recalling an Altoids mint.
Lee Spirits Company has a new product out on store shelves, and it's well-timed for winter. The distillery's new Rocky Mountain peppermint schnapps stands mighty at 45 percent ABV, and it's more frugal than most of their options — Cheers Liquor Mart, for instance, charges $15.99 for a 750 ml bottle of the stuff.

Carlos Garcia, bar manager for Lee Spirits' tasting room, Brooklyn's on Boulder Street, recently dropped a bottle by the Indy offices for us to sample. It uses the same corn-grain neutral spirit that Lee Spirits uses for their gins and liqueurs. The spirit itself looks about like simple syrup in color, not quite clear but close. It's slightly viscous, thanks to added sugar, but it's not nearly as thick or sticky as most liqueurs.

On the nose, it's all clean peppermint with only a hint of sweetness, clean and refreshing but still notably sweeter than the herb itself. It sips with a little inherent sweetness under a strong, true peppermint bite, pretty intense and, as it is on the nose, only faintly sweet. The minty finish lingers, but it's not sticky or cloying. Using candy as a point of reference, it's less like a candy cane than an Altoids mint. Through independent testing, we're able to confirm that it's excellent in coffee and cocoa, and we imagine it serves just as well in a range of cocktails besides.
Location Details Brooklyn's on Boulder Street
110 E. Boulder St.
Downtown
Colorado Springs, CO
415-3115
Bar/Club

We do notice something curious on the label in our tastings. Ours claims that Lee Spirits Company is in Monument, Colorado. We've heard rumors circulating for some time now, but nobody's talking on-record. Keep an eye out for updates when that changes.
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Friday, December 28, 2018

Sierra Nevada entrusts local breweries to produce Resilience IPA charity beer

Posted By on Fri, Dec 28, 2018 at 4:37 PM

COURTESY SIERRA NEVADA
  • Courtesy Sierra Nevada
In November, the Camp Fire devastated northern California, becoming the sixth deadliest fire in U.S. history. It burned over 153,000 acres and destroyed more than 18,000 buildings.

In its wake, Chico, California brewery Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. has put out the call for aid to every craft brewery in America, asking them to take part by brewing batches of Resilience Butte County Proud IPA, getting their suppliers to donate malt, yeast and hops to 1,400 volunteer breweries across the country who have agreed to pitch time and staff hours. All sales proceeds will go to Sierra Nevada's Camp Fire Relief Fund, which the brewery has set up to help fund long-term rebuilding and support efforts in Butte County, where the fire took place.

As it happens, five Springs-area breweries agreed to take part and brew the beer for locals to enjoy. Atrevida Beer Company has already run out of their supply, but Cerberus Brewing Company, Gold Camp Brewing Company, JAKs Brewing Company, and Local Relic still have their batches on tap.

“We heard about it through social media, and it’s immediately something we were drawn to," says Local Relic co-owner Jeff Zearfoss. "As a brewery and a community that was affected directly by wildfire, with employees who were directly affected by wildfire, it was hard for us not to get involved... We are super-excited to be a part of the cause, and we encourage people to come and try not just ours, but all of the breweries in town that have made this.”

Some breweries' versions will make it to liquor stores as part of the effort. Homebrewers can also try their hand at making this beer and show solidarity — Sierra Nevada has released a homebrew recipe for the beer.
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Thursday, December 20, 2018

Phantom Canyon Brewing Company splits with longtime brewers

Posted By on Thu, Dec 20, 2018 at 4:25 PM

Taps at the bar at Phantom Canyon Brewing Company. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Taps at the bar at Phantom Canyon Brewing Company.
As of mid-December, longtime Phantom Canyon Brewing Company brewers Alan Stiles and Troy Johnson no longer work at the Breckenridge-Wynkoop Holdings-owned spot. The duo brewed at Phantom Canyon for 10 and 5 years, respectively.

“They both have been tremendous brewers for us here at Phantom Canyon," says Noah Kaufman, Phantom Canyon's general manager. “I can’t speak enough positive things about them."

Kaufman declined to say whether the two resigned or were fired. His only comment on the circumstances is that “It came to a point where they were ready to do their own thing.”

Kaufman did, however, identify their replacements. Charles McManus, former lead brewer at Denver-based sister company Wynkoop Brewing Company, has taken the job of head brewer. He'll be assisted by brewer Ryan Emily, who's been training under Stiles and Johnson for the past year and has previous experience with Tallgrass Brewing Company of Manhattan, Kansas.

The Indy spoke with Johnson, but he declined to comment at this time.
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Brother Luck announces new restaurant Lucky Dumplings

Posted By on Thu, Dec 20, 2018 at 4:22 PM

Luck's back on Food Network - KIRSTEN AKENS
  • Kirsten Akens
  • Luck's back on Food Network
Local chef, restaurateur and occasional reality cooking show competitor Brother Luck just announced a new restaurant he’s working to open. It’s called Lucky Dumplings and if all goes to plan, Luck says it could open as soon as mid-March, 2019.

“If we can open up sooner, that’s obviously awesome, but being realistic, I think it’s fair to plan on the long term,” he says.

Lucky Dumplings will serve dim sum, a traditional dining experience Springs eateries have only approached, best approximated by the dumplings Yellow Mountain Tea House serves as part of their tea ceremony service.

“You’re going to sit at a table and order a bunch of small bites, almost tapas-style, to enjoy with your friends,” Luck explains.

Mostly, his offerings will draw from what he’s sampled while traveling in Hong Kong and Shanghai, but it’ll be filtered through his experiences, both growing up near San Francisco’s legendary Chinatown and his own culinary heritage. As an example, he says he’ll offer a gumbo-like play on xiaolongbao (soup dumplings).

“The shrimp and sausage filling with the gumbo gelee that melts as it cooks, it works,” he says.
The location also represents something cyclical for Luck, as it’s opening in the former Triple Nickel Tavern (26 S. Wahsatch Ave.), where he first operated Brother Luck Street Eats.

“It’s a trip that five years ago, I started a restaurant in this space, and we’re going right back to it,” he says. He notes that he also plans to acquire a liquor license for the spot.
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Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Rosco's Coffee House announces new owner, change in branding

Posted By on Wed, Dec 19, 2018 at 12:26 PM

The new logo for Rosco's Coffee House - COURTESY ROSCO'S COFFEE HOUSE
  • Courtesy Rosco's Coffee House
  • The new logo for Rosco's Coffee House
Rosco’s Coffee House is changing hands. Starting in January 2019, manager Annette Moon takes over as the sole owner of the near-Downtown coffee shop, taking over for current owner Tony White. Moon’s been in the coffee business for a total of nine years, and she says she was hired at Rosco’s as head barista before the spot opened. Over the last three and a half years, she’s worked her way up through the ranks.

“We knew that I was working my way towards this, because it’s a really good fit,” she says. “I care about this place a lot.”

She plans to make a few changes, already in the works. First, she’ll rebrand the spot, changing the logo to something she describes as more polished and professional. It’ll keep the same name, though, a memorial to White’s beloved donkey, Rosco. She’ll adjust the menu as well, moving to Springs-based Snowberry Bakehouse for pastries and the like. Moon says Snowberry’s gluten-free and vegan offerings will help Rosco’s better accommodate guests with dietary concerns. She’ll also be fortifying their lunch offerings, adding a house special panini she says will change either monthly or twice a month. And while she plans to reevaluate what they serve for breakfast, that’s further down the line.
Location Details Rosco's Coffee House
432 W. Bijou St.
Downtown
Colorado Springs, Colorado
238-1947
Moon plans to hold a grand reopening for Rosco’s on Friday, Jan. 11, featuring live music by Had I Known, Vase Vide, and Tall City, with a recommended donation of $5 to $7 so she can pay the bands. She’s also hoping to get a keg donated so she can offer free beer for the event.
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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Lucy I’m Home offers downtown hours & local delivery

Posted By on Tue, Dec 11, 2018 at 10:14 AM

GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin swartzell
Business has been good for Lucy I’m Home lately, so much so that they’ve staked out a regular downtown Springs spot. Monday through Wednesday the Cuban truck will set up at Old West Cigar on the corner of Pikes Peak Avenue and Weber Street, open from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. They’re also offering delivery by Vespa in the downtown area.
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Monday, December 3, 2018

Sweet Elizabeth's Organics adds gluten-free, vegan breakfast and lunch offerings in new location

Posted By on Mon, Dec 3, 2018 at 3:36 PM

Elizabeth Durham's expanded her offerings from baked goods to breakfast and lunch, now including pizza. - COURTESY SWEET ELIZABETH'S ORGANICS
  • Courtesy Sweet Elizabeth's Organics
  • Elizabeth Durham's expanded her offerings from baked goods to breakfast and lunch, now including pizza.
The inevitable holiday baked goods extravaganza can leave those with dietary restrictions high and dry, but Sweet Elizabeth’s Organics brings good news: On Sept. 11, owner Elizabeth Durham moved and expanded her gluten-free, vegan bakery into the former The Market and Paleo Progressive spot, which shares a shopping center with Mountain Mama Natural Foods. She’s more than tripled her floor space, going from 900 to over 3,000 square feet, allowing her to expand production both for on-site and web sales.

“I didn’t expect to go this big so fast,” she says. “I wasn’t sure that I would be able to handle it. But it’s been such a blessing, honestly.”
Location Details Sweet Elizabeth’s Organics
1625 W. Uintah St.
West side
Colorado Springs, CO
357-5718
Bakeries

In addition to more kitchen space, she’s gained dining room seating, which she didn’t have at her old location. That’s allowed her to add breakfast and lunch offerings alongside her baked goods, both available all day. She offers waffles and avocado-spinach-tomato breakfast sandwiches on a roll, plain or garlic-rosemary, as breakfast options. For lunch, she offers build-your-own salad bowls, a soup of the week and, most recently, she’s added pizzas.

“I want people to feel good after they eat,” she says. “You shouldn’t feel bad after you eat. You should feel rejuvenated and full of energy.”
Her baked offerings haven’t changed much, though she’s added more flavors for her existing items. So far, her cinnamon rolls, fruit turnovers and donuts are top sellers, she says.

As for her old location, that's been filled by Karen's Corner Bakery.
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Karen's Corner Bakery offers fully grain-free baked goods

Posted By on Mon, Dec 3, 2018 at 3:30 PM

Karen Bechtel's baked goods use no grains whatsoever. - COURTESY KAREN'S CORNER BAKERY
  • Courtesy Karen's Corner Bakery
  • Karen Bechtel's baked goods use no grains whatsoever.
As of October 1, local Karen Bechtel has opened Karen’s Corner Bakery in the former Sweet Elizabeth's Organics spot at 115 S. 25th Street, offering not merely gluten-free but fully grain-free baked goods. She uses nut, coconut and tapioca flours for all of her baked goods, and, eschewing cane and beet sugars, she uses maple syrup, coconut sugar and honey.

Professionally, Bechtel comes from the supplements industry, having sold and advertised nutritional supplements for Garden of Life and Ancient Nutrition, among others. But she’s been baking since childhood.

“My aunt, Sharon Halsey, taught me how to bake,” she says, recalling that she made her first lattice pie at 10 years old. “I stayed up until 2 in the morning and woke up my parents saying ‘Hey, want some pie?’”
Location Details Karen’s Corner Bakery
115 S. 25th Street
Old Colorado City
Colorado Springs, CO
210-5361
Bakeries

She’s found great success in pastries, she says, noting that her vegan fruit turnovers have been “flying off the shelves.” Bechtel also finds her cheesecakes, pies, apple torte and banana bread all do particularly well. Home bakers can also pick up one of her pre-bagged kits or house-made coconut powdered sugar. That said, she can’t do breads, rolls or anything requiring a strong gluten structure, such as croissants. For now, her in-the-case vegan selection’s limited, though she’ll bake vegan goods for special orders, and she’s working on a vegan cheesecake. Though seating’s limited to small tables out front, she also offers a few beverages, all from her supplements background, including CBD coffee, bone broth coffee, maple water coffee and tea, bone broth golden milk, unsweetened chai, and more.
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