Food and Drink

Friday, April 13, 2018

Pikes Peak Market to relocate, expand downtown

Posted By on Fri, Apr 13, 2018 at 4:40 PM

The Pikes Peak Market will move into the former ARC Document Solutions, around the corner from its previous location. - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • The Pikes Peak Market will move into the former ARC Document Solutions, around the corner from its previous location.
The Pikes Peak Market, a shared retail space for local food vendors, will be moving around the corner from 9 S. Weber St. to 315 E. Pikes Peak Ave., as affirmed by the Market's Board of Directors in a vote held Tuesday, April 10.

The new space is around twice the size of the current market, giving vendors more flexibility for configuration.

“The vendors were excited about the opportunity," says Board chair Chris Cipoletti. "They’re excited to see some more growth.”

He says the new space could host up to 38 or 40 vendors total.

There isn't a finalized floor plan in place yet, but Cipoletti says they do plan to add a coffee bar and bar space for craft beer and local wines and spirits. That's always been in the works for the market. Fortunately for the Board's finances, five months after the grand opening, they had not yet applied for a liquor license when the opportunity to move came up. The renovations will not, however, add any production space; vendors will still be producing their wares offsite.

Cipoletti says that, as of now, the plan is to soft-open in the new space on June 1. Until then, the current space will continue to operate as the new space is renovated. Ideally, Cipoletti says there will be no closure — at close of business on May 31, the vendors will relocate their stalls around the corner in time to open at planned hours the following day.
The existing market's been running since fall, 2017. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • The existing market's been running since fall, 2017.

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Thursday, April 12, 2018

Brooklyn's on Boulder releases spring menu

Posted By on Thu, Apr 12, 2018 at 12:50 PM

The bar team beyond hidden Springs spot Brooklyn's on Boulder — tasting room manager Carlos Garcia, head bartender Stephen Winchell and bartender Philip Taylor — debuted the Lee Spirits Co. gin joint's spring menu on Wednesday, April 14. It's a true collaboration between them and the entire Brooklyn's staff, says Garcia. Patrons can look forward to new house-infused spirits and syrups, as well, including crème de noyaux, an apricot kernel liqueur; falernum, a spiced Caribbean syrup; and an apertif akin to Campari, but somewhat less sharp.

For new drinks, they've seasonalized their classic offerings, adding a variation on a Clover Club that centers on their strawberry-ginger gin. But most of what's new is on their original cocktail list, and every drink takes on the term "refreshing" in a different way. We previewed three drinks at a tasting session, shortly before the menu was released.

Taylor crafted a drink called Flint & Steel, a play on the Scotch-and-Drambuie Rusty Nail. For Taylor, Drambuie's herbed-and-honeyed flavor profile recalls a meadow. By combining whiskey-evoking barrel stave gin with their house-made Colorado tonic syrup, house bitters made from smoked morel mushrooms and Angostura bitters, he sought to recreate that sense, but shifted to mountainous Colorado via the aspen bark in the tonic syrup and grounded by the smoky, savory mushroom bitters.
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • Flint & Steel
One of Garcia's contributions is Poolside Strawberries, a light and refreshing drink he says is crushable at any size, but interesting enough to sip. It's made from strawberry-ginger gin, a house strawberry-mint shrub and soda water. The shrub, a sugar-vinegar syrup, is a variation on a recipe that Garcia selected for its restraint — this drink has a sourness, but it's not overwhelmingly vinegar-y or even vinegar-forward. Its name comes from the original codename for Lee Spirits' strawberry-ginger gin: Project Poolside, a reference to the goal of creating the perfect gin for serving with a splash of Champagne and sipping poolside in Las Vegas.
Poolside Strawberries - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • Poolside Strawberries
Winchell crafted a drink named as homage to Jimi Hendrix: Gypsy Eyes. It's a mix of dry gin, falernum, Forbidden Fruit liqueur, lemon juice and honey syrup, and the resulting mix drinks dry, tart and refreshing, with a little ginger warmth. He says it sips like a Last Word, a delicate balance between sweet, sour, spicy and bitter notes.
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • Gypsy Eyes

Check them out for yourself and let us know what you think.
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Monday, April 9, 2018

Distillery 291 founder Michael Myers discusses whiskey after winning World's Best Rye

Posted By on Mon, Apr 9, 2018 at 3:13 PM

  • Griffin Swartzell
On March 23, Distillery 291's Colorado Rye Whiskey was declared the best rye in the world at the 2018 World Whiskies Awards in London.

“It’s a gigantic win,” says 291 founder/distiller Michael Myers. “A lot of people don’t realize this is a Golden Globe or an Oscar for the whiskey world.” The competition isn't craft-only, either — other winners this year alone include Diageo-owned Johnnie Walker whisky and Beam Suntory-owned Hakushu whisky.

While in London for the final round of tasting and the award presentation dinner, Myers made some business connections. His whiskeys will soon get a limited distribution in the United Kingdom, thanks to That Boutique-y Whisky Company of Royal Tunbridge Wells, United Kingdom. Their business model is the distribution of small-batch whiskies, typically single malt Scotches, in bottles with unique, custom-illustrated labels. That's what they'll be doing for a few pallets of 291 rye and bourbon, as well as distributing bottles of 291's Colorado whiskey and bourbon sold in the packaging locals are already familiar with.

We recently toured Distillery 291's facilities. Check out the slideshow below for a look at how 291's award-studded spirits get made.

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Thursday, March 29, 2018

Goat Patch Brewing Co. brewer Darren Baze revives Pappy Legba cult-favorite

Posted By on Thu, Mar 29, 2018 at 1:00 AM

  • Griffin Swartzell
Before opening Goat Patch Brewing Company, head brewer/co-owner Darren Baze spent time brewing at Trinity Brewing. That's where he, in 2009, helped develop an imperial saison brewed with a huge amount of cherries — a pound per gallon. They named it Pappy Legba, for the Talking Heads song Papa Legba.

“Over at Trinity, they like naming their beers after different songs," says Goat Patch general manager Johannah Murphy, also formerly of Trinity. “The Talking Heads was on the iPad most of the time.”

And when Baze opened Goat Patch, Trinity owner/head brewer Jason Yester, the saison man himself, did a super-chill thing and transferred the copyright and the recipe to Baze. It took a little while for everything to line up on the legal side, but in the end, Baze had the right to brew the cult-favorite beer at his new establishment, and all was right with the world.

And on Thursday, March 15, Goat Patch re-released Pappy Legba into the public, available on tap or in 750 mL bottles. Over the years, the recipe changed somewhat, but this new version is true to the original beer, made in 2009.

“The excitement of it being brought back to its original recipe [was part of the appeal],” says Murphy. “People like to hear about people working together and making things together.”

So I bought a bottle — $23, all told. And this beer is a lot. The mouthfeel's massive, almost solid. But it's not syrupy or fruity, either. I can't find a better word for it than huge, and I certainly haven't had anything quite like it. The saison yeast's prominent, adding a little spice on the nose and sip, plus a prickly, refreshing clean finish. This beer is truly an experience, one that should not be missed.

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Friday, March 23, 2018

Lee Spirits Company, Distillery 291, 300 Days of Shine win big at Denver International Spirits Competition

Posted By on Fri, Mar 23, 2018 at 1:59 PM

  • Matthew Schniper
Lee Spirits Company also took home awards at the competition: a gold for Lee Spirits Dry Gin, and a silver for Mischief Vodka. The latter's a new product they plan to introduce in the Kansas in the near future.

For a full list of DISC winners, click here.

———ORIGINAL POST: THURS., MARCH 22, 2018 —————————————

Congratulations are in order for Colorado Springs' Distillery 291 and Monument's 3 Hundred Days of Shine. Both took home awards in this year's Denver International Spirits Competition.

Specifically, Distillery 291's Colorado Rye Whiskey took home a double gold medal, marking it as the best small batch American aged rye whiskey in the show overall. Their Colorado Bourbon Whiskey also brought home a gold medal. 3 Hundred Days of Shine took home four awards: a gold medal for their bourbon-mimicking Centennial Wheat and silver medals for their Colorado Harvest Honey, Summertime Strawberry Lemonade and Peach Cobbler.

For Distillery 291, the announcement comes on the heels of a "best American rye" award at the 2018 World Whiskies Awards.

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Thursday, March 22, 2018

Distillery 291 awarded World's Best Rye at World Whiskies Awards 2018

Posted By on Thu, Mar 22, 2018 at 5:51 PM

  • Matthew Schniper
More than a few congratulations are in order, as Distillery 291's Colorado rye whiskey aged on aspen staves was named the best rye whiskey in the world at the 2018 World Whiskies Awards in London, as announced on March 23. Earlier this month, the whiskey was dubbed the best rye in America. It was selected as the world's best over whiskies from Adnams Southwold of England, Lot 40 of Canada, Stauning Whisky of Denmark, and Millstone of the Netherlands.

The 101.7-proof spirit is distilled from 61 percent rye and 39 percent corn, aged in American white oak barrels for a year and finished on toasted aspen staves. It was originally labeled as Colorado whiskey — that name’s still used for the barrel-strength rye whiskey, which uses the same grain bill.

It's one of many awards the Distillery has picked up this year, including recent wins at the Denver International Spirits Competition.

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Friday, March 16, 2018

An overnight corned beef recipe could make your St. Patrick's Day dining dreams come true

Posted By on Fri, Mar 16, 2018 at 2:29 PM

After a brief conversation with a friend about why kilts aren't necessarily St. Patrick's Day-appropriate attire, I realized that other than knowing the difference between Irish and Scottish, my knowledge of the March 17th holiday is pretty limited.

I do know that I love a good corned beef, though, I've never made it myself. But being the epi-curious type, I decided to see if I have the chops to handle the process.

My idea turned out to be not-so-novel, as then Indy food writer Bryce Crawford set off to make his own rendition in a 2013 piece titled "Salt and thyme: Corned beef comes home in a writer's inaugural attempt at creation." Crawford's piece was a supplement to a larger, Reuben sandwich-focused cover story for 2014 New Year celebrations (corned beef ain't no one-hit holiday wonder). Outside of the sandwich assembly, preparing the protein is the same, and his nutgraf got me excited about the prospects of my own salted meat soiree:

"When I set off to make my own for the first time, I thought it would be a heroic task of do-it-yourself fervor mixed with made-at-home principles. But it was actually ridiculously easy — so easy that I was pretty sure I was doing it wrong the whole time."
Alas, later in the piece Crawford writes his "bastardized" approach called for the meat to brine for three days, noting that he even considered a five-day brine. (At the time of this writing, I'm about 13 hours away from the official start of St. Paddy's Day. Ugh).
Back to the Internet I go, searching overnight corned beef recipes. Let me take a moment to a) recognize the power of the Internet — we are not worthy — and b) shoutout to slow cookers!

Genius Kitchen has a 12-hour overnight recipe for a Crock Pot Corned Beef Dinner that reads uber simple and includes a brown sugar and mustard glaze, reviving my hopes of a homemade savory holiday.

Procrastinating meat eaters may rejoice with me, but what of our veg-based counterparts? Swapping "overnight" with "substitute" in my search bar yielded another stupid-easy vegan corned beef recipe, courtesy the Springs' own JL Fields of JL Goes Vegan.

So a happy St. Patrick's Day to all! Bet you didn't think I'd make it through this piece without a clover or leprechaun reference, did ya? (Damn.)
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McCabe's Tavern says goodbye

Posted By on Fri, Mar 16, 2018 at 1:00 AM

At the end of service on Sunday, March 18, McCabe's Tavern will close, ending 12 years in business. Owner Ari Howard reports the restaurant will re-open as Streetcar 520 in late May, pending renovations to the block planned by property owners Niebur Development.

“We honor the memories made at McCabe’s,” says Howard via press release. “We have such an extraordinary community and we’re thankful for everyone’s support.”

Streetcar 520, Howard says, will focus on globally-inspired food and shared plates, with vegetarian and vegan options, though that'll be less of a focus than with the 2015 menu revision she oversaw at McCabe's.

Streetcar 520 is one of several new eateries on the block; it'll neighbor Dos Santos Taqueria de Mexico and three-in-one business Atomic Cowboy/Denver Biscuit Company/Fat Sully's New York Pizza, both of which will go into the former Southside Johnny's next door.
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Friday, March 9, 2018

Red Rabbit Café and Ice Cream announces soft opening

Posted By on Fri, Mar 9, 2018 at 5:14 PM

Much like the other two businesses owned by David and Laura Thomason, Red Rabbit Café and Ice Cream is a family affair. But unlike Red Dog Coffee and Pikes Peak Chocolate and Ice Cream, Red Rabbit will be managed by their 25-year-old daughter, Danielle, a recent University of New Mexico graduate.

“She has been working in our businesses since she was 14, so she’s got a lot of experience,” says David.

Set to soft-open on Wednesday, March 21, Red Rabbit is located in the same Broadmoor-area shopping center as the Hatch Cover.

“We were buying a bakery case for Red Dog [from previous tenants Ski Barista]...” says David. “By the time we walked out, we thought ‘Oh my, this could be a great place.’”

David Thomason says the new business is something of a fusion of their existing businesses in Manitou. Red Rabbit will have the extensive selection of coffee drinks, sandwiches and baked goods from Red Dog, as well the house-made chocolates and Josh & John’s ice cream they serve at Pikes Peak Chocolate. And as they have since added espresso to Pikes Peak Chocolate, they’ll be serving coffee from Colorado Coffee Merchants.
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Friday, March 2, 2018

Eight recipes to celebrate Latin cuisine in Trump's America

Posted By on Fri, Mar 2, 2018 at 8:53 AM

Azteca Gourmet's Roasted Poblano, Sweet Potato, Black Bean, Salsa Verde and Jack Cheese Tamales. - BRIENNE BOORTZ
  • Brienne Boortz
  • Azteca Gourmet's Roasted Poblano, Sweet Potato, Black Bean, Salsa Verde and Jack Cheese Tamales.
We asked local chefs to celebrate Latin culinary cultures from here to Tierra del Fuego. We did this because the president has, in part, anchored his campaign and administration on exploiting racial tensions and white supremacy for political gain.
Making these Latin-inspired recipes won’t suddenly make someone part of the solution to this rising tide of hate, but these trends cannot go unopposed, and food has always been political. Enjoy the following recipes, and let the flavors stand as an expression of why America is better as a melting pot.

Find links to each dish here.

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Thursday, March 1, 2018

Distillery 291 named best American Rye at World Whiskies Awards

Posted By on Thu, Mar 1, 2018 at 3:31 PM

  • Courtesy Distillery 291
Congratulations are in order for Colorado Springs' first distillery, Distillery 291. On Feb. 28, the distillery's Colorado rye whiskey aged on aspen staves was named the best American rye at the 2018 World Whiskies Awards.

We'll be talking to owner/distiller Michael Myers for Side Dish in the March 7 issue of the Independent.
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Black Forest Brewing Company nears planned opening

Posted By on Thu, Mar 1, 2018 at 12:20 PM

The German-themed brewery's owners hope to open in late March. - COURTESY BLACK FOREST BREWING COMPANY
  • Courtesy Black Forest Brewing Company
  • The German-themed brewery's owners hope to open in late March.
Slowly but surely, Black Forest Brewing Company is approaching its opening date. The brewery’s sign went up on Feb. 23, and the owners are hoping to open the weekend of March 24. It’s a small brewery — they can only brew a barrel and a half, or 46.5 gallons of beer, at a time, so they’ve been stocking up on ready-to-tap kegs for some time. It’s been a slow process with more infrastructural challenges than they would have faced had they built elsewhere in the region.

“Out in Black Forest, there’s no sewer system, so we’ve had to go through the County and the State for our wastewater testing,” says brewer Donovan Routsis, who also co-owns the brewery with wife/manager Tara. It’s Routsis’s first gig as a professional brewer — he retired from the Air Force in September of 2017 — but he’s been homebrewing since 1993, and he and Tara have been training with Paul and Teresa Vieira and Mike Hagan of Peaks N Pines brewery.

While the brewery has a German aesthetic, that doesn’t carry over to the beer. Mostly, they’ll be brewing ales, though Routsis does plan to try his hand at a lager down the line.
Location Details Black Forest Brewing Company
11590 Black Forest Rd #50
Black Forest
Colorado Springs, CO
“My wife, she’s a dark porter/stout person. I’m kind of a hop-head, so we’ll have [hoppy beers],” he says. “The challenge you have, especially with lagers, is the time to produce the product.”

For now, Routsis will use the brewery’s brew pub license to stock craft lagers from locals and German breweries alike. They’ll also support other local boozemongers, offering meads and wines from Black Forest Meadery. While they won’t be a full-on bar, they’ll be offering a few craft cocktails with spirits from Cockpit Craft Distillery. For food, Routsis is eyeing paninis and wraps prepped off-site and heated on-site; he's planning a partnership with Schnitzel Fritz, to bring in another element of German flair.
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Friday, February 23, 2018

The Little Imbiss German eatery soft-opens in Holland Park

Posted By on Fri, Feb 23, 2018 at 10:03 AM

  • Courtesy The Little Imbiss
Just shy of three years after first opening, Berlin-style food truck The Little Imbiss has made the jump to brick-and-mortar, soft-opening in the shopping center on the corner of Chestnut Street and Garden of the Gods Road on Feb. 20.

Co-owner Brian Moberly says he and wife/co-owner Patricia are sticking to the truck’s German street food model, meaning less sauerbraten and more currywurst. They are, however, adding a few new items like bouletten (beef patties), schnitzel sandwiches and döner sliders, and as a weekend special, they plan to offer roasted chickens.

Patricia’s been running things since the beginning, while Brian stuck with his full-time job in intelligent transportation. Last year, seeing the truck’s success, banks started returning their calls for loans. Brian’s now full-time at the restaurant, working alongside his wife.

“We looked at it and everything else...” he says. “I had to get someone in here to run the business who knows [it] rather than waste money on managers [who might not].”

Brian adds that they’re closing in on a liquor license and will soon offer German beers in bottles, plus tap pours from Denver’s authentic German Prost Brewing Company. Expect a grand opening sometime in March.

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Monday, February 19, 2018

Bristol Brewing hosts 14th annual Firkin Rendezvous

Posted By on Mon, Feb 19, 2018 at 1:11 PM

  • Griffin Swartzell
On Saturday, Feb. 17, Bristol Brewing Company hosted 38 breweries and hundreds of craft beer aficionados at the 14-years-running Firkin Rendezvous. This year, the event was spread out between the brewing room, the barrel-aging room and an exterior tent — the additional space made it feel substantially less claustrophobic than in previous years.

Over the course of four hours, I tasted a staggering 41 beers, mostly one-offs and special releases. It's both difficult and unfair to pick a favorite, but I'll be heading to Mockery Brewing Company in Denver after trying their stunning Mocking Baered Episode IV, a French toast imperial stout. Broomfield-based 4 Noses Brewing Company's Big MF Stout tasted wonderfully rich, with notes of molasses. And after tasting Divide-based Paradox Beer Company's Whiskey Reaper Take My Mind, a fascinating and complex sour amber aged in Laphroaig Scotch barrels with Carolina reaper peppers and Palisade peaches, it's no surprise their beers go bye-bye early at beer festivals.

Between samples, I snapped some photos of brewers and guests alike.

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Friday, February 16, 2018

Brother Luck eliminated on Top Chef/Last Chance Kitchen

Posted By on Fri, Feb 16, 2018 at 3:08 PM

  • Griffin Swartzell
Boy, reality TV is complicated.

Chef Brother Luck of Four by Brother Luck has been competing on the fifteenth season of Bravo's reality show Top Chef. On Jan. 11, he was eliminated from the competition after the judges decided his attempt to elevate German cuisine, a summer sausage egg roll with bok choy, apple and potato, stopped being German cuisine altogether, though they acknowledged that it was delicious.

But that wasn't the end. Brother was bumped to Last Chance Kitchen, Bravo's web-based companion series, where he kept cooking off against other eliminated competitors for a chance to rejoin the main competition. There, Brother's been racking up wins and keeping his dreams of returning to the main competition alive. The finale episode of Last Chance Kitchen, which saw Luck competing with Chicago, Illinois chef Joseph Flamm, aired on Feb. 8, but the winner was kept secret until Feb. 15, when they would rejoin the main competition.

Unfortunately, Flamm overcame Luck, and Luck was eliminated from the show altogether. Flamm returned to the show on Feb. 15. The season finale is scheduled for March 8; tune in to root for the sole remaining Colorado chef, Carrie Baird of Denver's Bar Dough.

We recently spoke with Luck about his experiences and his culinary background — look for that along with our biannual Dish recipe guide on Feb. 28.

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