Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Grain school at UCCS will up your knowledge of our biggest food group

Posted By on Tue, Jan 15, 2019 at 8:34 PM

  • UCCS Grain School
Is it just me, or are grains the least popular kid at the dinner table these days?

For years, diet gurus have been telling us that shunning grains will help us lose weight, that ancient people didn't eat grain, and that modern grains are Frankenfoods that our digestive systems simply can't handle.

Expect the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs' Grain School, set for Jan. 18-20 to address all the hype and concerns around our biggest food group. Also on the plate: Discussion and/or hand-on workshops that explore diversity and women in the grain movement, how we preserve grain (and feed the world) in the midst of climate change, global perspectives, agricultural techniques, and ways to process and cook with grains. But the main focus of the course is learning the history of ancient grains; how to differentiate among  heirloom, perennial, hybrid, and genetically modified grains; exploring agricultural practices and their impacts; and understanding how grains play into diet and cultures. The School will also explore grains the old-fashioned way: By eating them in all sorts of yummy recipes. (Sprouted kamut and winter squash stew, anyone?)

UCCS explains the Grain School this way:

Established in 2012 in Arizona, Grain School has evolved into an interdisciplinary course at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS), with the first Grain School held at UCCS in 2016. During this three-day seminar held annually, students can earn credit by taking courses in the history of land-race grains, crop breeding, nutritional and health issues, baking, fermentation and cooking, and small-scale production techniques. Representatives from the entire industry from growers, millers, farmers, brewers, distillers, maltsters, bakers, chefs, food service staff or personnel, college students, and gardeners, contribute as part of this great exchange of learning and teaching.

Beyond the big questions, there's lots of opportunities to learn things you can bring into your own kitchen: How to make pasta or tortillas or cook with African grains; guidance from restaurant and bakery owners and brewers; a thoughtful discussion of the gluten-free debate; or (for the incredibly ambitious) a class on how to grow, mill and bake with your own grains at home. 

The bad news is that the Grain School costs $500 if you take it as a non-credit course (it's also available as a for-credit course). The good news is there will be a public forum on Saturday, July 19.

 Check out the full schedule here: 
Check out some of the events on the next page.

Continue reading »

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Friday, January 4, 2019

Skirted Heifer owners win on Guy's Grocery Games

Posted By on Fri, Jan 4, 2019 at 4:27 PM

Skirted Heifer's Hangover burger. - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • Skirted Heifer's Hangover burger.
Congratulations to Suzette Megyeri, co-owner of Skirted Heifer and Bambino's Urban Pizzeria, and Kevin Megyiri, sole owner of the upcoming northeastern Skirted Heifer location. On January 2, the mother-son team took home first place on Food Network TV show Guy's Grocery Games. Their episode served as the first part of a four-episode "DDD Family Tournament," featuring family duos from restaurants previously featured on host Guy Fieri's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives TV show, which featured Skirted Heifer in 2015. As a result of their win, they were invited back to compete in a final round of competition against the winners from the other two preliminary episodes, which will air on January 9 and 16.
Location Details The Skirted Heifer
204 N. Tejon St.
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Burger Joints
“We were super-excited that we got to go out again," says Suzette. Food Network recorded the tournament in May, so while the Indy doesn't know how the Megyeris will fare in the final round — Hollywood non-disclosure agreements are nothing to test idly — they've already competed. The rest of the world will find out how they fared when the final round airs on January 23.

That said, they've already taken home $10,000 in prize money, which Suzette says will go to Kevin to help with the new Skirted Heifer. She tells us that while construction on the spot continues, they anticipate getting cleared to start decorating and stocking in early February. They plan to hold multiple soft opening days before their grand opening, tentatively set for February 11.
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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.
Colorado Springs, CO

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
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.
Colorado Springs, Colorado
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
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

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

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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Monday, November 26, 2018

Don't Pack Up The Grill Just Yet: A Guide To Winter Barbecuing


Hopefully you enjoyed the summer, a time when we traditionally spend a lot of time outdoors and prepare meals on the grill. Sadly — for some — summer is over and winter is here, which means millions of Americans are packing up their barbecue grill. However, just because the temperature is falling doesn't mean you and your family can't enjoy some tasty BBQ — and we're not talking about spending a lot of money at BBQ restaurants.

Winter barbecuing is not just a myth or reserved for California and Florida residents during their sunny "winter" season. Even in snowy Upstate New York, windy Chicago, the frozen tundra of Green Bay, or any other chilly area, you can still set up your grill and cook up some amazing barbecue over the winter — you just have to know what you're doing.

There are four main styles of U.S. BBQ: Memphis, Carolina, Kansas City, and Texas. And, intrepid griller, you can enjoy them all this winter. Here are some amazing tips that will help you grill all kinds of great BBQ in the cold:

  • Trust your grill — You shouldn't be using a poor quality grill during the warmest of summer days. This is especially true during cold winter nights. If your grill is lacking, so will the food. Make sure you have a grill that can perform at a superior level in any type of weather. If your grill can withstand severe temperatures, get outside and trust the process. Your grill will be able to hold in heat very well during those frigid nights.
  • Clean your grill more thoroughly — You should always clean your grill before and after cooking no matter what the temperature is, but it's even more important during the winter. Since your grill has been functioning all summer long, it's best to put a little more effort into cleaning it over the winter.
  • Keep your grill covered — Covering your grill during the winter is crucial not only to protect it from the elements, but also when you need to fire up your grill after a heavy snowfall. Simply brush off the snow from the cover and then remove it. Within minutes, you'll have a fresh grill ready for a snowy BBQ.
  • Search for warming recipes — Winter grilling is all about keeping the cold temperatures at bay, so it's best to select recipes that are warm and comforting. Grill some beef or chicken with spicy marinades to offer a tasty boost of heat.

As you shovel your driveway all winter long, make sure you're clearing a path on your patio so you can reach your grill and whip up some amazing BBQ — and enjoy!

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Monday, November 19, 2018

Wild Goose Meeting House adds classic cocktails to service

Posted By on Mon, Nov 19, 2018 at 5:36 PM

The hipsterific Wild Goose Meeting House has a sound reputation for many offerings: food, coffee, beer and live music, just to name a few. But the spot's not so much known for its cocktails.

Taylor Ashley, coffee manager both at the Goose and sister spot Good Neighbors Meeting House, hopes to change that, at least somewhat. He started working at the Goose in March of 2015, leaving to help open Building Three Coffee before returning to the fold to help start Good Neighbors. Now, he's built a cocktail program for Goose and Good Neighbors owners Russ Ware and Yemi Mobolade, which went live at the Goose in early November and will be served at Good Neighbors come mid-December.

“I’m not trying to be original," he says. "I’m trying to make a good version of a classic.”

They're not trying to compete with Brooklyn's and the like, Ashley says — they're not a full bar, by his measure. Rather, they're trying to offer an easy inroad to classic cocktails for their guests, made as much as possible from Colorado-distilled spirits. Drinks cost between $8 and $12, with weekly $7 specials and happy hour bringing the cost down further.

Recently, Ashley invited the Indy to the Goose to sample his wares and talk shop. Check out what we tried and what we thought in the slideshow below.
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Thursday, November 15, 2018

Frozen Gold adds stylish, unique dessert to Atomic Provisions enterprise

Posted By on Thu, Nov 15, 2018 at 9:18 PM

Believe it or not, the Springs just got something before Denver.

Break out the good crystal and pop the champers — it's time to celebrate! Drew Shader, founder of Atomic Provisions, launched the newest arm of his culinary enterprise in the Springs on November 14. Located right next door to his extant three-in-one Springs biz, Atomic Cowboy/Denver Biscuit Co./Fat Sully’s, it’s called Frozen Gold. Shader and company have made a bold decision to open an ice cream parlor in November, but there’s nothing like Frozen Gold in town. The dessert spot does gourmet soft serve, offering cups and cones with specialty toppings, a dessert option for its heretofore dessert-less sibling establishment. Atomic Provisions marketing director Fearon Perry compares it to the city’s various ‘50s-style drive-ins “on steroids,” although the glitterific pink-orange-gold interior and disco soundtrack read decidedly 1970s.

Frozen Gold offers three house-made ice cream flavors, with space for a fourth rotating flavor. In addition to classic chocolate and vanilla, they offer a vegan coconut soft-serve, made with coconut milk. Atomic Provisions executive chef Corey King says their soft serve’s a higher quality product than what corporate competitors like Dairy Queen serve, thanks to two factors: butterfat and overrun. Frozen Gold soft-serve has half as much air pumped into it, compared to DQ, and far more butterfat — 8 to 9 percent, next to DQ’s 1.5 percent, King says.

Beyond plain cups and cones, Frozen Gold specializes in inspired combinations. The You’re So Cheesy, for instance, draws from Chicago airport mixed popcorn, a combination of caramel and cheesy popcorn. It’s vanilla soft serve, with a caramel “core” injected into the middle of the swirl, topped with Cheetos, Cheez-Its and cheddar Goldfish crackers. Other flavors include the breakfast cereal-inspired Silly Rabbit, filled with cereal milk, and the Samoa Samoa, a girl scout cookie-inspired vegan cone with brown sugar fudge and salted caramel.

We recently stopped in for a little dessert — check out the slideshow below for more info.
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Friday, November 9, 2018

Do good and drink good at All Colorado Beer Festival

Posted By on Fri, Nov 9, 2018 at 1:00 AM

All Colorado Beer Festival, Nov. 10, 1-10 p.m., Chapel Hills Mall, 1710 Briargate Blvd., $35-$65, $10/designated driver, allcoloradobeerfestival.com. - SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
  • Shutterstock.com
  • All Colorado Beer Festival, Nov. 10, 1-10 p.m., Chapel Hills Mall, 1710 Briargate Blvd., $35-$65, $10/designated driver, allcoloradobeerfestival.com.
Let’s take a look at these numbers: 80 Colorado breweries, 225 different beers to sample, two drinking sessions with early entry and Brewers Lounge tickets available, and four nonprofits benefiting from it all. The seventh annual All Colorado Beer Festival promises all of the above, plus a generally fun drinking experience. We know, as proud Coloradans, that we have some of the best breweries in the country, so this is your chance to get ‘em all (or a good number of them, at least) under one roof. Try flagship and new beers from Ska Brewing, the Springs’ own Smiling Toad, Manitou Brewing Company, Odell Brewing and plenty more. Proceeds from this year’s festival will fund TheatreWorks, Home Front Cares, the Empty Stocking Fund and UCCS’ ACBF Scholarship fund. Do good and drink good — what could be better?
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Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The Give! Campaign is back and bigger than ever, along with its special Black Lager

Posted By on Wed, Oct 31, 2018 at 1:00 AM

Give! Black Lager Release and 
2018 Campaign Kick-Off, Nov. 1, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Ivywild School Gymnasium, 1604 S. Cascade Ave., free, facebook.com/IndyGive.
  • Give! Black Lager Release and 
2018 Campaign Kick-Off, Nov. 1, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Ivywild School Gymnasium, 1604 S. Cascade Ave., free, facebook.com/IndyGive.
With 94 regional nonprofit organizations participating, the Give! Campaign is bigger that it has ever been. This annual fundraising initiative gives Springsians the opportunity to get to know the nonprofits making a difference here in the region, to support those nonprofits, and to get some awesome goodies in return. The first night of the campaign (which runs from Nov. 1 to Dec. 31) Give! will offer everyone their first chance to make a difference. For the seventh year in a row, Bristol Brewing Company has brewed up a special Give! Black Lager, and each pint you purchase puts $3 toward one of this year’s nonprofits. Give! Black Lager will be on-tap at Bristol and Old Chicago locations throughout the campaign, so drink up!
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