Side dish: New brew tours 

Alcohol excursions

From the entrepreneurial team that in the past year has brought us Colorado Springs, Old Colorado City and Manitou Springs food tours as well as Foodie Dates (coloradospringsfoodtours.com) comes The Springs Brew Tour. Launching Sunday, Dec. 18, and continuing monthly with hopes of going weekly, tours will first feature Bristol Brewing Co., Trinity Brewing Co. and Colorado Mountain Brewery.

On a $79 guided tour with transportation included (minimum six people, maximum 13), participants will tour each brewery, learn about things like making beer and pairing beer with food, and sample the equivalent of two or three pints of a multitude of brews.

"It's more of an experience," says company co-owner Samantha Bruner. "It's not something that you can just do on your own." In fact, she expects that as with the food tours, two-thirds of her clients will be local, though she's had guests from as far away as Eastern Europe.

Bruner, a member of an informal, nationwide food tour alliance that has monthly conference calls, adds that the food-tour industry is "really growing," with offerings "in every major city." She and her mom/partner Karen Kelley will likely launch a new dessert and wine tour as early as January.

More than Munch

Deutschland natives Thorsten and Ines Borrmann recently opened Ines' Corner Café (375-0099) at 3132 N. Hancock Ave., former site of the short-lived Munch Box. According to Thorsten, the couple ran a restaurant outside Berlin for 10 years before moving here to be close to family.

Open from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., daily but for Saturdays, Ines' serves espresso drinks and both American and German homemade food, including the expected bratwurst and schnitzel and traditional pastries like strudel. The eatery also features a small German market.

Red Top to park-side

In the former AboAbo African Caribbean Market at 311 S. Hancock Ave., Jackie Conway recently opened Jackie's Parkside Cafe and Ice Cream (434-2201). If you recognize that last name, it's probably because Jackie married into the Conway's Red Top family and has devoted more than 30 years to working inside the local chain.

To be clear: She won't serve any burgers or fries at Parkside. Instead, with this personal expansion, she envisions strong Sinton Dairy soft-serve sales in warmer months, since she's next to Memorial Park. She's also serving house-made breakfast (due to neighborhood demand) and lunch and dinner menus that include barbecue, paninis and baked goods, with gluten-free options. Hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., weekdays and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturdays, with expected later summer hours.


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