Side Dish: Phantom Canyon's growth spurt 

Widening Canyon

Phantom Canyon Brewing Co. (phantomcanyon.com) has started a 1,200-square-foot brewery expansion to its building's north side, which will also create a 1,080-square-foot rooftop patio. GM Heather Robinson says both should open by next spring.

Brewer Alan Stiles explains the vital need for more work space: 2011's sales volume was the best ever, and Phantom's already up 13 percent from that in 2012.

"It's insane how busy we've been ... I like to give the beers a week in primary fermentation, then three weeks in aging — now they're only getting four days in primary and four in aging." After the expansion, he says, "the beers will be how we like them to be, instead of how demand dictates they are at this point."

New 15-barrel and 30-barrel fermenters will add to the current 25-barrel and trio of 15-barrels. Some freed-up basement space will also allow for more than the current nine oak barrels, for longer-aged special releases.

Outside the brewing operation (where a rye barrel-aged barleywine is expected by Thanksgiving), other changes include chef Bon Hewlett's new food menu, launched this week. And Phantom's planning an overhaul of the popular eatery's second-floor billiards hall. The foosball is already out to make room for video games, more along the lines of Golden Tee than SuperNova's vintage array.

North end Bistro

The Houston family, proprietors of the North End Diner, recently opened the Bistro (1228 E. Fillmore St., 368-7084) nearby in the former Conway's Red Top location. Jackie Houston says the new spot has a whole different personality than her diner, and is meant to be a healthier alternative to the fast-food restaurants along the Fillmore corridor.

Even though breakfast hours will bring comfort-food goodies like Krispy Kreme doughnuts, chicken-and-waffles and banana-cream pancakes (next to Colorado Coffee Merchants espresso drinks), lunch delivers items like crab cakes, daily soups and house-cut Ranch Foods Direct steaks, with local fruit, herbs and veggies in season. Catch deals like free breakfast for those 18-and-under with an adult's purchase.

À la carte

• The sixth annual All Colorado Beer Festival will hold two tasting sessions (1 to 4:30 p.m., 6:30 to 10 p.m.) from more than 30 breweries Saturday, Nov. 3, at Freedom Financial Services Expo Center (3650 N. Nevada Ave., allcoloradobeerfestival.com). Ticket options range from $10 to $40.

• Chef Daniel Bartlett will present A Show of Textures, Flavors and Colors at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 7, in Colorado College's Armstrong Theater (14 E. Cache la Poudre St.). The free, hour-long, multimedia culinary demo also features a chef's knife raffle in benefit of CC's soup kitchen.


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