Reader: Chef & Brew venue didn't fit a great concept

Categories: Cafe Society

chef brew 2012 8.jpg
Chef Elise Wiggins at Chef & Brew.
Were you at Chef & Brew, which paired some of the town's top toques with some of its best brews? Lori Midson was; she helped judge the event. And so was Mantonat -- which is why he was not at Westword's Denver Web Awards, to pick up the prize for Best Commenter on -- an honor he won with his always entertaining, always informative comments on Cafe Society.

See also:
- Meet the Denver 2012 #Web Award Winners
- Chef & Brew 2012 crowns food and beer winners
- Slide Show: Chef & Brew 2012
- Chef and Tell: Elise Wiggins of Panzano

For example, here's Mantonat's take on Chef & Brews:

It's unfortunate that the venue was such a poor fit for the event. In 3 hours, I only got to try 8 of the 12 beer/food combos. Just about everything I tried was great though, so I'd definitely go back if they do it again next year, but only if it's at a bigger venue or outdoor location.

Did you go to Chef and Brews? What did you think? And what do you think has been the best culinary event of the year? Post your nominations below.

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Mike - I was also excited about the event and sorely disappointed by the execution. Offering unhappy customers an opportunity to spend more money at another one of your events doesn't sound like a good way to build a festival, it sounds like a way to alienate your potential fans. If you really want to have a successful festival, offer refunds to those who had a poor experience this year, build a better product next year and we'll give it another shot.


I am not sure what has been the best culinary event of the year, but I can tell you that this was the worst. 


Something should have been done that night by event staff to fix the multitude of things that were handled poorly.  It certainly didn't help to watch them stand around and drink their full-sized beers while we all waited in line irritated and hungry.  


Unless this turns out to be a 100% discount I won't be anywhere near next year's event.


This was a great idea but poorly executed. It was almost impossible to get any beer or food, much less try both at each area. And once you had food and beer, there was no way to easily eat it. The final straw was after standing in line the circled back and forth, we got to the front only to be pushed aside by 2 "sweet young things" who just butted in line. When told there was a line, we were basically told to "fuck off". So, by 7:15 we left in disgust. $80 for 6 oz of beer each and 3 plates. 

With the crowds and cooking going on, I'm surprised the fire department didn't shut it down. Don't waste money on this turkey next year!


Here are a few other things we will be doing to improve the festival for next year:


-Next years event will be in a much, much bigger venue


-Program with dishes and beers described – blurb about each brewery, restaurant and chef


-A VIP package that includes getting you into the event an hour early


-Seek more vegetarian chefs/dishes


We will continue to make this an even better event every year.


We'll be offering a discount to next years festival for this years attendees.  The discount code will be emailed to all email address that purchased tickets once they go on sale.


Again, thank you sincerely for your feedback and attendance.




Mike Burns

Founder, Chef N Brew Festival and BeerCraving


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