My final nightcap at Williams & Graham

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No matter how much fun you have at a bar in Denver, there's always the melancholy time when the lights go up and everyone has to pay the tab and head home. If you're unlucky, the bouncer will shove you out. If you're especially unfortunate, the DJ will play Semisonic's "Closing Time." Either way, it's the end.

What with being popcorn-popper stuffed until letout, Williams & Graham may not be the ideal place to toast the end of the night -- not unless you got there earlier enough to grab a space. But it seems appropriate to end this series with a tip of the glass to this exemplary cocktail bar.

See also: Fernet takes us behind the bar at Harold's Bayonet Room

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The new Rooftop deck at Coors Field is chock full of booze and views

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Dick Monfort talks shop on the Rooftop.
Baseball fans are in for a few new treats when they return to Coors Field this weekend -- although if they're not careful, those treats will get the fans too drunk to remember what they were.

Team owner Dick Monfort led several dozen media members on a walking tour of the stadium on Wednesday and showed off the upgrades. The most noticeable is a change in the look and design of the food and beverage vendors. The facings have all been given a sleek, almost retro, feel that adds to the overall aesthetics of the ballpark.

See also: Blue Moon's Sandlot brewery at Coors Field has two new beers on tap for Opening Day

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Ryan Conklin tapped as the beer-whisky chief of Argyll and Griffin, Robert Thompson's new ventures

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Lori Midson
Local master of beer Ryan Conklin.

Sergio Romero, John Broening, Anika Zappe, Andrew Parr -- all big, bold industry heavyweights who have shared in the success of restaurateur Robert Thompson, owner of Le Grand Bistro & Oyster Bar and Punch Bowl - Social Food & Drink , which originated in Denver and now has a second location in Portland and two more on the horizon in Austin and Detroit. And with Thompson's forthcoming openings of Argyll Whisky Beer in Uptown and Griffin, a German beer hall in RiNo (3001 Brighton Boulevard), he's adding two more prominent names to the staff lineup: beer monarch Ryan Conklin and front-of-house duke Steve Kingsbury.

See also: Exclusive: Robert Thompson opening Argyll Whisky Beer in the Las Margaritas space in Uptown


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Fernet takes us behind the bar at Harold's Bayonet Room

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Chris Utterback
When Colorado booze manages to infiltrate the secretive San Francisco market, it's time to take notice. A recent trip to the Other Queen City found bottles of Leopold Bros. Highland Amaro Fernet being downed. This, in a place where Fernet Branca, the leading manufacturer of the bitter-tasting stuff, draws 40 percent of its U.S. sales.

People have been calling Fernet -- a thick herbal liqueur recipe originally of Italian extraction -- a fad for more than a decade ago. By the time you read this, approximately 276,000 think-pieces on Fernet's popularity will have been published, all pondering the reason a liquid secret handshake among bartenders has infiltrated pop culture. With some help from the fine folk at Harold's and the Bayonet Room in Longmont, I found the answer.

See also: Going beyond white lightning at Boulder Distillery


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Winners of the 2014 Denver International Spirits Competition

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Picture by Christopher J. Davies

The Denver International Spirits Competition, the only international spirits competition in the Rockies, has announced the list of 2014 medal winners. During the event from March 1-2 at the Omni Interlocken Resort in Broomfield, fourteen spirits professionals tasted almost 200 spirits in a double-blind tasting.

See also: Highlights from last night's Pairsine Chefs Fine Food and Wine Pairing Competition


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Going beyond white lightning at Boulder Distillery

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Chris Utterback

The second annual DSTILL conference is bringing distillers, bartenders and garden-variety boozehounds to Denver to celebrate the burgeoning art of Colorado craft distilling.

Before the big players of alcohol start pourin' at tonight's big Showcase event at the McNichols Building, DSTILL invited participants to tour a handful of Boulder distilleries, including the aptly named Boulder Distillery, home of 303 Vodka. Thirsty for knowledge, I jumped at the chance to get a quick education on the revolution in local alcohol -- but I couldn't resist downing a drink, as well.

See also: Laissez le bon temps rouler with Dazzle's Sazerac


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Jake's Brew Bar in Littleton will double in size, add a beer garden

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Jake's Brew Bar Facebook page
Jake's Brew Bar in downtown Littleton is expanding into the building next door, doubling its indoor capacity and adding a 1,500-square-foot beer garden in back.

See also: Loveland's Grimm Brothers Brewhouse will start canning beer

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Rio on the Rocks: Baseball fans will get a taste of Rio Grande margs this season

Categories: Booze News

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Rio Grande margs will be available on the Rocks -- of course! -- at Coors Field.
Opening day is less than a month away, and sports fans are licking their lips over the promise of a new season. And some margs from Rio on the Rocks, a ballpark branch of Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant, the homegrown chain that got its start in Fort Collins 27 years ago, and is known for its legendary house margaritas. Those margs are sure to be a hit at Coors Field, where the Rio will join the lineup in April.

See also: The Rio's Nate Booth says, "We have the best damn margaritas and Tex-Mex food this side of the Rio Grande"

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Rackhouse Pub will close in April, reopen in its own space across the street this fall

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Darian Simon
The Rackhouse Pub, which opened inside the Stranahan's whiskey distillery in October 2009 as one of Denver's first craft-beverage themed restaurants, will close on April 4 and reopen in its own space across the street, possibly as soon as this fall.

"We wanted to continue here, but for us to both to be able grow and achieve our goals, we weren't going to be able to co-habitate anymore," Rackhouse owner Chris Rippe says of the split with Stranahan's.

See also: Photos -- 2013 Colorado Rare Beer Tasting at Rackhouse Pub

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Laissez le bon temps rouler with Dazzle's Sazerac

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Larson Baird
With Mardi Gras coming next week, people of all kinds and creeds are searching for a way to celebrate without slipping into bejeweled, beaded hell. Fat chance. You're one of those souls whose skin takes on a ghostly pallor when you're dressed in purple, gold and green? You habitually cower from thrown beads after that incident on Bourbon Street back in '98? Tough. Fat Tuesday is a time for general outrageousness and overall tackiness -- a natural in mainstream American culture. But the Sazerac cocktail, which may be America's finest contribution to drinking culture, is a classy exception.

See also: Pink elephants and Palomas at Los Chingones


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