Sean Kenyon of Williams & Graham on being American Bartender of the Year

Categories: Booze News

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Kevin Galaba
Sean Kenyon relaxes at Williams & Graham, after being named America's Best Bartender.
His motorcycle broke down last week on a road trip from Denver to Louisiana, but Sean Kenyon kept moving. He shipped the bike home from Memphis, hopped in a car and pushed on. He was headed to New Orleans for Tales of the Cocktail, an annual five-day convention that draws top mixologists from all over the country. And at the event, Kenyon was awarded the title American Bartender of the Year, a first for Denver. We caught up with Kenyon at Williams & Graham, his craft cocktail bar in LoHi, where we talked about what the award means for bartending, what it means for Denver, and what's next for him.

See also:
Williams & Graham and Sean Kenyon both finalists for Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards.


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The seven best places to drink tequila in Denver on National Tequila Day

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Kevin Galaba

Cuidado Denver, you're getting a second Cinco de Mayo this summer: tomorrow is National Tequila Day. Americans drank a little over 13 million gallons of tequila last year -- and that number will be surpassed this year. There are a lot of great places in Denver to consume the spirit of the agave; we've distilled it down to a few must-drink locations for this festive occasion (although we don't need anyone to tell us that every day is a good day for tequila). Whether it's in a margarita, as slow sipper, or in a shot with lime and salt, tequila is the drink of the day, and this list (in no particular order) of local restaurants will help you find the tequila destination that's right for you.

See also: Richard Sandoval's La Biblioteca opens


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Renegade Brewing sells its Publik House to focus on brewing more beer

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Just over a year ago Renegade Brewing opened Renegade Publik House, a restaurant and tap house in the underserved University of Denver neighborhood. Citing a need to re-focus on expanding beer production and making "more beers available to more people," owner and founder Brian O'Connell recently sold the Publik House, which will close on Tuesday, July 29, to make way for the new owners, who will continue bar and restaurant operations under a new name.

See also: Finkel & Garf Brewing now pouring in Gunbarrel

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Photos: Highland Tap and Burger chef Elijah Odell wins Pairsine food and beer pairing

Categories: Booze News

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Kevin Galaba
Mussels with cream, butter, herbs, potato chips and, of course, beer.
"Awesome, awesome, awesome." That's how chef Elijah Odell describes winning the seventh annual Pairsine food and beer pairing competition last night at the Omni Interlocken Resort in Broomfield. Pairsine, which is a combination of the words "pair" and "cuisine," challenged chefs to create beer-friendly dishes, and present them with the beer that best accompanied each dish. Ten chefs competed, each presenting two beer and food pairings. Odell drew inspiration for his dishes from both European restaurants and his family's favorite Denver dining destinations.

See also: Best Burger -- Highland Tap and Burger 2013


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Joyride, the first brewery in Edgewater, opens at noon today

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Joyride's garage doors will open at noon today.
After much anticipation, Joyride Brewing will open its doors and start serving beer today on a prime corner of West 25th Avenue and Sheridan Boulevard overlooking Sloan's Lake. The brewery, hailing itself as Edgewater's first brewery and occupying what was the town's first grocery store back in 1910, will start pouring at noon today and continue through 10 p.m. Dave Bergen, co-owner and head brewer, invites beer lovers and neighbors to stop by for a pint to "stress test" the staff in anticipation of expected crowds spilling over from this weekend's Dragon Boat Festival in Sloan's Lake Park across the street.

See also: Joyride Brewing will make up for lost Edgewater mural with craft beer, great views

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Whiskey Rebellion: a revolution in water use got its start in Denver

Categories: Booze News

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Kevin Galaba
Straight or on the rocks, there's a lot of water in your whiskey.
Don't wash your jeans. When Levi's CEO Chip Burgh dropped that piece of advice last May, he wasn't just talking about preserving your denim. Lots of water is used in the production of your new 501s, a fact that brings home the day-to-day impact our choices have on how water is used -- and how much of it is used. As for whiskey, it's mostly water, too. Whiskey Rebellion, the national spirits showcase that poured out knowledge and spirits in Denver clast week, wants to raise awareness regarding how much water goes into those Manhattans. And the movement got its start right here in Denver.

See also: Stranahan's offers new opportunity to lounge with whiskey cocktails.

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Bartender James Estes shakes up one of the "25 Cocktails to Drink Before You Die"

Categories: Booze News

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Kevin Galaba
James Estes, who runs a speakeasy in Dubai, stopped by Williams & Graham to make his cocktail, "Mother Superior."
Combining work and play is a good gig -- if you can get it. Surprise guest bartenders James Estes and Jesse Estes, who are cousins, did just that Wednesday night at Williams & Graham. While visiting family in Colorado, the London- and Dubai-based bartenders slipped into work mode to deftly mix up some of their signature cocktails, including James's "Mother Superior," named one of the "25 cocktails to drink before you die" by the Huffington Post in February.

See also: Williams & Graham shakes up new cocktails for spring


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Most Imaginative Bartender contest is Monday -- start shaking!

Categories: Booze News

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Brian Dayton, winner of Bombay Sapphire's "Most Imaginative Bartender" competition in 2011.
Denver bartenders, are you feeling inspired? If so, shake up your creative juices, because Bombay Sapphire's Most Imaginative Bartender Competition is coming to town on Monday, August 4 -- and the deadline to enter the contest is July 14. The yearly competition asks bartenders to craft their most compelling cocktails, with the chance to advance to the national finals. Sponsored by Bombay Sapphire and GQ magazine, the Colorado competition will be poolside at the Four Seasons Hotel. Back in 2011 Brian Dayton of Oak at Fourteenth took first and went on to win the national competition, earning the title Most Imaginative Bartender in America. Will the Mile High City triumph again?

See also: Brian Dayton brings home first place in the national GQ Bombay Sapphire cocktail competition.


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Golden City Brewery stops serving food and cider; plans to open winery later this year

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Danielle Lirette
The patio at Golden City.
After more than four years of serving food along with its hand-crafted beers, Golden City Brewery has decided to shutter its kitchen and rely on food trucks instead.

"We were already really small, and the health department changed their requirements for what we had to do to have a kitchen," says Tamara Munroe, the daughter of brewery founders Charlie and Janine Sturdevant. "They want us to add about six more bathroom stalls. But that would take up most of our garden space, so we can't do it."

See also: Ten great Colorado brewery patios to try this summer

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Local distiller Todd Leopold makes spirits "one bottle at a time"

Categories: Booze News

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Kevin Galaba
The tasting table: a few spirits from Leopold Bros. distillery, ready for tasting.
"For the most part, Colorado knows an awful lot about beer," said Todd Leopold, head distiller at Leopold Bros. distillery. "They can tell you about different styles, and what breweries they like and why, but when it comes to spirits, people are just starting to dip their toe in the water." It's not common for Leopold to leave the distillery to illustrate his products or the distilling process, so last night's Leopold Bros. and Cigars event at the Hyatt Regency was a rare opportunity to talk about hand-crafted Colorado spirits with the man who makes them. "We're very much a believer in one bottle at a time," he told the group.

See also: Leopold Bros. reveals plans for expansion


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