Mountain Sun Pub celebrates 23 years of a “Funky Good Time!”

Each spring The Mountain Sun Pub hosts an event of epic proportions. This past Saturday was fantastic as the historic Boulder Theater welcomed the 23rd year of this “Funky Good Time”. The evening’s entertainment opened to a packed house featuring an entertaining and energized set from Euforquestra and closed in a raucous frenzy following two sets from “The Pearl Street All-Stars”.

This year’s “All-Stars” were just that and included George Porter Jr., Kyle Hollingsworth, Jennifer Hartswick, Eddie Roberts, Isaac Teel & Jans Ingber. The music was unbelievable from start to finish making this 2016 version one to remember.

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Time to party! Ratio Beerworks turns 1.

A lot can happen in a year. A milestone in the timeline of new business, the one-year-mark is reason to celebrate. Ratio Beerworks, located in Denver’s RHINO District, embraced this milestone with vigor and created an amazing Anniversary Weekend. Perhaps aided by an opening date that falls on Valentine’s Day, it was evident that there is much love for one of the hottest new breweries, not only in Denver but the entire U.S as well.

The weekend featured a packed schedule of entertainment, local food trucks and of course finely crafted and tasty beer. Limited releases of new brews brought happy crowds throughout the sun-drenched weekend. The events wound up Sunday with a special “Hangover Firkin” and Valentine’s Day brunch.

Pushing the hype was recent national recognition for this yearling brewery. Already a favorite of local craft-beer enthusiasts, Ratio Beerworks was named as one of the nations top 33 new breweries by the Beer Advocate, as well as one of the best new breweries in America by Thrillist. An honor for sure and as Brewmaster Jason says,” The beer is the core….”

Congratulations on the first year and here’s to many more to come.

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Operation Altitude hosts an amazing evening at The Infinite Monkey Theorem.

Operation Altitude is known for pushing the envelope, bringing together the best-of-the-best, creating the most memorable of events for their select clientele. A recent evening at The Infinite Monkey Theorem, Denver’s own “urban winery”, was no different. A private affair at an intimate locale, beautiful decor, delectable cuisine and a private lesson in what it takes to create unbelievable wines, made for one spectacular experience.

With the place to themselves, guests were treated to all the The Infinite Monkey Theorem had to offer. Cocktails were served in the thoughtfully appointed winery tap-room, highlighted by beautiful fall-themed centerpieces and decor from Plum Sage Flowers. An introduction from wine-maker and founder, Ben Parsons, related the rigors and successes this unique winery has experienced. Guests then were escorted to the winery where they could try their hand at creating their own blends.

The highlight of this amazing evening, however, had to be the fabulous wine-paired culinary adventure, created by the chefs of Red Maple Catering. Chef Jason and his professional and creative team kept the appreciate diners happy and anticipation was intense to see what magic each course would offer. It was a a memorable and intimate evening filled with new knowledge, experiences and fine food and drink.

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Sixty Minute Men are going to “rock their socks” right out of Colorado.

Colorado seems to be a hotbed for the eclectic, creative and courageous. The music scene here is no different. With bands all the way back to Glenn Miller; to Big Head Todd & the Monsters, The Samples, Leftover Salmon, The Lumineers, The Fray, Zuba….the list is long. Next up is a five-piece group out of Boulder that is as exciting as they are skilled. Sixty Minute Men are a refreshing, rocking group of musicians that are poised to make the big time.

Recently playing at the annual Vine Street Pub’s Uptown Neighborhood Block Party, The Sixty Minute Men took the enormous crowd by storm and the reception was a collective “Wow!”. These guys bring a fresh and exhilarating sound to the stage that is complimented by an energy that is contagious. The sound they call “Original Soul” is a delicious mix of rock, funk, blues and, of course, soul and challenges each and every listener not to move.

Great things are in store for the Sixty Minute Men. The ingredients are all there for them to be the next big thing to come from the Colorado music scene. Go and check them out, you will not be disappointed!

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Brewer’s Olympics & great music…Vine Street Block Party has it all!

Mid-September is a fantastic time to be in Denver, Colorado. Beautiful days, blue sky and loads of festivals all mark this remarkable change of seasons. One annual event that combines all that is great in Denver is the Uptown Neighborhood Block Party at Vine Street Pub. This Denver location of Boulder’s Mountain Sun empire brings together some of the best craft-beer makers and musicians to create an entire day of mayhem and music that is hard to beat.

The 2015 edition of festivities began with the “Brewer’s Olympics”, a multi-event challenge for teams of two from well-known local breweries. There were, of course, the die-hard regulars, returning champions and eager rookies all prepared to do battle for the coveted bragging rights that go to the victors. Just beneath the thinly veiled guise of silly costumes and sillier behaviors laid an aura of dogged competition that hung in the fresh air like a ominous fog. Each team had a plan. So were successful, some not so much. In the end it was the rookie team from Ratio Beerworks that won gold and bragging rights until the fall of 2016.

Once the street was cleared and congratulations were given, the record-breaking crowd was treated to music so good, it defined awesome. The Sixty Minute Men of Boulder opened and wowed with their unique and funky sounds of “original soul”. Their music was electric and energy amazing. The “Men” were followed by a closing act that rivaled any the Mountain Sun crew has been able to put together. Anchored by The Drunken Hearts, the ensemble welcomed Dave Johnston from Yonder Mountain String Band and Rob Eaton from Dark Star Orchestra. The results were amazing and the streets were shaking.

Once  again, The Neighborhood Block Party was a monumental success and reminds us that things are good in Denver. Sponsors USBank, Westword deserve a big hand for their support, as well as the volunteers and all of the participating breweries that donated their fine craft. All proceeds from the event benefitted New Era Colorado who remind us not only to register to vote but to get out and do it!

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Yonder Mountain String Band plays a packed house at Under the Sun.

Like two peas in a pod, Yonder Mountain String Band and Under the Sun Eatery & Taphouse teamed up to do things their way. A free show in preparation for the band’s show at venerable Red Rocks Amphitheater was held Thursday night to a packed house and parking lot. The evening literally pushed Under the Sun’s versatile seating possibilities…. Pushed everything out of the way to make room for the hordes of standing-room-only fans. The crowd could not get enough of the band’s progressive bluegrass sound, which led to an “encore set” in the  UTS parking lot.

Working in such tight quarters, the band moved like a well oiled machine that comes only with years of experience playing together. Each musician slithered their way to the mic to add their sounds to the mesmerizing mix. Smiles were everywhere and if the “rehearsal” was any indication, tonight’s show at Red Rocks will rock!

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Operation Altitude creates a magical evening in Denver’s Union Station

Denver’s historic and newly-renovated Union Station served as a wonderful venue for a recent evening of culinary genius. The experience began with a cocktail on the upper terrace of the beautiful Terminal Bar followed by a comprehensive, private tour of the facility. Guests were then ushered to the Gallery Level for a very unique dining experience provided by Denver’s own Epicurean Group. This amazing experience, with every nuance thoughtfully considered and addressed, was orchestrated by Angie Vossler and Operation Altitude.

The set-up was immaculately, prepared by designer Jessica Stapp and her crew, with a warm and rustic, mountain, pure-Colorado feel. The dining experience, a Chef’s Dinner, in which each course was creatively finished by Epicurean’s “Innovation Chef” Jenna Johansen and her team in front of eagerly awaiting diners. At the introduction of each plated course, Chef Jenna described the offering with explanation of process that complimented her delicious creations.

The evening was very impressive, from setting to decor, presentation to every delectable dish and left the crowd in awe. Bravo Angie, Operation Altitude, Jenna, Jessica, Epicurean and Union Station for an evening these lucky few will not soon forget.

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Bryce Widom and his masterpieces in chalk.

I was introduced to a sampling of the beautiful works of Bryce Widom, while photographing the different locations of Mountain Sun Pubs & Breweries. Upon first glance of the murals there is a sense of something intriguing and special about the works. A closer look reveals color and detail that is quite extraordinary. When the realization is made that the images are created by an extremely steady hand, employing vivid colors of chalk, it is evident that the creator is a true artist.

The works are so very unique and more often than not, temporary; to be wiped clean and replaced with a new equally beautiful and creative offering. It has been an honor to be able to capture these wonderful murals, while they exist, and preserve them in a sense.

Next time you visit one of the Mountain Sun Pubs be sure to take a moment to appreciate the talent of the artist Bryce Widom.

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EdFest 2015 working hard to keep Edison Elementary great!

EdFest is the biggest and baddest fundraiser held to benefit the students of Edison Elementary School in Northwest Denver. The focus for this year’s funds will go towards PTA-funded projects and programs, with a special appeal for raising money for musical instruments. The crowd was huge and very willing to support our local elementary school.

EdFest 2015 was held at one of Northwest Denver’s finest watering-holes, Local 46. The back-yard beer garden was the perfect spot for a Cajun Crawfish Boil and “Corn-hole” tournament. Inside attendees had loads of goodies and opportunities to bid on in a silent auction. The “Step-and-Repeat” drew lots of camera-shy models hamming it up as the evening progressed. The final event of the Fest was a live auction led by PTA President and DPS School Board candidate Michael Kiley II.

A special thanks goes out to the gracious sponsors of the event: Local 46, Speaks Orthodontics, Sweet Cow Ice Cream, Tennyson Pediatric DentistrySnarf’sPaneraSushi HaiNY Pizza Pub, Orthodontics in the Highlands and more….

And of course, thanks to the event organizers who do such a good job of making giving money fun!

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Ratio Beerworks, Rockin’ Rhino with Tasty Suds.

Larimer Street is home to an exciting new brewery that is sure to make waves in the ocean of Denver’s craft-beer scene. A reunion of three long-time friends who started as a punk rock band, went their ways have now come back together to combine their skills to bring great beer, a cool venue and a sweet vibe to Denver’s Rhino District. Ratio Beerworks will be the place to be.

Ratio Beerworks boasts a state-of-the-art 20 barrel brewery to provide loads of great beers, an eclectic selection of food trucks to provide on-site dining and a music scene only former musicians could put together. Next time you are looking for something exciting and new head on over to Ratio Beerworks.

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