"Beer in Colorado" is dedicated to that divine elixir born of the marriage of water, malt, hops, and yeast as interpreted
by those living in Colorado. Follow the author as he visits every brewery in the state, creates experimental homebrews,
attends beer festivals, tries interesting beers from around the world, and spreads the good word of beer. Prost!

Monday, July 13, 2015

A Picture Tour of Avanti F&B

The highly-anticipated new eatery in Denver's Highlands neighborhood, Avanti F&B, opens to the public today! Here's a few sights you can expect to see at the former print shop located at 3200 Pecos Street.

 The outside of Avanti as seen from the south.  The main dining area is behind the second-level windows and, above that, one part of the rooftop patio.  Just to the left of this wall is...

...the rooftop bleacher section that looks out in the general direction of Coors Field.  It's kind of a silly concept having bleachers on the roof that look out over nothing specific, just the whole of the Denver skyline, but that's okay--I like silly concepts.  Continuing to turn left we see...

...the largest B-cycle station in Denver!  Apparently, they needed to install the city's largest bike rental station lest they be forced to add more parking spaces.  This part of town needed a few more stations, anyway.

Walking through the front door, guests find themselves in a pretty swanky lounge!  On the left side of the lounge is...

...Avanti's main bar area serving wine, mix drinks, and beer including...

...Colorado's largest selection of Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales beers on tap!  One of the owners of Avanti is a close, personal friend of Sam Calagione so it makes sense that DFH would be featured so prominently.  My camera's flash obscured it but that last one is Collabo-Ryezon, a rye beer made in collaboration with Prost Brewing which is just on the other side of a small park from Avanti.  

Avanti also has a lot of beers not from DFH, too, including one from The Post Brewing Co., a brewery headed-up by Bryan Selders, former brewer at DFH. So, I guess there's no hard feelings between Selders and his former employer.  

Walk past the main floor lounge and enter into the main dining hall.  The concept behind Avanti is that of a collective eatery inspired by European markets.  But, I've never been to a European market and you probably haven't, either, so I think a better way to describe Avanti is as a high-end food court or a permanent food truck rally.  There are five eateries on the main floor and two on the second floor.  The dining area is all communal and there are no reservations, just get the food you want from the pod you want and find an available seat.

Another look at the main dining hall.

A nice succulent garden as you head up from the main floor to the second level.

The upstairs bar is indoor/outdoor.  The outside portion serves...

...the main rooftop lounge area.  Turning to the left, we see...

...a line of barstools that look out over the bleachers that are just beyond the edge.  The outdoor, upstairs dining area is on the left. 

Looking back from the barstools and bleachers, we see the outdoor portion of the upstairs bar.

The view from up top!

The upstairs, outdoor dining section.  This part is covered so patrons can enjoy the fresh air and views even in inclement weather.

The length of the upstairs, outdoor dining area.  They have a glass garage door that can be raised, opening the outdoor section to the bar and other two food pods.

From the upstairs dining area, another shot of the rooftop bleachers.

So, what are you waiting for? Avanti opens today so go eat, drink, and take in the spectacular views!



A few months ago, we visited the space that would become Avanti F & B.  At that time, it looked like an empty warehouse.  The cargo containers that would become the food pods were in place but the rest of the space had yet to be transformed.  When we visited this last Thursday, we were met with a mix of modern, industrial, and rustic touches.

I have to say I’ve been looking forward to the opening of Avanti  mostly because Quiero Arepas would be there. Quiero Arepas is one of my favorite food trucks in the Denver area but, being a food truck, we only get to enjoy their Venezuelan treats when we are lucky enough to find them at a brewery or outdoor event.  As usual, the food did not disappoint; I enjoyed the Reina Pepiada, shredded chicken in an avocado sauce stuffed into a corn bread arepa.

Avanti brings different cuisines to one place in a unique way.  Imagine a food court but with craft beer, quality food, an inviting atmosphere, a gorgeous view, and no angsty teenagers (I would say less screaming children, too, but I plan on bringing my baby there when I meet up with friends).  Avanti houses seven restaurants, some are the product of a booming food truck industry, others are testing their concepts, perhaps in hopes of opening a larger restaurant someday. 

After trying samples from each restaurant, my favorite of the night was MiJo.  MiJo served a banana curry over udon noodles with tofu or chicken.  It had a great flavor and just the right amount of spiciness; I will definitely be back for more!

Another favorite was Brava! Pizzeria Della Strada.  Brava! serves wood-fired pizza, the oven carefully squeezed into their cargo container.  They were serving the margherita pizza as well as bacon-wrapped goat cheese-filled dates and Italian S’mores.  The crust on the margherita was so wonderfully thin and the sauce boasts a tangy sweetness, I was actually reminded of pizza I’ve had in Italy.

Unfortunately, with baby on board, I wasn’t able to try any beer or cocktails (I had my eye on a pear cider, though).  I will be returning to Avanti to try out some of the other food options once the full menus are in place.


Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Biergarten Festival is Coming!

It’s that time of year again.  Early July.  That time when we hoist high the Stars n’ Stripes, when we all come together to eat hotdogs, drink copious amounts of beer, watch fireworks, and collectively agree that, damn, it’s good to be American.

In Colorado, early July is even more important; it’s a time when we double-down on our patriotism.  It’s a time when we hoist high the Bundesflagge, when we all come together to eat bratwurst, drink copious amounts of bier, watch Schuhplattler dancers, and collectively agree that, verdammt, it’s good to be German-American.  Why?  Because July 10-12 is when the German-American Chamber of Commerce—Colorado Chapter’s Biergarten Festival is held in Morrison.

Who's that handsome young Kraut?
Held at the scenic TEV Edelweiss festival grounds, the Biergarten Festival is a perfect blend of Colorado rustic and Old World charm.  Red Rocks stands majestically to the north as oompah bands stomp their feet to the rhythm.  The fresh Rocky Mountain air wafts through the site as the aroma of soft pretzels, roasted nuts, schnitzel, Apfelstrudel, and other German delicacies entice hungry festival-goers.  When you’re at Biergarten Festival, you’re very much in Colorado and you’re very much in Bavaria.

And what would Biergarten Festival be without beer?  With Paulaner and Hacker-Pschorr as a sponsor, expect many fine, Munich-style beers on tap.  In fact, according to the festival website, expert more beer than ever before: “This year’s Beer Garden (Biergarten) Festival will be bigger and better than ever before!  We have added more music, more beer and more entertainment.”  There will also be wine and, if prior experiences at the festival are any indication, schnapps. 

This will be the 19th running of the Biergarten Festival and my third time attending.  Here’s some advice from a seasoned pro:

1) Learn some of the language.  Know a few courtesies and definitely know the proper pronunciation of the beer you’re ordering; the lady behind the bar wouldn’t serve me until I said Märzen correctly.

2) If you have lederhosen or dirndls in your closet, wear it!  How often do you get to break out that ensemble?  Be forewarned, though: if you dress authentically, people will assume you speak the language fluently and are an expert German folk dancer. 

3) Don’t worry if you’re not of German heritage.  Just as everybody is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, everybody is German at Biergarten Festival. 

4) Bring sunscreen.  Pasty German complexions and the scorching high country sun are a dangerous mix.

Friday, July 10th | 4pm – 10pm
Saturday, July 11th | 11am – 10pm
Sunday, July 12th | 10am – 5pm (traditional German Frühschoppen brunch in the morning)

17832 Highway 8
Morrison, Colorado 80465

·         Friday & Saturday: $5
·         Sunday: $3, early-bird special: $1 from 10am to noon
·         Frühschoppen: $15 (all-you-can-eat)
·         Children 12 and under are free
·         You may also volunteer