SALT’s DIY Cocktail Menu

 

The Cocktail Element menu lets you design your own drink


“Anything sangría,” the well-dressed man behind the bar at SALT the Bistro {1047 Pearl Street, Boulder; 303.444.7258} responded when we asked him for recommendations on a refreshing summer drink. But unlike most craft cocktail menus, choosing a drink from the Cocktail Element menu at SALT isn’t as simple as randomly choosing the menu item with the most intriguing name. It’s advertised as a “personalized cocktail invention.” SALT’s DIY cocktail menu employs a three-part ordering system created to encourage customized drinks and the exploration of new cocktail combinations. Here’s how it works:

Step 1: Select a spirit. Choose from high-quality and often locally made vodka, gin, rum, tequila, bourbon, or Scotch liquors.

Step 2: Select a house-infused simple syrup. Using fresh ingredients, and all made in-house, the simple syrup offerings range from commonly used simple syrups like vanilla, cucumber, mint, and lemongrass, to unique infusions like strawberry-basil, blood orange-rosemary, chipotle, and ginger.

Step 3: Select a style. Options include French 75 (sparkling wine and lemon juice), gimlet, sour (Rickey), cocktail, fizz (Collins), or an Old Fashioned. Cute images of the glassware for each option will help you identify the kind of style you’re looking for.


Taking a cue from the talented cocktail chemist behind the bar on our trip, we opted for a sangría-style drink made with vodka and strawberry-basil house-infused simple syrup. Not only was the color and presentation of the drink visually stunning, but you better believe it was delicious and downright thirst-quenching on a hot Colorado day.

Find out more SALT’s cocktail program here: saltthebistro.com.

By Tyra Sutak | Contributing Writer 

Source: http://diningout.com/denverboulder/salts-diy-cocktail-menu/

Tips for Backyard Burger Grilling

 

Inspired by Rueben’s Burger Bistro in Boulder


Photo credit: ruebensburgerbistro.com

Bust out your “kiss the cook” apron and get out the ground beef and buns, it’s grilling season! When it comes to grilling up the best backyard burgers this summer, try taking a page from the folks at Rueben’s Burger Bistro {1800 Broadway, Boulder; 303.443.5000}, one of the top burger joints along the Front Range, for their tips for backyard burger grilling. Since opening their doors in 2010, this Boulder burger joint has mastered the perfect burger set-up, and here are a few reasons why:

  • They focus on the ingredients. In your quest to cook up the perfect patty, make sure you start with the best ingredients. Rueben’s only uses 100-percent all natural Colorado beef— and trust us, you can taste the difference.
  • They let you build your own! Rueben’s menu has a whole page devoted to burger options, but instead of issuing standard burger menu items, they let you build your own. Pick your protein, pick your bun option, and pick your sauce— then pair it up with one their 16 cycling-themed “toppings” combinations to finish it all off.
  • Think outside the sesame bun. One of Rueben’s offerings that keep diners coming back for more is their signature pretzel bun. The pretzel bun elevates the entire dish and offers a steady and secure vehicle for your burger patty, condiments, and vegetables to come together as one.
  • Add a homemade sauce. At Rueben’s, people dig the fry sauce on everything. But burger aficionados are also ordering up one of the many aïoli options offered on the menu. This includes a roasted garlic aïoli and a chipotleaïoli, which both add a nice touch of flavor to any burger dish.
  • Don’t forget the sides. Instead of regular old potato chips or french fries, offer up some tasty alternative options for your guests. Along with their hand-cut french fries, Rueben’s also serves up some very popular sweet potato fries, a side salad, and beer battered onion rings.
  • Serve it with a cold beer. Unlike Rueben’s, you might not have 42 beer taps from which to serve your guests, but that’s okay. Stock up on a couple of options, serve ‘em cold, and you’re bound to have some happy people!

Check out Rueben’s Burger Bistro’s full menu:http://ruebensburgerbistro.com/menu/.

By Tyra Sutak | Contributing Writer

Source: http://diningout.com/denverboulder/tips-for-backyard-burger-grilling/

Juice Away Your July 4 Guilt at Zeal

 

Juices and cleanses that will make it all better


It’s not your fault; we totally get it. It was the smell of those juicy burgers on the grill. And the cooler stocked full of ice-cold beer. That checkered tablecloth topped with sweet treats, and those adorable little red, white, and blue jello shots that seemed so harmless. The Fourth of July holiday weekend owned you, and your liver and stomach have joined forces in a pretty serious revolution against the rest of your body ever since. For those pour souls in the Boulder area suffering through a post-holiday weekend hangover, help isn’t far away.

Inside the vibrant dining room of Zeal – Food For Enthusiasts {1710 Pearl Street, Boulder; 720.708.6309} is a magical fountain of natural elixirs concocted to cure whatever ails you. This downtown Boulder eatery and juice bar is known for their organic, cold-pressed juices, which are all made in-house–some are even served straight from the tap. (Check out Zeal for happy hour from 4-5:30 p.m for $5 juices on tap.)

Order a glass of one of Zeal’s Red, Yellow, Green, or Orange juices made with fresh organic ingredients like ginger, kale, spinach, pineapple, beets, and an assortment of other healthy produce. If you can’t decide on a color, grab a juice flight for $8 and enjoy short pours of all of Zeal’s juice offerings.

If smoothies are more your style, Zeal has a variety of options featuring their freshly made juices plus a variety of other healthful ingredients like honey, cacao nibs, and peanut butter. Get your body back on track with a Green Alkalizer ($8.25) made with spinach, kale, avocado, ginger, chia, cinnamon, dates, green juice, almond, and hemp or coconut milk. If you really went hard over the week, it might be best to order the Delightful Detox ($8.25). The combination of spinach, green apple, cucumber, celery, parsley, ginger, lemon, and coco water might just save your soul.

If you need more than one glass of juice to counter all of the holiday weekend fun you had, Zeal also offers one-day ($70) or three-day ($180) juice cleanse packages from their pals at Boulder-based Conscious Cleanse. The juice cleanses are meant to give your digestive system a rest and to provide your body with nutrients, live enzymes, and minerals needed to detoxify your body and help you feel your best—just in time to celebrate all over again this weekend …

By Tyra Sutak | Contributing Writer 

Source: http://diningout.com/denverboulder/juice-away-your-july-4-guilt-at-zeal/

Live Music in Boulder Gears Up for a Busy Month

By Tyra Sutak

My first concert at a venue in Boulder was one for the books. I’ll never forget it. It was my fifteenth birthday and I was celebrating (sans parents) with a group of friends at The Fox Theater on the Hill.

For weeks, I had begged my parents to let me go. I spent many long nights leading up to the show wearing out the ‘e’ in the please and rattling off lists of qualities I possessed that resembled anything close to responsibility. It was a pretty pathetic time in my teenage years, and it’s hard not to laugh looking back on it now— especially considering that the band that I was dying to see was Chumbawamba. Don’t judge me; it was the 90’s. But the experience left a lasting impression and spawned a love and appreciation for the historic Fox Theater and its sister venue,The Boulder Theater.

In terms of age, The Boulder Theater has nearly two decades on its cross-town counterpart. The building, located in downtown Boulder, was constructed in 1906 as the Curran Opera House— a popular place for locals to catch an opera production or a silent film.

It wasn’t until the 1930’s that the iconic art deco interior was added, giving the building its unforgettable character. Today, The Boulder Theater is the city’s top music venue, which isn’t surprising considering the impressive list of artists that have graced its stage. And with a capacity of only 850, each and every show is an intimate one. 

The Fox Theater was originally built in 1926 as the Rialto Theater. Over the years, The Fox has featured vaudeville acts, movies, dancers, music, and more. Catching a show at the Fox is like hanging out with 649 or your closest friends. And since the introduction of a liquor license in the 1990’s, it’s also a great place to grab a local microbrew— many of which are served up at the venue’s bar.

With summer approaching, both venues are ramping up their calendars with a strong line-up of nationally touring musicians. George Ezra is stopping through the The Fox Theater on April 2nd. The Infamous Stringdusters are playing two nights at the Boulder Theater this month. The Drive-By Truckers are in town. And Damien Rice will be taking the stage at The Boulder Theater on April 17th.

The Boulder Theater is also staying true to it’s roots this month with a handful of films on the calendar, beginning with the Fly Fishing Film Tour on April 1st which will feature live music by local band, Interstate Stash Express. The 23rd Annual Microbreweries for the Environment is also on tap in April. Tickets are still available for this beloved local event that will take place at the Boulder Theater on April 4th. Atomga and The Herd are providing the tunes and thirteen local breweries will be on hand serving up their brews. The event benefits local environmental initiatives and is definitely great way to kick off festival season in the area.

View The Fox Theater’s Calendar

View The Boulder Theater’s Calendar



Source: http://yourboulder.com/boulder-live-music-venues-april/

Eat Well, Boulder: Community Supported Agriculture Programs in BoCo


By Tyra Sutak

Eat well, Boulder. That’s what your local farmers are asking of you. As the temperature in Boulder rises and the imminent return of the Boulder Farmers’ Market looms— it’s only fitting to start talking crop.

Boulder County is home to numerous farms and with the help of Community Supported Agriculture programs in the area, the locally-grown vegetables, fruits, flowers, and other assorted locally-produced items are up for grabs. It’s a beautiful thing. CSA programs are one of those rare situations that are mutually beneficial for all parties involved. Each local farm accepting applications for their specific Community Supported Agriculture program emphasizes the sheer fact that joining a local CSA program is almost like jumping on board as a farmhand yourself.


CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) is based on a simple principle: connecting people to their local food source.“Community Supported Agriculture consists of a community of individuals who pledge support to a farm operation so that the farmland becomes, either legally or spiritually, the community’s farm, with the growers and consumers providing mutual support and sharing the risks and benefits of food production.” -United States Dept. of Agriculture

A CSA or Community Supported Agriculture is known as a locally-based economic model of agriculture and a popular local food distribution program. Think “Farm-To-Table” where the harvest actually lands on your own kitchen table. Pledging your financial support to a local farm with a CSA program is like scheduling a trip to the Farmers’ Market every week and going home with all of the fresh items that you went to the market in search of. But as a member of a CSA, you share the ups— and any downs that your chosen farm experiences.

In the words of the folks at the 63rd Street Farm, CSA programs are summed up: “As a community dedicated to the benefits we also share the ‘risk’ of mother nature and challenges she can bring. We encourage our members to know their farm, be proud of the food that is grown here, and to feed our community from within.”

ROI and benefits for most CSA members will contain items harvested at their peak in the summer, but applications for the coveted spaces of local CSA programs are happening now.

Here’s a list of Boulder farms that offer CSA programs this summer. Eat Well, Boulder.

63rd Street Farm

Cultiva Boulder

Cure Organic Farm

Friar Farms

Hoot ‘n’ Howl Farm

Oxford Gardens

Sunbeam Farm

The Valmont Farm


Source: http://yourboulder.com/csa-agriculture-boulder/

Colorado-Grown Grapes Fuel Boulder’s Emerging Wine Scene

Colorado is often affectionately referred to as the “Napa of Craft Beer”—but in reality, the state actually has an established wine scene of it’s own. Grapevines were first introduced in Colorado in the 19th century by miners relocating to the southern part of the state in hopes of striking it rich.

Over the years, vineyards began appearing in and around the Palisade/Grand Junction area, producing world-class grapes with the help of southern Colorado’s warm climate and water from mountain runoff. Low humidity and plenty of sunshine create ideal conditions for growers, resulting in sought-after grapes used by wineries throughout Colorado and beyond.


In Boulder, one winery is committed to using only 100% Colorado-grown grapes for their product—choosing to source grapes from select vineyards in Palisade to create their handcrafted beverage. The folks at Settembre Cellars have been mastering the art of winemaking since 2007. Every year, owner/operators Blake and Tracy Eliasson rely on relationships cultivated with their grape growers who alert the couple when the grapes are ready to be harvested, hand-picking and sorting only the finest first clusters to be shipped overnight to the Settembre Cellars winery located in North Boulder.

“I have growers that I can really trust,”said Settembre winemaker and founder, Blake Eliasson. “Stylistic control of wine comes in the very beginning. It starts with the harvesting of the grape.”

As with many founders of businesses in the beverage industry, Eliasson left a job as a full-time engineer to turn his winemaking hobby into career that he and his wife could share. Eliasson holds a Graduate Certificate in Enology and Viticulture from UC Davis (as well as a PhD in Electrical Engineering), which has helped him develop a successful mix of science and nature to create locally-made wines that he can stand behind.

Inside Settembre Cellars, wine enthusiasts can sample from the winery’s collection including single vineyard and reserve wines. Each wine ferments in stainless steel tanks and/or French Oak barrels, both of which you can view from any seat inside of the cozy tasting room.

Outside of the tasting room, local restauranteurs and retail shops are also supporting Boulder’s winemakers.

Foodies visiting Cured in downtown Boulder can have a glass of Settembre Cellars wine with their urban picnic selections of cured meats and artisanal cheese.

“It’s cool having wineries here in town that are outstanding and that we can get behind,”said Will Frischkorn, co-owner and operator of Cured.

Local wine drinkers can also learn more about Boulder wines and Colorado grapes at this year’s Taste of Pearl which features five Boulder wineries in its food and wine pairing lineup. The annual event takes place throughout downtown Boulder on April 19th. Tickets are $65 each and can be purchased here.

Source: http://yourboulder.com/boulder-wine-scene/

Blackbelly Market Boosts Burgeoning East Boulder Dining Scene

BLACKBELLY_3269.jpeg

By Tyra Sutak

For years, downtown Boulder has been the well-known epicenter of our celebrated culinary scene. Highly decorated chefs wander Pearl Street and neighboring streets every day.

So when the time came for Chef Hosea Rosenberg, poster chef for Boulder’s culinary world, to open the doors of his first brick and mortar venture, all eyes were on available buildings downtown. But in a bold move becoming more and more popular with local dining-driven entrepreneurs, Rosenberg threw everyone a curveball and opted to open up shop east of Foothills Parkway.

“It all really started twenty years ago when Adam Avery dropped anchor out here,” said Rosenberg, inspiring the chef to pass up opportunities in the downtown area and put down roots at his current location. “There are a lot of people out here. Plus, the rent is cheap and there’s a lot of parking.”


Cheap rent, tons of parking, and a handful of established neighbors concocting products of the liquid variety were all factors in Rosenberg’s decision to openBlackbelly Market in East Boulder. Having spent more than a decade making his name in prominent Boulder kitchens, Blackbelly is the culmination of many calculated baby steps in his accomplished career. The restaurant, bar, market, butcher shop, and final resting place for the majority of things grown at Rosenberg’sBlackbelly Farm opened its doors in November of 2014 in the old Minglewood digs at 1606 Conestoga St. #3. What started as a search for a commissary kitchen for Rosenberg’s other venture, Blackbelly Catering, evolved into a market with grab-and-go breakfast and lunch offerings.  A butcher shop was added, ultimately resulting in a full remodel to include a bar and dining room before officially opening the doors to the throngs of curious diners striving to get a seat in one of Boulder’s hottest new restaurants.

“I see this area as the new hotspot,” said Rosenberg. “There’s Wildwoods Brewery. Bruis doing great things along with Ozo Coffee and Roundhouse Spirits. We’re all in the sandbox together out here.” The Top Chef makes it a point to support his neighbors by including locally-made beer and spirits on Blackbelly’s drink menu. Other menus at Blackbelly are filled with house-made meats and locally grown ingredients. $5 breakfast burritos with farm-fresh eggs are flying out the door from 7 to 11 a.m. during the work week, and the line at the market counter from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (Monday through Friday) is a long one filled with local workers looking to grab a quick and tasty lunch before heading back to their nearby office. Happy hour is served daily from 4 to 6 p.m. giving dinners a variety of small bites served with a side of mystery. There’s a slider of the day and a fried thing of the day. And of course, in true east Boulder-love fashion, there’s also a $4 surprise Avery beer can of the day.

With Google’s announcement of an additional campus in Boulder and the close proximity of the nearby Ball campus and the Boulder Community Foothills Hospital location, Rosenberg is optimistic that the east Boulder culinary scene will continue to grow and thrive in years to come. “I think there’s going to be a lot more happening out here,” he said. And with a consistently full nightly reservation list and packed dedicated Blackbelly following—it’s hard to disagree.

Photo credit: Blackbelly Market

Source: http://yourboulder.com/blackbelly-market-boulder-restaurants/

Bobby Stuckey: Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s “Sommelier of the Year” Talks Boulder, Wine Culture, and More

 

By Tyra Sutak

 

In case you haven’t heard, Bobby Stuckey— a leader in the Boulder food and wine scene and co-proprietor of Frasca Food and Wine and Pizzeria Locale—was recently named “Sommelier of the Year” by Wine Enthusiast Magazine. But for this well-traveled master sommelier, these recent praises in a long line of accolades, haven’t gone to his head. In fact, if you happen to run into Stuckey at one of his downtown Boulder restaurants during dining service, chances are he’s bussing your table.

Like most memorable personalities in the world of food and beverages, Stuckey attributes his success to a humble beginning bussing tables in the early ‘80s at a restaurant in Scottsdale, Arizona. Of all of the different paths that an entry-level position in the restaurant industry can lead to, he chose wine.

“As a waiter, I always loved going to wine class,” said Stuckey. “That’s what started this whole journey.”


That journey would eventually lead him to his current business partner, Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson, an accomplished chef with his own impressive background. Together, the two culinary forces would open Frasca Food and Wine in 2004, an Italian-inspired eatery located on the east end of Pearl Street’s downtown area.

“We landed in Boulder because we wanted a community that was partly based on lifestyle and partly based on professional,” said Stuckey. “We found that community in Boulder.”

Even though Stuckey’s restaurants are located smack dab in the center of a place affectionally referred to as the “Napa Valley of Beer,” the restauranteur doesn’t see the local craft beer industry as a stifling factor to the local wine scene he’s helped develop over the years.

“Over the past ten years, our sommeliers have created such a wine culture, that it wouldn’t matter if we were located in the middle of a brewery—people would still come to Frasca for wine, specifically for wine adventures in the Italian wine trait,”  he said.

Between Frasca and Pizzeria Locale, Stuckey currently oversees about fifteen employees that have passed the certified sommelier test. He supports his wine-inspired staff, and customers, with a variety of monthly events to increase educational awareness of all things wine.

According to Stuckey, “There are so many different ways at Frasca that you can learn about food and wine. There are a lot of different ways for people to embrace wine cultures without ever having to get on a plane.”

For starters, every Monday night, Frasca serves a Tasting Menu paired with wines for $50 (wine pairings add an additional $45 to the bill) where customers can taste more and learn more about the art of wine and food pairings.

Frasca also hosts a variety of winemakers each month, giving the people behind the grape a chance to speak about their product to wine aficionados in the Front Range.

And Frasca is also managing a wine university of sorts. The Istituto Frasca was created to educate not only that staff managing the floors of Frasca and Pizzeria Locale, but local wine consumers as well. Classes are held for the public each week and are led by Stuckey himself, and focus on a specific wine region or style. Istituto Frasca classes are always accompanied by a wine flight.

At the end of the day, when the Sommelier of the Year finishes service and sits down to enjoy dinner and a glass of wine picked out from Frasca’s 65-page wine list, Stuckey enjoys a glass of Venica Malvasia Istriana from Fruiuli, Italy, paired with the wonderful citrus flavors of the raw fish dishes currently being served on the menu.

But to Stuckey, receiving the award for Sommelier of the Year isn’t just a one-person job.

“It’s an honor whenever someone says something nice,”  says Stuckey. “But being awarded something like this is also really great for small market food regions around the country. It shows that no matter where we are, as long as we work really hard at our craft, we can compete against a national stage.”

Source: http://yourboulder.com/bobby-stuckey-boulder/

Avery Brewing Co. to Celebrate Grand Opening of New Facility on February 16th

On February 9, 2015, Avery Brewing Company threw one last party at 5763 Arapahoe Ave., Unit E—the brewery’s home since their inception in 1993. But Avery isn’t closed for business. In fact, this craft beer landmark in Boulder is just getting started. For more than four years, Adam Avery and his crew have been scheming, and dreaming, and waiting, and planning for the day that they would officially open the doors and welcome fans of Avery, and craft beer, into a much larger, more efficient brewery. And when 3 o’clock rolls around on Monday afternoon, that long wait will finally come to an end. For more than two decades, Avery has steadily expanded to a mid-size brewery that has garnered quite a name in Colorado and beyond with their ambitious barrel-aging program and mastery of Belgian-style beers. Over the years, Avery has completely outgrown their original location. With plenty of demand, but no room to expand, it’s not surprising that the brewery sought out a larger, local space with room to design and see-through on the owner/founder’s big dreams.

While Avery’s old location spanned a respectable 20,000 square feet, the new location measures in at a whopping 67,000 square feet with additional exterior space to grow up to 95,000 square feet—additional square footage that the brewery already has plans to take advantage of in the near future. What was once a two vessel system and a 40 barrel brewhouse is now a four vessel system and an 85 barrel brewhouse. Four shiny, new 720 barrel fermenters rise above the brewery’s western facade, pulling doubly-duty as Avery’s unofficial welcome sign. The only thing not shiny in this dream brewery is the mill room, which is littered with discarded bits of grain. Avery’s new mill squeezes the grain instead of cracking it, creating near-perfect husk-conservation and a better end-product.

The brewery has also heavily invested in their lab, an often forgotten but extremely important part of any brewery operation. In the past, Avery lab employees have overseen the quality of the beer and executed extensive sensory panels inside of the walls of a 120 square foot room. But in the new digs, the lab is nearly six times the size of the old space and borders a smaller room solely dedicated to sensory training. Avery’s yeast room has doubled in size. The loading docks are easily accessible to multiple trucks picking up shipments at the same time. And a dedicated room has been created for the brewery’s much-loved barrel-aging program.  It seems like just yesterday that Avery only had a couple hundred oak barrels of aging beer lining the walls of their brewery. With more space and additional off-site storage in the area, Avery expects to grow their barrel-aging program to 3000 barrels by the end of 2015. The microbrewery will also be releasing the first packaged barrel-aged beer in a three-beer “Botanicals and Barrels Series”in late spring. Keep an eye out for the Raspberry Sour, a sour ale with raspberries aged in oak barrels to make an appearance in 22 oz. bombers by the end of April. The Raspberry Sour will be followed by a vanilla bean stout aged in a bourbon barrel and a coconut porter aged in a bourbon barrel—both served in 22 oz. bombers and expected to hit national markets this year. Avery Brewing Co. has additional plans to launch their popular tap room exclusive beer Liliko Keplo witbier-style brew in 4-packs of cans into the market by the end of spring. With a handful of new beer launches this year, more space, and more efficient equipment, Avery is looking to increase their production from 47,846 barrels in 2013, and 49,892 barrels in 2014, to 68,000 barrels in 2015. In 2014, Avery’s revenue was $17.8 million dollars, but with the new brewery, a new tap room, restaurant, and patio that seat up to 235 people, and more space for Avery’s iconic annual beer events, the brewery is projecting $25.6 million in revenue in 2015. Check out Avery’s new digs for yourself on Monday, February 16th from 3-11 p.m. at the brewery’s grand opening of their new location at 4910 Nautilus Court.

Source: http://yourboulder.com/avery-brewing-new-facility/

Tourist in Your Own Town – Nordic Skiing in Boulder


Nordic is a term typically associated with snow, skiing, and the high-country—but did you know that Boulder has its very own Nordic club and local cross-country skiing trails? We say Nordic because it covers two different disciplines most popular for Boulderites: skate skiing and classic, or cross country. Swing a bag of quinoa at Whole Foods and you’ll hit 13 skate skiers.

For Nordic skiers of all levels looking to partake in the sport without leaving Boulder’s city limits—look no further. For years, North Boulder Park has been a hub for “flatland” skiers. Although nothing compares to the experience of strapping in and skiing through Colorado’s scenic mountains, the park offers a convenient location, is free of charge, open to the public, and includes some pretty amazing views of the Flatirons. It’s a super bonus that you get to get your workout on, and close to your home at that. If South Boulder is your ‘hood, you’ll find dedicated trails and plenty of space at The University of Colorado Boulder’s South Campus. This location is also open to the public at no charge and like North Boulder Park, is groomed during the winter months by local non-profit organization—The Boulder Nordic Club.


The BNC is a 501c3 whose mission is to “provide and support cross-country skiing in Boulder,” and they do that by grooming North Boulder Park and the CU South trails when the weather permits. Relying on memberships, sponsorships, donations and volunteers, the Boulder Nordic Club stays busy cultivating local awareness for the sport from October to April. The organization also provides up-to-date information regarding trail conditions through their Facebook and Twitter pages. Follow them and stop by for a Like to get their updates in your Facebook news feed.

While the Boulder Nordic Club works hard to maintain and further the Nordic scene for locals, the folks at Boulder Nordic Sport stay busy outfitting them. For beginners new to the sport or out-of-towners just visiting the area—BNS’s equipment rental program is a great way to go. Daily rental fees for a full set-up of skis, boots, and poles range from $45-$75 and weekly full set-up rental rates range from $150 to $375. If you’re looking to purchase skis or outfit yourself with other cross-country skiing gear, Boulder Nordic Sport also provides those services along with personal coaching programs, camps and clinics, insight on Nordic events and races happening in Colorado, and free wax clinics on Thursday nights.

Visit Boulder Nordic Club for more info regarding groomed Nordic trails in and around Boulder and stop by Boulder’s very own Boulder Nordic Sport for a look-see to satisfy your inner gearhead because you know you need one more winter sport in your repertoire.

Stout Month Is Coming… Are You Ready?

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People in the craft beer industry will celebrate just about anything. Every August—Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook accounts all over the country are saturated with photos of people enjoying their favorite IPAs in celebration of National India Pale Ale Day.

Hashtag: #IPAday. Hashtag: #Hops. Hashtag: #Craftbeer.

Just this past weekend, beer fans raised a glass, err…can, and gave three cheers for Beer Can Appreciation Day. Recycling bins everywhere paid the price.

But when the month of February rolls around, things really get off the rails. Instead of “Stout Day”, craft beer aficionados celebrate Stout Month, and there isn’t a brewery in Boulder that celebrates harder than the folks at Mountain Sun. The countdown to Stout Month for these folks is like the countdown to Christmas for tiny little children all over the world. If you’ve driven past a Mountain Sun location recently, you’ve probably noticed the Stout Month countdown painted in the front windows—updated daily, of course. And if you’ve visited their website in the last month, you were definitely greeted by a “Days Until Stout Month”calendar countdown complete with a pretty adorable pint glass expressing it’s love for the holiday. Every Mountain Sun location is in the spirit, and the season to celebrate dark, malty, and roasty handcrafted brews is almost here.

The list of rotating stouts, imperial stouts, barrel-aged stouts, and guest stouts that will be tapped at each Mountain Sun location during Stout Month is so long, I lost count. Mixed in with the month-long stout domination of Mountain Sun taps, is a special collaboration beer brewed up with the folks at Odell Brewing Co. The beer, a coffee-flavored Imperial Belgian Stout called Mutual Respect, will be tapped for the first time at the Mountain Sun Pub & Brewery location in downtown Boulder on February 19th at 4 p.m. The same location will be releasing a special stout every Tuesday in the month of February at 11 a.m. And the Southern Sun is celebrating Stout Month by hosting a “Meet the Brewer”event from 6-8 p.m. every Friday throughout the month to give stout fans the opportunity to mix, mingle, tour the brewery, and sample stouts with the brewers. (Visithttp://www.mountainsunpub.com/calendar.php for a full list of Mountain Sun’s Stout Month events and special tappings.)

And Mountain Sun isn’t the only brewery gearing up for Stout Month.

Here are 5 Local Stouts You Should Try This Stout Month

Sanitas Brewing Co.

Cinnilla Stout Spiced Stout

A smooth, dark stout aged on organic cinnamon sticks and vanilla beans. Roasty malt undertones reminiscent of baker’s chocolate melt into spice notes of warm snickerdoodle cookies.

Wild Woods Brewery 

Smores Stout

A dark and smooth sweet stout brewed with roasted barley, biscuit and chocolate malts, complex sugar, and aged on rich cacao nibs.  Inspired by the many smores consumed as kids during family camping trips.

Upslope Brewing Co.

Foreign Style Stout

Full bodied, black, roasted, and exceptionally smooth. First anniversary beer and Upslope’s first limited can release. Finishes neither sweet nor dry, it is wonderfully balanced, making it perfect for stout lovers and stout newbies.

Twisted Pine Brewing Co.

Big Shot Espresso Stout

Rich and expressive stout that flaunts the invigorating aroma of a freshly-pressed cup of coffee. Emboldened with Peruvian beans, blind-roasted by local legend The Unseen Bean, Big Shot is just as suitable for an after-dinner drink as it is for a brewer’s breakfast.

Avery Brewing Co.

Out of Bounds Stout

This big, roasty stout takes flavor to the extreme, using plenty of rich roasted barley and a mountain of hops that give this full-bodied stout that little extra something you’ve been looking for in a beer.

Zeal: Food for Food-Conscious People

 

By Tyra Sutak

Years ago, it was a grocery store. In 2009, it was the Asian restaurant, Bimbamboo. In 2011, it was the home of the Pinyon, and the best fried chicken in Boulder. By 2012, H Burger Co. had moved in. The digs at 1710 Pearl Street have been a revolving door of culinary dreams, cuisines, and menus, but the current tenants are hoping to put an end to years of restaurant turnover at this East End address by giving the people of Boulder what they want: healthy, organic, full-flavored menu items at a reasonable price.

As their one-year anniversary approaches, the folks behind Zeal – Food For Enthusiasts, don’t show any signs of slowing down. Serving up breakfast, lunch, and dinner, seven days a week, this Paleo-friendly establishment offers everything fromin-house cold-pressed juices, to build-your-own bowls filled with protein, veggies, and Asian-inspired flavors ($10-$18). Other Zeal offerings include healthy grab-and-go meals, house-made kombucha, and “retox/detox” cocktails. And the cocktails aren’t the lackluster cocktails you would expect to sip on at your typical health-conscious restaurant. You want tequila? You got it. Add in freshly-squeezed juices and other fresh produce, and it’s almost like you didn’t splurge on a margarita at all.

 

“We are a casual dining, high-energy establishment, serving up world flavors and modern-American dishes,”said Zeal founder and “chief enthusiast”, Wayde Jester. With the help of executive chef, Leslie White, Jester is making good on his promise to serve guests “clean-eating”food with no compromises. It doesn’t matter if you’re a vegetarian, gluten-free, attempting the Caveman diet this week, avoiding sugar, cleansing, or if your stomach and liver resemble a highly-functioning garbage disposal—Zeal caters to people from all digestive walks of life.

In addition to turning one, Zeal also has several big projects on the horizon. Pay a visit to the eatery in the next month and expect to find new, fall-themed dishes on the menu—highlighting seasonal ingredients like eggplant, mushrooms, cauliflower and carrots—all sourced from local Colorado farms.

On November 11th, the folks at Zeal are hosting a 4-course Conscious Cleanse dinner featuring cleanse-friendly dishes. Tickets are $39 per person and reservations can be made by e-mailing RSVP@zealfood.com or calling Zeal at 720-708-6309. This event encourages conscious diners to indulge in all the right ways.

And perhaps the best sign that Zeal will continue to succeed at 1710 Pearl Street for more years to come, is their plan for expansion. In 2015, Zeal expects to open another set of doors in Denver to cater to a whole new city of enthusiasts. Because eating locally-sourced, well-prepared, thoughtful food, isn’t a fad. It’s a trend that’s here to stay.

Tourist in Your Own City: A Hike and Happy Hour at Chautauqua

 

By Tyra Sutak

If you live in Boulder, you know all of the touristy hotspots in town, and chances are, you’ve stopped frequenting them as often over the years. It’s not that you don’t love them, you do. And they give the city its personality and flair. It’s just that you don’t love battling the crowds. Especially since you’re a local now.

But don’t give up. Your favorite iconic Boulder landmarks are still there, and it’s time to rediscover them.

 

Take Chautauqua Park for example. More than a half-a-million people visit this National Historic Landmark each year, and I bet you did as well when you first set foot in Boulder. Did you know that there are ten beautiful trails waiting to be discovered at this popular tourist attraction? Most out-of-towners opt to tackle the Chautauqua Trail (0.6 mi.) that begins at the trailhead and boasts some of the most beautiful views the Flatirons and Instagram-worthy photo opps in the park.

But when is the last time you felt the accomplishment of summiting one of the Flatirons? And did you know that one of the trails leads to an abandoned quarry? I had no idea, but the Woods Quarry Trail (.03 mi, connects to the Mesa Trail) is there, and it’s calling our names.

After trekking up and down trails throughout the park, you’re going to build up an appetite. It doesn’t matter if you’re an early riser and looking for brunch after your workout, or if a late afternoon to early evening hike it your thing—stop yourself from jumping back in your car and driving off. The Chautauqua Dining Hall is a stone’s throw from the trailhead, and is a stellar place to stop off, sweaty socks and crazy hair and all, for some sustenance and good views. Serving up meals since 1898, the dining hall has gone under some great renovations over the past few years at the hands of the folks behind AjiLeaf Vegetarian Restaurant, and other Three Leaf Concepts ventures. Right now, the menu is filled with fall-inspired drinks and dishes, like the belly-warming Rocky Mountain Mule—which will set you back a mere $5 during happy hour (3-6 p.m.). The Crunchy Kale Salad is my favorite, but sometimes you need to restock those calories you just burned off while hiking with a big plate of biscuits and gravy or a Hall Burger with bacon jam and a fried egg, and the works. If it’s nice, grab a seat on the porch and take in the history of the diners that have sat before. Initials and names carved in the wood railings and columns still shine through recent coats of white paint everywhere you look.

Rediscover this Boulder landmark while the colors of fall still blanket it. When you see how beautiful it looks right now, you’ll be sad you stayed away so long.