Food Calendar: Colorado’s artisan distillers gather to shake, pour and sip

This weekend's 135th annual Arkansas Valley Fair includes a watermelon spitting and decorating contest, a cantaloupe eating contest, AND a demolition derby

By JOHN LEHNDORFF Colorado Table Editor
Kevin Burke, head barman at Colt & Gray, prepares drinks at the 2011 Colorado Distillers Festival. This year’s gathering featuring spirits from 18 distillers is August 19 at Rackhouse Pub in Denver. (Photo courtesy Sean Buchan/ beertographer.com)
Kevin Burke, head barman at Colt & Gray, prepares drinks at the 2011 Colorado Distillers Festival. (Photo courtesy Sean Buchan/ beertographer.com)

Celebrate National Vanilla Custard Day (Aug. 17), National Potato Day (Aug. 19), Lemonade Day (Aug. 20), and National Spumoni Day (Aug. 21)

• Second Annual Colorado Distillers Festival, 1 to 5 p.m. Aug. 19, Rackhouse Pub, 208 S. Kalamath St., Denver. Information: coloradodistillersfestival.com. Details: The state’s rapidly growing roster of artisan distilleries gather to educate, celebrate and taste. Among the 18 participating distilleries are Montanya Distillers, Peach Street Distillers, Altitude Spirits, Black Canyon Distillery, Overland Distillery, Colorado Gold Distillery, Rob’s Mountain Gin, Roundhouse Spirits, Deerhammer Distilling Company, Spring 44, and Distillery 291.

Palisade Peach Festival, Aug. 16-19, Palisade. Information: palisadepeachfest.com. Details: Peach cooking contests, peach pie, peach ice cream, tastings and sales

Rocky Ford Watermelon Day, Aug. 18, Rocky Ford.  Details: The 135th annual Arkansas Valley Fair includes a watermelon spitting and decorating contest, a cantaloupe eating contest, plus a demolition derby

• Gluten-Free Food Fair, Aug. 19, Denver Merchandise Mart. Information: denverceliacs.org/gffoodfair.html. Details: Dozens of local and national gluten-free vendors including Rudi’s Gluten Free Bakery, Udi’s Gluten Free Foods, BeauJo’s Pizza, and Glutino’s

• Japanese Tea Ceremony, Aug. 18 and 19, Denver Botanic Gardens. Reservations: botanicgardens.org. Details: Tokiyo Imanaka leads a traditional ceremony

• Caramel Hours, 4-6 p.m. Aug. 16, Helliemae’s Handcrafted Caramels, Arvada. Details: Candy factory opens once a month for tours and tastings of sweets

FOOD & WINE EVENTS

Denver Food and Wine Classic, Sept. 6-8, Metro State campus, Denver. Information: denverfoodandwine.com. Details. Multi-course dinners, tastings, and samples from more than 30 restaurants

• Tapas & Tea Festival, Sept. 22, Havana Motor Mile, Aurora. Information: onhavanastreet.com/tapas. Details: Tastings at the English Teacup, Havana Street Station, Cody Cafe, Deelish and others

Colorado Pork and Hops Challenge, Sept. 7-8, Grand Junction. Information: porknhops.com. Details: Tastings and pork barbecue competition with serious beer

Green Chile Championship. Information: coloradostatefair.com. Details:Torch-bearing cooks have until Aug. 30 to enter the Green Chile Championship and Aug. 31 for the Salsa Challenge at the Colorado State Fair, Aug. 24-Sept. 3 in Pueblo

Fall Festival of Beers & Chili Cook-off, Sept. 8, Crested Butte. Information: cbchamber.com. Details: 13th annual event includes 20 breweries, live music, chili taste-off

FOOD CLASSES
• Denver’s artisan salumeria, Il Mondo Vecchio, offers hands-on classes taught by co-owner Mark Michael DeNittis in making fresh sausage, dry salumi or whole animal disassembly. Information: ilmondovecchiosalumi.com. The company’s sister Cinque Soldi Deli in Denver offers cooking classes starting Aug. 29. Information: cinquesoldi.com

FARMERS MARKETS
• Fitz 21 Farmers Market, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesdays, 22nd Street and N. Ursula, Aurora
• Havana Exchange Farmers Market, 10 a.m-3 p.m. Mondays, Havana and Yale, Aurora

For more information on farmers’ markets, farm tours, wineries and more: coloradoagritourism.com

Send information about food events, classes, festivals, wine dinners and tours in the metro area and all over Colorado to: jlehndorff@aol.com

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