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9 Must-Do Events in May

Summer event season has begun

The summer food and drink festival season is off with a bang! In addition to Derby Day and Mother’s Day, we have nine events from a tribute to George Michael to a festival devoted to all things chicken and cocktails, that we think everyone should attend this month. There are tons of opportunities to eat and drink, many of which support important local non-profits.

The Real Dill Five-Year Anniversary Party 

When: Friday, May 5, 5-10pm
Where: The Real Dill {33 South Fox Street, Denver}
What: Five years ago, Justin Park and Tyler DuBois made their first batch of pickles in a home kitchen. On May 5, they will open the doors to the “dillery” for a huge celebratory party featuring drinks from Bear Creek Distillery and Backyard Soda Co., Stem Ciders, and Spangalang Brewery. Enjoy live music from Denver’s own The Raritans, a pickle and beer station by The Colorado Pickle and Beer Society, and delicious food for sale by Quiero Arepas, Em’s Ice Cream, The Ethiopian Food Truck, and Rocky Mountain Slices. Tickets are $5—all drinks are free but there is a suggested added donation of $5. All proceeds will benefit The GrowHaus. 

The Big Wonderful 2017 

May 5-7

Where: 4400 Fox Street
What: This quarterly event incorporates a beer festival, live music, and day and night bazaars featuring local fashion, food and beverage, art, and craft vendors. To kick off the season, celebrate with three days of live music and a Saturday afternoon beer festival. For a full schedule of concert bands, breweries, and food trucks visit their website.


When: Monday, May 8, 5pm
Where: Temple Emanuel {51 Grape Street, Denver}
What: Join Work Options for Women for their 20th-anniversary party and 13th annual fundraising gala, WomenCook! This event brings together some of Denver’s most prominent female chefs to show off their culinary talent and serve up delicious food. Enjoy great food, great wine, and bid on a silent auction that benefits the non-profit which helps women lift themselves out of poverty through meaningful employment in the food industry. Tickets are $125 and can be purchased through Work Options for Women.

Craft Beer and Cheese Pairing at Alpine Brewery 

Monday, May 8, 6:30-9:30pm

Where: Alpine Dog Brewing Company {1505 Ogden Street, Denver; 303.832.1245}
What: The Truffle Cheese Shop and Alpine Dog Brewing Company have partnered up for a beer and cheese pairing. A $20 ticket will get you four pairings, with additional cheese and beer available to purchase a la carte. Learn about craft beer and how it can be a perfect pairing for artisanal cheese. They are hoping to make this a monthly event, so clear your calendars for the second Monday of every month.

Denver Bacon and Beer Classic 

When: Saturday, May 13, 12pm
Where: Sports Authority Field {1701 Bryant Street, Denver}
What: This year’s Bacon and Beer Classis will be held at the home of the Broncos with over eighty craft breweries, thirty bacon-infused dishes, music, games, contests, and more. Play giant Jenga, make pretzel necklaces, strike a pose at the photo booth, or brand yourself with bacon and beer-inspired tattoos. There are two sessions—the first from 1-4pm and the second from 7-10pm. Tickets range in price from $69-$129 and can be purchased on their website.

Musical Chairs | George Michael

Monday, May 15

Where: Beast + Bottle {719 E. 17th Avenue, Denver; 303.623.3323}
What: The Beast + Bottle Musical Chairs dinner series is a monthly event celebrates seminal albums in musical history. On Monday, May 15, they will celebrate the ground-breaking, unforgettable work of the late, great George Michael. The menu will honor Michael’s whole career from solo artist to the beloved member of WHAM! For example, “Wrap Her Up” features chickpea crepes, spring vegetables, and English pea nage, while the “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” dessert integrates Orange Mocha Frappuccino pannacotta, chocolate macarons, and orange fruit leather. The four-course menu is $55 per person with optional wine pairings available for $25. Call ahead to make your reservations.

Rosé and Whimsical Whites

When: Friday, May 19, 4pm
Where: Guard and Grace {1801 California Street, Denver; 303.293.8500} 
What: Now in its fourth year, Guard and Grace’s rosé and whimsical whites party on the patio is the perfect way to usher in the warm weather. Guests are encouraged to dress in pink and white attire while sipping on 25 different wines paired with bites from the Guard and Grace kitchen. Tickets are $45 per person in advance and $60 at the door. Click here to purchase tickets.

Whiskey Throwdown and Doughnut Showdown

Saturday, May 20, 3:30 – 9:30
Where: McNichols Civic Center Building {144 West Colfax Avenue, Denver}
What: In honor of National Whiskey Day, the fifth installment of Whiskey Throwdown and Doughnut Showdown will take place at the McNichols Building. What better excuse to celebrate all things whiskey and doughnuts while supporting Minds Matter of Denver, a nonprofit focused on assisting low-income high school students in going on to college. With over 30 vendors dishing up limited edition doughnuts and a huge variety of whiskey, scotch, and bourbon—many of them from local craft distilleries—this is a perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon or evening. There is an afternoon and an evening session and tickets range from $45 to $115 with VIP ticket holders able to come and go as they please through both sessions. Tickets are available here

Chicken Fight Fest!

Thursday, May 25 7:30 –
Where: River North Festival Grounds {3715 Chestnut Place, Denver}
What: Kick off Summer 2017 with a down-home taste of Denver’s finest fowl and craftiest cocktails: at Chicken Fight Fest! Some of the most coveted restaurants in the Mile High City will compete for your votes as we search for the best wings, fried chicken, and innovative chicken dishes in the land.  Benefitting the amazing work of Denver Active 20-30 Children’s Foundation, Chicken Fight Fest! is an exciting new competition and celebration of food and spirits from the producers of Top Taco and Denver Food & Wine. Entry fee includes unlimited food and beverage tastes, live music, demos, takeaways, and fun surprises. VIP access includes early 6:30 PM entry, a premium spirits tasting, and access to private bars—plus, an exclusive Creative Chicken Dishes Tasting by eight of Denver’s best chefs. Use the code diningoutcf2017 for $39 GA; $49 First Taste; $89 for VIP. Buy your tickets here.

*Bonus Event: Denver Flea

Photo courtesy of the Denver Flea

When: Saturday, May 13 10am-6pm and Sunday, May 14  10am-5pm
Where: Sports Castle {1000 Broadway Street Denver}
What: The Denver Flea returns for its fourth season on Saturday, May 13 and Sunday, May 14. Held at the iconic Sports Castle Building, the two-day event celebrates all things local, showcasing over 200 makers and retailers while highlighting the city’s best drinks and food trucks. This year, the Flea is partnering with DRiNk RiNo, a new non-profit association of independent adult beverage producers dedicated to promoting and celebrating the independent spirit of RiNo, for our bars. Entry to the Flea is $5—a portion of the sales will benefit Rocky Mountain Finance Institute.

By Elizabeth Woessner