DRW, which takes place from February 26 through March 6, is an annual celebration of the city's exceptional year-round culinary scene. Now in its 12th year, DRW is an opportunity to enjoy multi-course meals at some of the city's top restaurants for the tasty price of $30 per person. Reservations throughout the city are highly coveted, and many Mile High hotspots - both iconic local restaurants and new eateries - become fully booked for the 10 days of DRW. More information, including a list of participating restaurants and their multi-course DRW menus as well as hotel deals can be found at DenverRestaurantWeek.com.
On March 19, 2016, Collaboration Fest will return for its third year. Dubbed "America's Most Creative Beer Event," by Food & Wine Magazine, it pairs two or more independent breweries to create one limited edition, exclusive beer, available only at the festival. One brewery on each project must be based in Colorado - and many of this year's 75 brews hail, at least in part, from Denver. The partner breweries represent some of the finest in other suds-rich states and even other countries.
For those who are unable to make it to Collaboration Fest, the Denver Beer Trail, created by VISIT DENVER, is an interactive guide to 20 of the newest and most iconic breweries and brewpubs throughout the city. It offers beer enthusiasts and novices alike a list of ‘must-try' beers to quaff during their visit.
"One of the most unique attributes of Denver's landscape is its collaborative nature," says Carolyn Livingston, communication director of Colorado Restaurant Association. "Many of Denver's up-and-coming chefs, brewers and distillers learned from the area's more established leaders in those industries; and they are now translating those experiences into their own concepts, with the support of the restaurant and craft beverage communities. Unlike other food cities, in Denver competition is friendly and collaboration is second-nature."
VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau, recognizes the value of The Mile High City's progressive culinary movements through the creation of programs like DRW and partnerships like Collaboration Fest, among others; and the organization has embraced the culinary scene as part of the destination's identity.
"As travelers continue to seek out authentic experiences, and especially local culinary scenes, Denver's chefs, restaurateurs, brewers and distillers never cease to impress," says Richard Scharf, president and CEO of VISIT DENVER. "The number of incredible restaurants and craft breweries that continue open and flourish in Denver's neighborhoods is a testament to the innovative, entrepreneurial spirit that drives our nationally renowned culinary scene."
More than 300 restaurants opened in Denver over the past two years, and more than 50 are already on the horizon for the first part of 2016. The city is on the frontline of several national trends, ranging from chef-driven fast casual restaurants to food halls and marketplaces to upscale and creative ethnic fusions; and these restaurants demonstrate the city's most cutting edge, rising talent as well as mainstay Denver chefs who have been on the scene for years.
Adding to the impressive culinary offerings in The Mile High City are its craft breweries. Denver produces more beer than any other urban region in America - an estimated 200 different craft beers are brewed in Denver every single day - and the city hosts the annual Great American Beer Festival, the largest beer competition in the world, featuring more than 6,700 beers.