Founded by Cathy Cooke and Carol McKelvey, wife of comedian George McKelvey, Wits End Comedy Club has donated laughs to deserving patrons for two decades. Local and touring comedians stop by Thursday through Saturday night, and audiences can legally eavesdrop on searing live stand-up performances. Check out James Berry and Ryan Lowery in the last weekend in February to fulfill yuk prescriptions, or consult the calendar for future performances.
Owner and former sommelier Brad Vanderpool and his knowledgeable staff curate an extensive collection of wines, liquors, and microbrews that line the shelves of Primo Vino. Customers, with the help of the store's passionate wine experts, can pair meals or upcoming events with the perfect wine, whether it be a Wyatt pinot noir from California ($18) or a Francois Pinon chenin blanc from Vouvray ($21) already chilled and ready to drink. Armed with two decades of experience in the wine industry and a toy nerf gun, Brad personally samples most of the wines before they come into the store, priming his palate with the Il Conte montepulciano from Italy ($11) before dying his tongue red with Hermosa Vineyards syrah ($20). In addition to sparkling wines such as a Moutard brut grande cuvee ($39), the store also stocks a wide array of scotches, microbrew beers, and empty bottles preloaded with SOS messages. All wines in the store, including those bought with this Groupon, are eligible for a 10% discount for purchases of at least six bottles and a 15% discount for purchases of a dozen or more.
Owned by a 15-year home-brew veteran with more than 9,000 beer recipes, Do Your Brew educates burgeoning malt mavens on all the basics of concocting brews during a hands-on introductory brewing class. Aspiring brewmasters can select from twelve brew kits, such as the Bitter Bob Bitters, a deep and big-bodied pale ale with a quick-brewing process and a satisfying result, or the Dark Roast Porter, a dark-coffee brew with rich, spicy hops and a smooth finish. Other selections include the Atbier, Black Canyon Stout, Bronco Amber Ale, Enlightened Black Ale, Gold Coast Pale Ale, Irish Red Ale, Kolsch, Nut Brown Ale, California Common Beer, and Sundown Wheat. In addition to their newly gleaned imbibing insight, beer believers can take home five gallons of beer from the resulting handcrafted batch, ideal for impressing family members or German dignitaries that randomly appear in one’s basement. Aspiring barley pop experimenters also get 10% off all home-brewing supplies and kits at Do Your Brew if they want to continue crafting hop concoctions.
Sojourning south from his native Minnesota, Jeff Chayer traveled to Texas, where he received his degree in viticulture and oenology. Not far behind was his brother Danny, who followed Jeff to Texas, where he began work at a local winery. Somewhere along the way, as their passion for wine grew, the two decided to travel to Colorado and open Silver Vines Winery. Since then, their tasting room has been named one of the 11 best tasting rooms in Colorado by the Denver Post. Amid massive swaths of exposed brick and gleaming hardwood, the brothers serve a collection of wines forged from Washington and Oregon grapes. The elixirs include a chardonnay, whose citric bouquet meshes with notes of oak, as well as a dessert-style chocolate wine and a range of merlots, syrahs, and cabernet sauvignons. Shelves cradle stacks of bottles, and glasses clink along the long wooden bar, punctuating the rhythms of the live bands who appear on weekend evenings and when they are locked out of the ZZ Top mansion.
The bartenders at 12 Volt Tavern bolster its dive-bar cred with a daily two-for-one happy hour, pairing suds and spirits with a punk-rock-heavy jukebox that helped earn it Westword's Best Dive Bar in the ‘Burbs award in 2007. From 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., the daily happy hour lobs beer bottles ($2.75–$4.50) and cans ($2.25–$5.50) to those longing to grip longnecks or crush something other than Pringles cans against their heads. Draft beers ($2.75–$4.50) cascade from foam-flecked taps as imbibers sip to the refrain of rhythmically clacking pool balls and whizzing darts. Mad Dog 20/20 and its 10 electric libations glimmer and gleam over the bar’s pale light, headlining the top shelf of 12 Volt’s library of liquors and spirits ($3.75–$8). On weekends, local punk and rockabilly acts storm the intimate stage, blaring tunes that ricochet off the wall’s aluminum PBR signage and the ceiling’s bottle-cap frescos of Johnny Rotten’s boyhood pony (a cover charge applies to live shows).
What comes after setting a Guinness World Record for longest journey on a mini motorcycle? For Ryan Galbraith and Chris Stinson, the answer is opening a sports bar that celebrates Colorado’s thriving action-sports scene. The duo renovated Cheapskates Action Sports Bar themselves to create a haven for local sports lovers, and now pour beers for their enthusiastic customers. Fans of dirt biking, snowboarding, and other extreme sports sip Shock Top and Schlitz at Cheapskates’ two locations Aurora and Arvada, which also serve specialty shots and cocktails. In the kitchen, cooks hand-weigh and season burgers such as the AntiVegan, a bacchanalia of beef, cheese, bacon, and a fried egg, and stir homemade Hobo chili with railroad ties. Cheapskates maintains a festive atmosphere throughout the week with sports broadcasts, happy hours, karaoke performances, ladies night, industry night, and its signature birthday special, which bestows patrons with 20 pitchers of domestic beer for $25.