Partying patrons are drawn through Eck's Saloon’s doors by the magnetic force of live music, 40 TVs, an outdoor patio, and a line of taps that dish out domestic and craft beers. A loaded calendar of weekly events includes beer-pong nights, foosball leagues, Zumba sessions, and trivia, as well as rock bands who perform regularly under the multicolored lights of a 32-foot-wide stage. Eight pool tables, lit from above by red glass lamps, entertain those not playing air hockey or challenging each other to games of pin the tail on the dartboard.
Beers pair with a menu of pub food that includes fiery wings, a pepperjack burger topped with guacamole and bacon, and a mountainous pile of nachos with refried beans and beef. Eck's specialty house-made green chili comes as a topping for chili-cheese fries, inside chimichangas, or in take-home jars that can be refilled or poured directly into mouths upon request.
Mile High Spirits doesn't deal in half measures. The distillery uses an all-glass still to craft a dazzling range of spirits—including rum, gin, bourbon, whiskey, and vodka—from proprietary recipes and high-quality ingredients, serving up all its liquor straight up or in creative cocktails. Patrons can enjoy the housemade liquors and a selection of private-label beverages in a comfortable lounge. Mile High's signature Mule cocktail, is a classic blend of ginger beer and citrus, cucumber, or other fresh fruit that can be made with the drinker's base of choice, including the distillery's housemade Elevate vodka or Peg Leg rum, or the patron's housemade chocolate milk.
Imbibers of hip drinks and fresh foods flock to Harry's Bar in the Magnolia Hotel, a happening destination for Denver visitors and locals alike. The lounge's upbeat happy hour—running from 2 p.m.–6 p.m. and 9 p.m. to closing time every night but Saturday—provides $2 PBRs, $3 drafts, $4 house wine and well drinks, and a slew of appetizers ideal for après-work cool downs or pregraveyard-shift sauciness. Harry's $8 Magtinis morph hum-drum martinis into innovative cocktails such as the Key Lime Pie—Malibu rum, Absolut Vanilla, Midori, and lime—and chocolate-charged Sweet Kisses––Absolut Vanilla, Bailey's, and Godiva white chocolate. Accommodating small bites such as truffle fries ($5) and bruschetta ($4) help absorb drinks spilled down your mouth, and lunch visitors can venture into a savory world of french-dip sandwiches ($11), caesar salads ($8), and more, starting at 11 a.m. Monday through Friday.
Whiskey Bar embodies its name by hosting a whiskey list that holds more than 180 varieties, accompanied by local microbrews and high-definition entertainment. The classic Tennessee-born Jack Daniels ($5) shares space with glasses of Woodford Reserve bourbon ($5) and a rich 15-year Pappy Van Winkle bourbon ($9) to intrigue sippers' palates. A consistently rotating $3 whiskey of the day encourages imbibers to dip into Whiskey Bar's vast selection and glean knowledge to counter slanderous statements against whiskey's honor. Or celebrate Colorado's microbrewers with a different $3 local draft beer daily—accompanying nine other sudsy pours on tap—and bottles for $4.50.
With owners transplanted from the Emerald Isle, Katie Mullen's Irish Restaurant and Bar is riddled with authentic Irish flourishes. The furniture, for example, was all imported from Nugent and Gibney Ltd in Ireland. Up to 500 people gather around the hand-carved tables, feasting on Icelandic cod battered with Harp Lager and burgers crowned with corned beef. Kathleen St. John of the Denver Post notes that the selection of food stands out among a sea of Irish pubs: “Katie Mullen's menu is intensely Irish, but that doesn't mean bland corned beef and cabbage.” In the kitchen, chefs combine diced lamb, veal demi-glace, and fresh herbs in slowly roiling pots of irish stew.
The fare fills the 11,500-square-foot interior with revelry, the clatter of silverware reverberating through four themed rooms: the Victorian bar, the Shop bar, the Pharmacy bar, and the Gaelic bar. Lights dangle from marbled and copper-paneled ceilings, and dark-wood and stone accents surround diners in each room. The same stonework, along with curlicues of wrought iron, warms in the sun around the large outdoor patio. On the weekends, live musicians strum their guitars and rock through ballads about how many pairs of sunglasses you should be wearing.
A year after Scott Kerkmans created the role of Chief Beer Officer for the Four Points by Sheraton hotels, it began to get around that Denver was the "Napa Valley of Beer." As NPR later reports, the rumor is a culmination of a life spent steeped in beer culture. Before creating Colorado Beer Week and beating out more than 7,000 applicants for the title of CBO, Kerkmans was on the production side at Alaskan Brewing Company. He’s since authored articles for Draft Magazine, taught at Cook Street School of Fine Cooking, and judged burped renditions of the Pledge of Allegiance at the Great American Beer Festival. He shares his taste in microbrews with more than 140 hotels and restaurants worldwide through the Four Point's beer program, but keeps his feet planted firmly on his home turf during his nine-day spring festival, which highlights the finest pours from Colorado breweries including New Belgium, Oskar Blues, and Ska Brewing Company.