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.
Within Vines Wine Bar's low-lit interior, patrons dine Spanish-style, sampling from more than 80 wines by the glass and 50 different tapas. Experienced sommeliers, including the executive chef, suggest varietals from more than 12 countries, including American options such as Wente Monterey chardonnay ($13) and Franciscan Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon ($18). On the flower-flecked patio or in the comforts of an indoor leather chair, diners can dunk cubed bread and fresh produce into one of three fonduta fondu options—melted goat cheese, garlic-and-herb brie, or chardonnay cheddar ($13)—that form a triumvirate of cheese as classic as the Porky's franchise. A wild mushroom ravioli ($8) complements velvety tannins, and a freshly baked beef brioche and brie ($15) impresses wiser aged wines with a firm handshake. All Groupon customers will also receive a 10% discount at the Vines Cellar upon redeeming their Groupon.
Owner Peter Roth describes The Robusto Room as “a very unique blend of martini lounge, meets nightclub, meets cigar bar.” Here, rich clouds of smoke elegantly curl from premium stogies bought at the onsite cigar shop as bartenders forge creative concoctions from behind a sleek wooden bar. In addition to the rattle of martini shakers, beats from live DJs fill the low-lit space hailed as Best Singles Hangout by the readers of 5280 magazine. Additionally, they offer a variety of events, including karaoke, Texas hold’em, trivia, and single-malt-scotch flights that entice whiskey aficionados and full-time Merle Haggard impersonators alike.
Lining up his shot, the golfer draws a breath and putts his ball down the last green on the legendary Jubilee Course at St. Andrews in Scotland. He checks the clock—all 18 holes in one hour. This would be impossible at the real St. Andrews between walking from hole to hole or fighting off the rabid venus flytraps that guard the greens, but in the PGA Tour simulator, it's par for the course. Visitors compete on more than 50 other championship courses from around the world with their own clubs or rented TaylorMade clubs, blasting golf balls toward the screens projecting the two simulators' immersive 3-D worlds. Along with 18-hole games, patrons can practice their drive on virtual ranges.
For nongolfers, the lounge stocks foosball and billiards tables, a dartboard, cornhole on the patio, and plenty of high-definition TVs to catch the latest sports. Card sharks can also show off their skills at weekly poker tournaments. Throughout all their events, Swingers Sports Lounge and Grill keeps patrons satiated with upscale bar food, such as burgers topped with sriracha mayo and a pound of wings doused in ghost-pepper sauce, which chefs summon during a séance.