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.
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.
Dad & Dude's Breweria's father-and-son duo pair small-batch craft beer with classic and inventive pizzas fashioned atop dough sweetened with spent beer grains and agave nectar. Acquaint taste buds with the menu's surrealist creations by sinking teeth into the Shroom pie ($11), a portobello-mushroom cap brimming with spinach, roasted garlic, and a reduction of Dali's daydreams. Dad & Dude's specialty pies crisscross the line between classic and creative with the italian-sausage-topped Tommy Gun ($13+) or Da Rasta Mon ($12+), speckled with jamaican jerk chicken and caramelized pineapple. Keep tables securely seated on the floor by topping them with a hefty selection of more than 10 sandwiches ($7+) or heaping bowls of pasta ($10 each) such as the pepper jack mac 'n' cheese suffused with spicy-white-cheddar-jack-ale-cheese sauce and pancetta ham.
Owners Rita and Eldon Larson constantly refine their eclectic cellar stocked with more than 700 varietals from every corner of the planet. During wine tastings, guests sample premium vinos such as Don Olegario Albarino and Vietti Nebbiolo. Throughout, knowledgeable and accessible staff members happily answers questions and demonstrate the 25 different pronunciations of the word tannin.
At the adjoining café’s elegant tables, forks spear seared sea scallops and other savory entrees designed for pairing with selections from the 150-bottle wine list. Peckish patrons can also pluck heirloom prosciutto from charcuterie plates or bait traps for classy mice with morsels from 11 different cheese plates. Chef Jason Lee alleviates the stress of decision making with his prix fixe wine dinners, which complement entrees with appropriate sips.