Good news: it’s food festival season. There will be no better time than the next few weeks to sample global flavors, unique beers and celebrate Boulder County cuisine. If you plan it right, you can probably hit all the festivals we’ve pulled out of the food calendar here.
From festivals featuring homemade Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine to Oktoberfests throughout the county to tasting events of libations from wine to mezcal, your palate will be satiated this September.
Taste of Orthodoxy
Sts. Peter and Paul Greek Orthodox Church, 5460 Jay Road, Boulder, tasteoforthodoxy.org
Boulder’s Greek Festival, as a Taste of Orthodoxy bills itself, is a good time. Greek, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food is cooked by the global community of Sts. Peter and Paul parishioners — there’s loukoumades (honey doughnuts), gyros, souvlaki (fried cheese), Turkish coffee, more pastries than you can possibly eat in one sitting, and a full bar that serves two fantastic summer-time Greek drinks: retsina, a white wine with a flavor of pine that harkens back to the days when wine had to be sealed in jugs with pine resin; and ouzo, a Sambuca-like licorice clear spirit. There’s dancing, performances, Greek music and an overall joyous vibe. Tour the church, or just tour the tasting booths, this is a festival in which to immerse yourself. Tickets: Entry is free, pay for food and drinks as you go.
Rocky Mountain Beer Festival
Sept. 2, 1- 6 p.m.
13th Street and Canyon Boulevard, Boulder, bceproductions.com/rocky-mountain-beer-festival
Boulder Creek Events puts on the Rocky Mountain Beer Festival in downtown Boulder this Labor Day, with plenty of opportunities to sample local craft beer and brews from the state’s top producers. There will be live music from local artists and classic lawn games to pass the time between sips. Local participating breweries (and cideries, and meaderies) include Asher, Großen Bart, Twisted Pine, Stem Ciders, Wibby Brewing and Redstone Meadery. Tickets: $15-$45.
Boulder Valley Wine Festival
Sept. 7, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Community Park, 955 Bella Vista Drive, Louisville, bouldervalleywinefestival.com
What’s better than sipping wine from around the state on a sunny Boulder County afternoon? Not much, as you’re bound to learn at the second annual Boulder Valley Wine Festival in Louisville. More than 20 Colorado wineries are coming with samples, and a general admission ticket gets you a commemorative wine glass, a wine tote, and unlimited tastings. There’ll be live music and opportunities to purchase food and wares from local producers. Participating drink purveyors include Aspen Peak Cellars, Avanti Winery, Colorado Sake Company, Decadent Saint, St. Vrain Cidery and Whitewater Hill Vineyards. Tickets: $30 for general admission, $75 for VIP tickets, which include entry into a VIP tent with catered food and a wine bar.
Sept. 20, 4-10 p.m.; Sept. 21 12-10 p.m.
Roosevelt Park, 700 Longs Peak Ave., Longmont, lhbfoundation.org/Longmont-oktoberfest
For the eighth year in a row, the good folks at Left Hand Brewing will put on the Longmont Oktoberfest. More than 10 local breweries (including Left Hand, of course) will be pouring beer, there’ll be pretzels and brats, a robust lineup of bands are set to play, and best of all (well, the beer is pretty good), all the event proceeds benefit the Longmont Humane Society, the Future Arts Foundation and the Left Hand Brewing Foundation. This event was listed as one of DRAFT magazine’s “Must-Visit Oktoberfests,” and we agree. Tickets: $15 in advance, $75 VIP tickets available, which include access to VIP area with unlimited free beer, hors-d’oevres and prime viewing area of the stage.
Central Park, 1236 Canyon Blvd., Boulder, oktoberfestboulder.com
Get your lederhosen on and head to downtown Boulder for an Oktoberfest celebration featuring Paulaner beer, Stem ciders and Jagermeister (you know you’ll want it when you’re there). The drinks are fantastic, but you’ll also want to check out the gigantic pretzels and authentic Bavarian foods. All that goodness is likely to get you to Central Park for the festival, but what’ll keep you there are the events: cornhole, hammerschlagen (a contest in which participants drive a nail into a wood beam), live music, stein hoisting, keg bowling and a human glockenspiel (which is, according to the event promoters: “Remember that clock your grandparents had, where the dancers come out on the hour? Mix that with live dancers and a bit of choreography.” Tickets: $5 for 1 ticket (which gets you one drink), $18 for 4 tickets, $40 for a commemorative stein and two tickets.
Boulder Valley Beer Fest
and Chili Fest
Sept. 7, 2-6 p.m.
Community Park, 1350 Coalton Road, Superior, boudlervalleybeerfest.com
What’s better than a beer fest? A beer fest that also features a chili festival. At the 19th edition of the Chili Fest, patrons can sample free chili from local restaurants and community cooks. New this year, though, is a community chili competition, with three categories of winners named: homestyle, red and green, as judged by a panel with community (that’s you) input. At the adjoining Boulder Valley Beer Festival, sample beer from 20 breweries, including Asher, Crystal Springs, Endo and Liquid Mechanics. Tickets: Chili Fest admission is free; Boulder Valley Beer Festival tickets are $30-$35, with VIP tickets for $65.
Colorado Lebanese Festival
Sept. 14, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sept. 15, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
St. Rafka Maronite Church, 2301 Wadsworth Blvd., Lakewood,
The sixth annual Colorado Lebanese Festival returns to Lakewood, and with it comes the opportunity to sample traditional food and drinks and enjoy contemporary Lebanese folk music. There’ll be music and dancing, a Lebanese wine tasting, and all the kibbeh and hummus you can pack in. Tickets: Free, with food and wine tickets available.
Mexico in a Bottle
Finn’s Manor, 2927 Larimer St., Denver, mexinabottle.com
Head down to Denver for this unique traveling festival that provides the opportunity to taste 100 mezcals and agave spirits. There will also be Mexican wines, craft beers and “a few suprises,” according to the organizers. Local restaurants will be serving food and local bartenders will be pouring cocktails. Tickets: $60-$70.