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Tune up your tastebuds at Culinary Arts, Wine & Brewfest

Carrie ClickSpecial to the Post IndependentGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Contributed photoGlenwood Springs Center for the Arts volunteers and staff pause for a group photo during the 2010 Culinary Arts Festival at the Hotel Colorado. From left, standing are Vickie Brusig, Christina Brusig, Nicole Scheiblberg and Wolf Scheiblberg, and seated are Beth Sass, Gayle Mortell, Maurine Taufer and Raquel Koch.
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GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – Imagine sampling cuisine from 17 of your favorite local restaurants, all at one time and in one grand location. Now add fine wines from all over the world, and hundreds of beers from 10 microbreweries. Top it all off with the knowledge that the money you spend at this epicurean feast is going to a good cause. Welcome to Grape & Grain on the Rocks, the 12th annual Culinary Arts, Wine & Brewfest. The event, a fundraiser for the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts, runs from 4-7 p.m. on Saturday at the Hotel Colorado. “This event is a great place for foodies to experience both new and established local restaurants’ cuisine,” said Gayle Mortell, Center for the Arts executive director. “It’s a quintessential tasting. Plus we have hand-crafted beer, and wines from all over the world.” Mortell and her staff have to go only a few hundred yards from the art center’s building on East Sixth Street to the hotel to attend Saturday’s event. The art center’s largest fundraiser of the year is held at the Hotel Colorado since the center’s building, constructed in 1888 as Glenwood’s hydroelectric plant, can hold only 150 people. The festival is expected bring in around 500. One of those anticipated 500 is Mannya Haltom, a former Center for the Arts board president who now volunteers for the organization. Haltom said she looks forward to the culinary arts festival every fall. From classic diner dishes and gourmet burgers to Indian cuisine and American steakhouse specialties, the range is vast and varied.”It’s a such a wonderful event,” Haltom said. “It’s a reunion of friends, and an opportunity to taste wines and sample old and new restaurants.”

If you love Asian fare, or you’re dying to try appetizers from that new restaurant you haven’t yet visited, the culinary arts festival is for you. “We love attending,” said Howard Haftel who, with his wife Gabriella, buys blocks of tickets to share with friends and associates. “My wife loves the cooking demonstrations, and it opens our eyes to different Colorado wines and breweries that we often end up visiting later on.” To accompany the various edibles available at the festival, an array of beer and wine is available – including advice on how to pair libations with different types of cuisine. Festival goers have the opportunity to sample their favorites and try new brews, too. “Glenwood Canyon Brewing Company and Two Rivers Winery have been with us from the beginning,” said Mortell. “They’re always so fabulous.” Joining the festival for the first time this year are Upslope Brewing Co., a three-year old brewery from Boulder, and Odell Brewing Co. of Fort Collins, which was founded in 1989. “I’m excited about getting out in the Roaring Fork Valley,” said Odell’s Brian Dillon. “I’ll be sharing four of our artisan-crafted beers – 90 Schilling Ale, our India Pale Ale, Myrcenary Double India Pale Ale, and our seasonal Isolation Ale.”

The festival has won a reputation as a favorite fall event to see friends and enjoy some great eats and drinks. It serves another purpose, too.Proceeds go towards supporting Center of the Arts’ multifaceted programming, which includes exhibits, performances, and activities, plus classes and workshops for adults and children in dance, visual arts, music, theater and more. And even though a portion of the arts center’s programming focuses on children’s activities, this event is for the 21-and-above crowd. “It’s a great way to give to the arts center, which gives so much to the community in return,” Haltom added.


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