During the holidays we notice that many of us get caught up in the hustle and bustle and materialistic elements, accruing more and more “stuff” that we don’t particularly need, or even want… So, as the procrastinators we tend to be, (we’re writers, it’s like a right of passage) we want to share our annual, last minute holiday wrap up and highlight some of our favorite, locally derived food and beverage products, seasonal pairing events and notable tappings. Let’s declutter the reservoir of unnecessary things, relieve some stress from nonstop shopping and carve out quality time with those we love in the ways of consumable appreciation.

We have the meats: For the carnivores in your clan

We can’t say enough wonderful things about this Black Forest, Colorado, based ranch with their sustainable agriculture practices, warm, knowledgable staff and most importantly, incredible products. Choose from a large selection of cuts with holiday favorites that include: leg of lamb, ribeye steaks, pork loin roasts and brisket that are available for purchase before Christmas by Thursday, December 20.

Click here to order your holiday fixin’s.

“This is a tasty burger!” Photo credit: Corner Post Meats

We quite vividly recall our first taste of Il Porcellino…fresh from a charcuterie board we snag slices and legitimately melt amongst strangers into proclamations of “just wow.” To start the progressive holiday meal we recommend their charcuterie platters with a selection of house-cured meats, rillets and pâtés alongside assorted house pickles, mustard, local cheeses, breads and crackers. Platters start at $36.00 and can be made to match any party specifications.

Additionally, for local residents Il Porcellino offers grass-finished, bone-in prime rib roast for $25.00 per pound or Colorado Heritage breed smoked hams soaked in a maple-mustard brine for 10 days at $16.00 per pound. Or, sample the “3 Salami Gift Box” for $60.00 that allows you to choose from black truffle, cacciatore, diablo, finnochiona, orange pistachio, queso, saucisson sec, Spanish chorizo, or our number one choice: spiced juniper.

A $20.00 deposit is required with a pre-order deadline of Thursday, December 20, for pickup Friday, December 21, until Monday, December 24.

Call 303-477-3206 or visit the salumeria at 4324 W. 41st Ave. in Denver, to place orders.

Three little pigs kicks off the holiday meal train. We go for diablo, spiced juniper and Spanish chorizo.

Oh sweetie: For the health-conscious chocolate addicts

When most people think of indulgences, chocolate comes to mind but so does some occasional guilt… Let’s leave that at the door because although we won’t dismiss that they contain calories, these artfully crafted chocolates are superfoods made from three simple ingredients: cocoa, coconut oil and honey that happen to be raw, organic, fair trade, non-GMO, paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, vegan (except for the use of raw honey) with zero refined sugars. Something to celebrate indeed.

We have a major crush on this Premium Holiday Assortment that comes with 12 truffles (some of which require days to produce) in flavors: No moo cheesecake truffle, orange cranberry, cookies and cream, cherry hazelnut, peppermint patty, pecan turtle, no moo classic mylk, 72% Peru, and 80% Ecuador, for $38.00.

Share or savor solo. Go on, it’s good for you. Photo credit: Radiantly Raw

Put it on my tab: For that special someone who has everything

The Colorado Springs-based party bus provides “brewery tours, bar crawls and culinary adventure”  with gift certificates available for $25.00 that covers the cost of a ride on the blue and white school bus to experience the best of local food and beverage culture, with safe passage.

Hop on and drink up. Photo credit: The Local Motive

Purchase a $25.00 gift card for only $20.00 throughout the month of December in the
taproom or over the phone at 719-598-3776. Plus, get $3.00 growler fills to finish out football season every Sunday, Monday and Thursday through the end of the year.

Feeling firkins? On Saturday, December 22, Red Leg releases the Gingersnap IPA at noon and stay to participate in the holiday costume contest for a chance to win prizes.

Fill up the boot with some craft beer. Photo credit: Red Leg Brewing Co.

Liquid Love Affairs: For those who like to imbibe

Warm up your winter evenings with our go-to whiskey from Distillery 291. It’s hard to go wrong with their award-winning single barrel Colorado bourbon or spice up a hot toddy courtesy of The Decc, a clove-citrus liqueur inspired by Colorado’s crisp climate.

On Saturday, December 22, Radiantly Raw partners up with Distillery 291 to present a chocolate + whiskey pairing event starting at 2 p.m. with tickets available for $25.00-$35.00 that accounts for divine confections and hand-crafted cocktails.

Tina Turner had it right: “Simply the Best.” Photo credit: Distillery 291

The Colorado Springs Independent recently names Goat Patch the winner of “Best New Bar/Brewery” but truly, we don’t need anyone else’s stamp of approval because we know they’re the real deal. An airy, welcoming space with consistently delicious beer in the emerging Lincoln Center places them at the top our list of local breweries and continues to win us over with award-winning staples and unique tappings such as the recent release of their brut rose pale ale, currently available in the taproom and in crowlers… Get you some.

For the holidays Goat Patch ties together a nifty gift bundle complete with a GPB glass, two stickers, GPB chapstick, two custom coasters and a $20.00 gift card, all for $30.00.

*Mention RMFR upon purchase to receive 10-percent off.

GPB’s gift bundle is a steal with all the necessary beer gear. Photo credit: Goat Patch Brewing Co.

On Saturday, December 21, Pikes Peak Brewing encourages patrons to wear your ugliest holiday sweater and sip on the seasonal, Adaman, a holiday spiced ale with cinnamon, orange peel, ginger and honey. Then browse through their refurbished swag or try their new food menu that features PPBC Reuben, a grown up grilled cheese and savory pastries from Mountain Pie CO.

Visit on weekend dates for oversized mugs of hot chocolate to please the youngin’s (or your inner-child) or grab some Gluehwein, a warm glass of German mulled wine for an apres ski experience.

We like to live on the patio, snow or shine, at Pikes Peak Brewing. Photo credit: Pikes Peak Brewing Co.

Paws for presents: Gifts for those other kids with four legs

Colorado Springs newest brewery is passionate about their pets and if you swing by for a beer, chances are you’ll be hanging with some fluffy companions or the resident bar dog, Luna, who regularly sports their adorable doggy bandanas available to purchase in the taproom for $5.00.

Luna looking like her snazzy self. Photo credit: Metric Brewing

What’s cooking? For the adventurous foodie friends/local lovers

We constantly look for resources to find locally-made, quality products and Modern Epicurean creates ready made boxes that feature Colorado artisans thus consolidating our search into one perfect package. We had the chance to rifle through ME’s fall box that held Pappardelle’s Pasta, Bjorn’s Colorado Honey, an exclusive Night Sky blend from Wander Coffee and a reusable and leak-proof sandwich bag from Point. The recent release of their winter 2018 box for $30.00 overflows with self-care essentials, highlighting Spinster Sisters, The Flower Life, Prim Pedal, and our bath junkie haven in Manitou Springs, Colorado: Salus.

Click here to purchase the 2018 winter box.

*Every box will contain a different variety of Salus Bath Bomb and Prim Pedal Soap.

We had a hayday with the fall flavors in Modern Epicurean’s fall 2018 box. Photo credit: Modern Epicurean

‘We like-a da spice’ and this female run, Denver-based company has a real fan girl in RMFR with their solid variety of Louisiana inspired hot sauces. Using all organic, local ingredients their toppers range from Electric Lime to Hand Grenade/Jamberry Sriracha with varying heat profiles for just $5.00 per five-ounce bottle. We recommend opting into the “Build Your Own Hot Sauce Pack,” the more you buy, the more of a discount you receive on the goods.

We recently got to sample the Chipotle Joe, a collaboration with Pablo’s Coffee, and we know we technically can’t say it and sound as cute as the Frank’s RedHot granny but…”we put that shit on everything.” It’s true. Particularly, our morning scrambles.

How do you like it? Hot? Sinner. Photo credit: Merf’s Condiments

Colorado Casual: T-shirts abound, add flannel

The drive to the tasting room in Divide, Colorado, is scenic and relaxing, the beer is phenomenal and the edgy branding defines an outlying yet prominent brewery that surprises our taste buds again and again. So when your holiday company makes you cranky and it’s time to temporarily disappear or you’re on the search for a unique wardrobe addition, visit their getaway of a taproom and pickup a spidey, skully or moth math piece of merch. We really dig (and already own) the unisex, black spidey zip-up hoodie available for $39.99.

Line ’em up. Knock ’em down. Photo credit: Paradox Beer Co.

1623 Brewing Company claims the distance between co-founder, Zac Rismiller’s front door and hometown in Maryland as 1,623 miles and regards that special space as the inspiration for their moniker. 1623’s recent opening outside of Baltimore, precedes an undisclosed, secondary spot to debut in Colorado next year but in the meantime, Rismiller, is all over the Centennial State actively brewing collabs and sharing their stylishly classic duds.

***Stay tuned on RMFR’s social media channels for an upcoming hat and t-shirt prize pack giveaway.

We have been sporting our grey & yellow cap nonstop. Photo credit: 1623 Brewing Co.

You gonna drink that? Every great beverage needs a brilliant vessel

We have to make mention of these delicate yet durable pieces from Gray Mountain Clay that they say artfully designs “Usefully Lovely. Handmade porcelain objects.” Whether the pieces are adorned by simple, blue stripes, a prominent, cobalt-colored dot, a lithe, golden feather or au natural, we find their cups, bowls and vases all distinctly beautiful in their own right. For whatever reason when we drink our morning java from our handleless mug, we hold onto it just a tad bit tighter and find more comfort in our coffee.

Contact Susie Gray, ceramicist, for custom orders or look out for Gray Mountain Clay at pop-up markets and at Eclectic CO.

Pick your perfect piece. Photo credit: Gray Mountain Clay

Happy Holidays from RMFR and thank you for your continued support and readership in 2018.