Avery Brewing Company
5763 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder, 303/440-4324, averybrewing.com
Though Boulder-based, Avery remains omnipresent in C-Springs, thanks in part to active community engagement. They've appeared at The Blue Star many times in recent years at barrel-aged beer dinners and the like; co-hosted Focus on the Beer's Meet the Brewer series this past fall at Front Range Barbeque; and just last week they co-launched Green Man Taproom & Beer Garden's new Wednesday night pint night (gifting drinkers glassware).
The week prior, I caught a Brewer's Republic tap takeover, at which six Avery labels lorded ($3.75/half pint; $6.75/pint, generally), including the always strong (as in 10.2-percent ABV) and excellent Maharaja Imperial IPA, a noticeably passion fruit-infused Belgian Lilikoi Kepolo, and the fun Bhakti Chai Brown. I particularly enjoyed the last, having that same day drunk a ginger-forward toasted coconut almond chai from Bhakti, that other Boulder brewer (of non-alcoholic greatness). — Matthew Schniper
Three Delights Caribbean Grill
4747 Flintridge Drive, 599-5375, threedelights.com
Yes, we just revisited this favorite island eatery back in February in this column, enjoying a killer fried grouper sandwich. Resolved to let the ink dry on their jerk-laced story for a while, I was lured back by a call from personable owner Amos Ferguson. He'd just created a new special: a conch burger ($12.99), which I simply couldn't ignore, recalling great enjoyment of his conch fritters appetizer from my first visits.
Still shipped fresh at no meager cost, the chewy sea snails here get the same fried treatment, battered all airy, with a scant touch of spice set off by a lime squeeze. Placed on a grill-marked bun with lettuce, onion and tomato, the meat lastly calls for a generous smear of Ferguson's delightful mayo-based conch sauce, the ingredients of which he doesn't disclose. Light loveliness pervades and sweet plantains pair to perfection. — Matthew Schniper
Special Grounds Coffee
7601 N. Union Blvd., 272-4136
Rolling into the corner Briargate coffee shop, formerly known as Purple Mountain Coffee, the first thing you notice is the cute logo on the door showing two toasting stick-figures and the tag line, "Where Faith & Friends Come Together." The vibe certainly rang true, as an exuberantly friendly barista accommodated every request, promising the best chai latte in the city in the process. A large chai ($4.75) later, and I can say that it was certainly the most enthusiastically delivered one, if not the best. The spice mix used, from Big Train, tastes like a mix of sweetener and pumpkin spice, and leaves a thin, chalky coating on the roof of your mouth. Beans still roasted by Purple Mountain Coffee offer a nice counter to all that, however.
A slice of spinach-bacon quiche ($4.50) from Monument's Taste of Life quelled any further concerns, as gooey cheddar over a moist piece filled with thick bacon and onion cuts met all my meat needs. — Bryce Crawford