Side Dish: Greenhorn Brewing opening soon

| September 19, 2012

'New' brew

The term "greenhorn" often speaks to inexperience, but in the case of soon-to-open Greenhorn Brewing Company (505 N. Union Blvd., 650-0719), it's mere wordplay. Rest assured: Owner/brewer Matthew Green has home-brewed for some time, and also apprenticed with Kevin Baity Kraft Beers.

The 33-year-old Green, who worked for the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and Colorado State University-Pueblo prior to devoting himself fully to suds, says he will brew on a one-barrel system, which should stock six or seven taps in his 250-square-foot tasting room. He's also planning to barrel-age beers and offer weekly Friday cask releases.

As for styles, Green is a huge stout fan, with a favorite raspberry cream stout recipe he's eager to share; he's also partial to Bavarian-style hefeweizen and IPAs. Check Greenhorn's Facebook page for updates.

Spanglish

A sign at the new Ramon Q's Cantina (1005 W. Colorado Ave., 434-2741) promotes "Mexican food with a twist." Chef/owner Elizabeth St. James elaborates by promoting her hamburger and hot dog, each topped with brisket, sautéed jalapeño and onion, bacon, avocado, cheese and green salsa.

Next, she mentions playful Tex Mex-American fusion items, like stacked (versus rolled) enchiladas and a "quesarito," a fully cooked quesadilla wrapped around rice and beans and topped in green chile and pico de gallo. Outside the twists, she offers a range of tacos, from carne asada to blackened tilapia, plus ever-changing specials (coming soon) that might draw from any cuisine.

St. James makes everything from scratch. She was a stay-at-home-mom for the past 23 years, cooking for her children's sports teams and large holiday crowds. She says everyone always gave her the classic "You should open a restaurant" line; she'd always wanted to, finally saying "it's now or never." Her family and friends comprise the staff.

Currently, the cantina is only open for lunch, but pending receipt of a liquor license around late October, it will expand to dinner. The space was formerly Black Tie Gourmet/Terrazza Grill, which owner/chef Nathan Levin recently closed after four years of largely seven-day work weeks. He's now lending his talents (as a humble line cook) to La Bella Vita Ristorante Italiano (see p. 26).

World tour

A new Old Colorado City Wine Bar Tour begins from 5 to 8 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 4 (and at those hours every Thursday thereafter, through 2012, tentatively), offering 3-ounce pours of international wines plus small snacks at six wine bars inside a two-block radius. Tickets are $48 plus tax/tip at Motif Jazz Bistro (2432 W. Cucharras St.). From there, guests can go, in any order they please, to 2South Wine Bar, Pizzeria Rustica, La Baguette (upstairs), TAPAteria and Jake & Telly's Greek Taverna.

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