Giving Thanks: You’re a bunch of booze hounds, Denver, and we love you.

DSC_0082 Denver off the Wagon is a new thing. Our first article was published in February of this year. None of us expected it to take off like it has, and we couldn’t be more thankful for it. You’re a bunch of booze hounds, Denver, and we love you.

We’re thankful for a lot of things. Whiskey, for example. Imagine life without whiskey? I’d rather a world filled with velociraptors, and I have a soul-consuming completely rational fear of velociraptors.

Personally, with regards to this site and the activities around it, I have a lot to be thankful for.

You, the reader, have carried us to this point, and we can’t wait to drink with you again and again. I’m overwhelmingly excited to show you what we’re planning for the months to come. I hope to share a beer with each and every one of you soon.

All the bars and bartenders, breweries and brewers, distilleries and distillers, and the countless other places in which we raise our glasses have been extremely supportive. So thank you, barman. Thanks, big drinker. We appreciate it, Pink Boots brewer. You have our gratitude, bus boy. I offer all necessary apologies for any untoward actions due to my imbiberous nature. Thanks for letting us close out your bars.

To the media around town who have recognized us, and think for some reason we stick out, we’re thankful for you, too. Talking about you, 5280 and Westword.

To those who contribute to the site, the Wagon is your labor of love. Without your words, this site is just an empty shell. Thank you.

To all of you who drink locally and spread the love, we drink to you.

Our contributors have a few words of thanks:

Brian Melton

I am thankful for the courage to take chances and a family that just shakes their heads and laughs.

Jim Halligan

I am thankful for a booze scene that makes me more knowledgeable than the average bear. People talk about alcohol a lot, and the simple fact of living in Denver helps me chime in on those conversations – whether it be giving pointers on what brewery to check out, or a heated debate on what wine would go best with those deep-fried cheese curds.

Jennifer Fowler

That I can share my passion for good drinking and good eating through writing for the Wagon

Avery Rumpkin at Thanksgiving (and any other time)

Time with friends over a good cocktail, glass of wine, or pint of beer

Hanna Laney

I’m thankful for my biological family and my beer family–and the fact that the line between the two often gets blurred.

Shellie Shel

  1. I am thankful for Star Bar. Not only serving me fantastic cocktails & beer, but being the place where I can always find familiar faces that I love. It’s coming home after I come home from traveling.
  2. I am thankful that Denver gets to showcase itself and all the amazing things to love about it (nightlife, music scene, bars, mountains, breweries, restaurants, and etc…) every GABF.
  3. I am thankful to Great Divide Brewing for shipping to Tulsa. Despite the fact that I have to buy it warm, at least I CAN buy it.
  4. I am thankful to Denver off the Wagon for giving me a vehicle to justify my drinking to my parents. “Shut up Dad, it’s for research!”
  5. And lastly, and most importantly, I am thankful – GREATFUL – for all the spectacular people that make up my piece of Denver.  I am nothing without my peeps!

Kevin Burke

I’m thankful for the industry meals at Williams & Graham. A free dinner for SIN after 1100. As well. I’m thankful for my brother’s bar. Home to the best bartenders in Denver

Billy Broas

May we never take booze for granted.
My list:

  • Colorado beer, because…well I don’t need to tell Off the Wagon readers how good it is
  • Social media, because it makes finding great Colorado beer much easier
  • Public transportation, because it lets me get home safely after consuming massive amounts of Colorado beer

Bess Dougherty

Things I am thankful for include but are not limited to: Beer, whiskey, the Denver Whiskey Club, a job that requires talking beer and spirits and spreading the gospel of the local craft scene, gingers, a family that loves booze almost as much as I do, being a third generation booze retailer, beards, gingers with beards, Denver being home to GABF, GABF, moustaches, gingers with moustaches, all of the opportunities that DotW has presented, Belgian beer, Belgium, brewing, Denver Homebrew Club, the local booze community being such a tight knit group & all of you lovely people

Justin Lloyd


Oh what a broad subject, but; really, just condense it into the most flavorful and satisfying morsel you can imagine.  Through that sense of connection, whether it be of family, friends, co-workers. Lovers, or of just plain like minded spirits.  We should all be thankful for those people who love, support, inspire, and challenge us all to be the people that we are, and the people we can become.  For what is life without those connections?

Raise a toast this Thanksgiving to all those connections.  A big sticky mass of those lost, those current, and those soon to be found that will help us all through the coming years.  Respect the past, embrace the present, and never stop looking over the horizon.  It would not be possible without community.
Cheers to the community!

Lydia Rapp

I’m thankful for the great community in Denver and the fantastic people that the food and beverage culture has. I’ve met some of my best friends at local watering holes and the most memorable moments of the last year have been wonderfully lubed up by some of the best adult beverages I’ve ever had. In no particular order here is the list of the people, places, events, and beverages that I’m most thankful for this year:

  • Star Bar: This place has seen me through break ups, make ups, new and old friendships, lots of singing and dancing, and some of the best beer cocktails I’ve ever had.
  • The Duchess Cocktail Beer Cocktail at Le Grand by Audrey Smith: Bulleit Rye, Lagavulin 16, agave nectar, lemon, Duchesse de bourgogne flemish sour, and Duvel Belgian Ale. One of the best things I’ve ever had in my mouth.
  • Watching fireworks with Matt Lanning and Jess Hunter on the side of a mountain in Aspen and drinking Fernet from the bottle. Then later drinking Glenfiddich 14 from plastic cups at the most ridiculous party I’ve ever been to.
  • Shenanigans with Jennifer Fowler at Row 14.
  • Nights on Black Out Block with Dina Ramstead. Watch out for shots of Jameson.
  • My awesome birthday night crawling down Colfax and finishing at Herb’s. Never drink an Arc Welder. Ever.
  • The Lips of Faith series by New Belgium.
  • Going to two sessions of GABF this year after thinking I wasn’t going to go to any.
  • The Denver Off the Wagon Ignite Denver event for GABF.
  • The Cap Rock and Avery Beer Cocktail showcase at Star Bar.
  • Discovering Ryan Conklin’s secret stash of the beer that shall not be named.
  • The tap selection at Star Bar on any given night.
  • That Leopold’s made another batch of Rye Whiskey.
  • My amazing brother, Josh Rapp and that he now has an awesome job at Stranahan’s.
  • The close proximity of my work to Stranahan’s and Rackhouse Pub.
  • That I now live within walking distance to Cheeky Monk and Argonaut Liquors.
  • That Denver is one of the best places for food, drinks and great people to come together and enjoy life.

Jensen Cummings

I am thankful for Leprechauns, Gypsies and Unicorns! For everyone who wastes a couple minutes a day reading about our insatiable thirst and love for the Denver Booze scene! For all the people and establishments that allowed us to enjoy the fruits of their labor. For the friends we have made along the way! For all of you! Of course 2000 Cantillon Iris, 2007 Dark Lord and Firestone Walker 11th Anniversary! Cheers and Happy Thanksgiving!

Jess Hunter

  1. The nectar of the gods, o’ whiskey thank you.
  2. The time of harvest. When fruit and grain go bad. Wine and beer, we love you
  3. The resurgence of the buy-local, drink-local, craft beer, wine and spirits. And cocktails
  4. The ability to ice down a great bottle of bourbon and tuck it in for the holiday weekend
  5. Family, friends, and the cute guy/girl we go to the bar to see every week
  6. An incredible family in this industry that we all love.
  7. Our fans and readers in Denver. Thanks for drinking.

About PJ Hoberman

PJ likes beer. A lot. And whiskey. Gin. Wine. Cocktails. Um.. what were we talking about?