By George Watson
The popular Tinsel Tavern Tour returns for another year of food, drink, entertainment, costume contests and all around holiday merriment. On Dec. 10, dress in retro ski apparel and prepare to take part in a safe, fun-filled evening out on the town to discover Estes Park’s craft beer, wine and spirits industry.
The event begins at 5:30 p.m. with a kick-off party at Mary’s Lake Lodge featuring live entertainment, appetizers and a holiday costume contest with prizes. Participants receive a complimentary Visit Estes Park headband and arm warmer to keep heads and hands warm throughout the evening. There will be heavy appetizers accompanied by a DJ prepared to spin requests. The costume contest features prizes for best retro winter gear and old-school Estes Park outfit.
Before heading out for the evening, participants will be instructed on how to earn points for prizes by playing games at each tavern stop. Keeping a list of retro items placed by organizers at each stop can further increase the chances of winning. Retro outfit photos can be shared on social media using #TinselTavernTour and #OldSchoolEstes.
After the party, step onto the Elkhorn Express Trolley and head to a line-up of Estes Park’s unique tasting rooms. A signature drink is included at each stop. Many new businesses are included, and the route is a great way to get a taste of what is offered throughout town. Stops include Snowy Peaks Winery, Elkins Distilling Company, Lumpy Ridge Brewing, Dancing Pines Distillery, Rock Cut Brewing and Estes Park Brewery. Locations and route order subject to change.
The Snowy Peaks Winery tasting room offers its own award-winning, hand-crafted wines made from handpicked, Colorado-grown grapes from a dozen vineyards in Palisade, Paonia and Burlington. A wide range of red, white and dessert varieties are available. Relax with a glass of wine and enjoy views of the mountains from their tasting room.
Elkins Distilling is Estes Park’s first legal distillery. In 2015, its master distiller worked with the city council to loosen spirit laws and began the journey of launching the distillery and tasting room. Its carefully-curated drink menu features a variety of libations made with their hand-crafted, high-proof, Colorado whisky.
Lumpy Ridge Brewing opened in Estes Park last year in a re-purposed gas station. It was the town’s first new brewery in 20 years when it opened and now boasts rotating taps of niche brews created by passionate brewers. Its mission is to “brew, distribute and serve delicious beer in an inspired place where guests will want to return to again and again.”
The Dancing Pines Distillery, based in Loveland, offers its spirits at an Estes Park tasting room. The distillery creates small-batch spirits in its artisan copper pot still from the finest ingredients. Every step is tediously performed by an artisan with passion for the craft.
Rock Cut Brewing is another new brewery created by a pair of local brewers who “take great personal pride” in their beers and the “bright, comfortable surroundings” of the tap room. The brewing equipment, which can be seen from the bar, is brand new and state of the art.
The Estes Park Brewery began brewing its beer in town in 1994 and has undergone several ownership and brewer changes over the years. It continues to be popular stop for both food and drink and creates 12 varieties of beer as well as root beer on site.
Designated host hotels have a shuttle to the event and back. Each host hotel has special offers including lodging reservation discounts and a complimentary gift for each reservation. Participating hotels include The Lodge at Mary’s Lake, Brynwood on the River, Deer Crest Resort, Estes Park Condos and Estes Park Resort.
Tickets for the Tinsel Tavern Tour are $50 and include a wrist-warmer and headband, free first drink at each stop, chance to win prizes at each stop, costume contest, grand prize and free shuttle from hotels to all taverns and back to hotels. “Hold the Booze” tickets feature the same perks as a full-price ticket, without the signature drink at each stop. The deadline for ticket purchase is Dec. 9 at 9 p.m. NO SAME DAY TICKET SALES ALLOWED.
Ticket buyers and attendees must be 21 or older and present valid ID at entrance. By purchasing tickets, buyer certifies they are old enough to participate. Refunds will not be granted if attendee cannot present valid state-issued ID at event entrance.
For additional information or to purchase advance tickets, visit www.
Originally published in the December 2016 issue of the MMAC Monthly