As I've mentioned in previous posts, whenever we get together at trade shows we usually go out and buy a bunch of wine, beer and liquor and congregate in one of our rooms for a few moments of company camaraderie after the show ends for the day. Being that yours truly is usually the one who knows where all the good liquor stores are in the area, I'm the one who usually drives two or three of my colleagues on a beer run. Now, I've taught them all the chorus to comedian-songwriter Todd Snider's great song "Beer Run" (you can hear the song here), so we're usually singing it at the top of our lungs when we pile into a vehicle to go get booze. This past fall at the CEDIA Expo in Denver, we were singing it as we drove to Argonaut Wine and Liquor, just east of the downtown area in Denver in the Capital Hill neighborhood (see map).
Argonaut Wine and Liquor has been around for over 40 years, serving a combination of Denver's upper class wine sophisticates, everyday drunks and good ol' party dudes - like most of the guys I work with. With over 25,000 total square footage, Argonaut Wine and Liquor is the largest store of its kind in Denver. They feature over 9000 different liquors, wines and beers, along with all the fixing's you'll need to have a big party.
When we go to a place like Argonaut Liquor, each of us will usually fan out in different areas of a store. I usually go to the beer section, a couple of my colleagues will go scope out the domestic and imported wines, and another will go check out the liquor for any good buys on Scotch, rum or tequila.
Actually, this year, I shipped a couple bottles of Templeton Rye out to Denver (which, I found out from my local FedEx drop off site, is a federal offense) for us to have during the show. We drank all but about a quarter of one bottle. It was a hit among my colleagues. But that didn't stop us from gathering up a couple more bottles of Scotch and a bottle of tequila for the room.
My boss, Daniel, doesn't drink beer or hard liquor all that much, but he sure does enjoy his wine. We always get a couple three bottles of wine for the room - usually a couple reds and a white. My colleagues from Canada and California usually pick out the wine.
I was pretty impressed with the beer selection at Argonaut Wine and Liquor. In addition to most of the usual Colorado beers (many of which I don't care for), they also had a selection of great beers from the Pacific Northwest (to see my post on the beers of the Northwest, click here). Some of my colleagues like the heavier European imports, so I pick a couple three sixers of those up. The Oktoberfest marzen-style beers were beginning to show up on the shelves, so I grabbed some of those, too.
We also picked up some glasses (we learned our lesson after viewing this blog entry on the horrors of the cleaning staffs in hotel rooms), a styrofoam cooler and some ice. Actually, we got the ice for free. One of the guys just gave us a bag because it had been accidentally opened when they were putting it in the ice freezer.
With all we got, it came to just a bit under $300 bucks - pretty good considering that our guys can easily spend $300 bucks on bar tabs during a week. And my boss doesn't seem to mind picking up the bill for the libations.
It's too bad we didn't find Argonaut Wine and Liquor until our last year the CEDIA Expo was in Denver. Right now, they're in the midst of getting ready to open a new and improved Argonaut Wine and Liquor Store just down the street from the original one (see map). (An artist's rendition is shown on the right.) At the time, I thought the interior of Argonaut was a little tired and the displays could have used a little sprucing up. But when I found out that a new store was going to open in a couple three months, I quickly forgave the appearance of the old store. I hope I can get back out to Denver and check the place out someday.