Your Guide to Twin Cities Beer — and Fun — for the Next two Months
“Meet the Brewer” with Badger Hill
Zeke’s Unchained Animal || 3508 E. Lake Street, Minneapolis 55406 || 6 – 7 p.m.
These newcomers to the South Minneapolis bar and beer scene are teaming up to have brewers from local breweries hold conversations with the public on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of each month. Zeke’s Unchained Animal, a brand-new bar on East Lake Street, is starting a “meet the brewer” night in conjunction with Elevated Beer, Wine & Spirits.
Social Science: Murder at the Museum
Science Museum of Minnesota || 120 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul || 6 – 11 p.m. || $25 for non-members, $20 for SMM or MPR members
A body is discovered at the museum late at night, and all signs point to foul play. It’s on you, lucky gumshoe, to gather the forensic skills, clues, and savvy to solve the crime. Get the real story from forensic scientists in the field as you learn to dust for fingerprints, interpret blood spatter, and more.
October 4 – 13
Reedsburg , WI and surrounding area
Farmers, chefs, artists, poets, brewers, and cheese makers will converge in the beautiful working lands of Sauk County, Wisconsin to celebrate food, farming, and fermentation. Forty-two classes including fermenting vegetables, brewing beer, making chocolate, cheese, sourdough bread, wine, yogurt, kefir, compost and more fermented favorites. The Farm Art DTour, a self-guided 50 mile loop through scenic farmlands punctuated by temporary large scale art installations, farm stands, roadside poetry and “pasture performances.” Visit www.fermentationfest.com for more information and to register for classes!
October 4- 5
Twin Cities Oktoberfest
Minnesota State Fairgrounds Progress Center || Randall Avenue between Snelling and Cooper Avenue, St. Paul || $25
Beer, music, tomfoolery and more? Yes please. Jump into your favorite German dress and push-up bra or lederhosen and get your German on at the Twin Cities Oktoberfest at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. We promise not to tell people that you’re actually Irish if you promise not to drink green beer in March.
Fargo Brewer’s Ball
Hilton Garden Inn || 4351 17th Avenue South, Fargo || 7 p.m. || $75
The Fargo Brewer’s Ball is back for its third go-around this year, once again in support of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. This fest promises to be a celebration of craft beers and gourmet pub food and will also include a silent auction. If you’ve yet to venture to the Fargo/Moorhead area to check out their breweries, this might just be a great time to check out both Fargo Brewing Co. and Moorhead’s Junkyard Brewery.
Beer and Bacon Fest
Alerus Center || 1200 42nd Street South, Grand Forks, ND || 2 p.m. || $15-30
Beer and bacon? I skimmed over most of the Greek mythology studies in school, but distinctly recall that the Gods were big fans of both flavorful beer and bacon. Really. Craft beer revisionist history aside, Happy Harry’s has put together a festival in celebration of the good things in life. The event will include 40-60 beers, a bacon-dish competition between local restaurants, bacon art, a bacon eating contest and more.
Where the Wild Beers Are
Republic, 7 Corners || 221 Cedar Avenue South, Minneapolis || 11 – 3 p.m. || $15 and one or more wild, sour or farmhouse ales to share
Where the Wild Beers Are is a beer tasting like no other. Born in the spirit friends getting together to share great beers, WWBA is a collaborative beer tasting event that focuses on wild side of the beer spectrum, attracting fans of the funk and “bacti-curious” beer fans. Not to be missed.
Lagunitas Beer Dinner
Woolley’s Steakhouse || 7901 34th Avenue South, Bloomington || 6:30 p.m. || $55
As summer winds down and the kids head back to school, look forward to celebrating with a multi-course meal that highlights six of Lagunitas’ famous craft beers. The Lagunitas Beer Dinner is a longstanding tradition at Woolley’s, and they take pride in marrying the flavors of perfectly crafted brews with their ideal culinary complement. With dishes like Cider Glazed Pork Belly & Manhattan Style Bone-In New York Strip, how could you go wrong?!
Schell’s Brewery || 1860 Schell Road, New Ulm || 10:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. || $5
August Schell’s Brewing Co. claims that the Schell’s Oktoberfest celebration is the closest thing to Oktoberfest on this side of the Atlantic. Given their history, we’re apt to believe them. Head to Schell’s for great beer, live polka music, lederhosen clad servers, and perhaps a glimpse of hermit brewer Dave Berg! Good, German-inspired times to be had by all.
40th Annual Guzzle ‘n Twirl Beer Collectibles Show
Aldrich Arena || 1850 White Bear Avenue, Maplewood || 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Note that it’s “twirl,” not “twerk,” dudes. Guzzle ‘n Twirl is the largest beer collectibles show in the upper Midwest and will feature thousands of beer-related antiques and collectibles like signs, bottles, cans, etc. If you go, you’ll earn bonus points if you can find me some swag from failed 90s-era brewpubs & breweries. Go!
Third Thursday at the MIA: Nerd Thursday
Minneapolis Institute of Arts || 2400 3rd Avenue South, Minneapolis || 6 – 9 p.m. || Free
Geek out in the galleries with a celebration of the nerd in all of us! Brush up on your gaming skills, from Ping-Pong to Pogs. Show off your specialty knowledge for dorky challenges throughout the museum. Dress to impress in your best bowtie and suspenders. Third Thursday at the MIA is free to attend with refreshments (including Summit) for sale.
Fresh Hop Fest
Town Hall Lanes || 5019 34th Avenue South, Minneapolis || 2 – 7 p.m.
Fresh. Hop. Beers. For Fresh Hop Fest, Town Hall Lanes will feature over 20 fresh hop beers on top in an expression of hop-loving solidarity. More information is forthcoming, but if you know anything about Town Hall and their love of fresh hops, they’ll do this right. Please reserve a space for me at the bar right now.
6th Avenue Wine & Ale || 115 6th Avenue East, Alexandria || 5:30 p.m.
Lest we start thinking that beer dinners are exclusive to Minnesota’s larger cities, Lucid is heading to the small town of Alexandria, Minnesota for a beer dinner at 6th Avenue Wine & Ale. Lucid’s Jon Messier will be on hand to talk about all things Lucid and Chef Paul will expertly pair five Lucid beers with equally interesting dishes.
Pairings || 6001 Shady Oak Road, Minnetonka || 6:30pm || $40
612Brew is heading to the 952 for a beer dinner at Pairings in Minnetonka. With a menu that includes a dish called “Bull in a China Shop,” you know this is going to be good. Four courses, four beers, though sadly no donuts (c’mon Kasak!). Cheers!
Stout’s Pub || 1611 W. Larpenteur Avenue, Falcon Heights || 6-10pm || $60
Chef Dan Parker is offering up a beer dinner that includes six beers, five courses and a night of fun at Stout’s Pub. Rub elbows with the Flat Earth folks and enjoy some great food & beer. Just thinking about it makes me want to stock up on their Belgian Pale Ale and Porter. Yum.
Nordeast Big River Brew Fest
Historic Grain Belt Brewery Complex || 70 13th Avenue NE, Minneapolis || 1 – 4 p.m. || $25
Now in its third year, the Nordeast Big River Brew Fest returns to the historic Grain Belt Bottling House for an afternoon of craft beer sampling benefiting East Side Neighborhood Services. This year, the event spreads both inside and outside of the bottling house. Sip great beers, enjoy great food, and support the local community!
The Fall Feast Food Truck Rally presented by Harriet Brewing and MN Food Truck Association
Harriet Brewing Company || 3036 Minnehaha Avenue, Minneapolis || 12 – 7 p.m. || FREE
After the success of their first event in July, the Minnesota Food Truck Association (MFTA) is once again gathering its truck members for a food truck rally. Food trucks will serve their gourmet mobile food specialties at the brewery along with live entertainment and locally brewed craft beer. The Fall Feast Food Truck Rally is a FREE event for all ages. Attendees must be 21 years of age to obtain a wristband for alcohol consumption.
October 21 – 26
10,000 Laughs Comedy Festival presented by 612Brew
Now in its third year, the 10,000 Laughs Comedy Festival presented by 612Brew is a week-long marathon of live comedy held at various venues from Oct. 21 – 26. This year’s installment features over two dozen comedians from around the country performing in venues all across the Twin Cities, including: The Comedy Corner Underground, The Joke Joint Comedy Club, Spring Street Tavern’s Club Underground, HUGE Theater, Galactic Pizza, and Camp Bar in St. Paul. More info at www.10000laughs.com.
October 23 – 26
Hoppy Halloween Challenge
Howard Johnson Inn || 301 3rd Avenue North, Fargo, ND
Fargo/Moorhead’s Prairie Homebrewing Companions pay host to their annual Hoppy Halloween Challenge in late October each year. This year’s contest includes the traditional BJCP categories as well as a couple of unique categories—“Halloween Themed Beers” and my personal favorite, “Fresh Killed Hop Beers.” Don’t miss the awards banquet—in addition to costume contests, this year’s event includes speaker Stan Hieronymus, author of “Brew Like a Monk,” “Brewing with Wheat,” and “For the Love of Hops.” Entries accepted through 10/19.
Stub & Herb’s || 227 SE Oak Street, Minneapolis
True to form, the fine folks at Stub & Herb’s have promised to play host to a Darkness Eve celebration at the bar. If history is any indication, you can expect a ton of great Surly beers (common and not-so-common), as well as a ton of big, dark, badass beers of varying vintages.
Surly Brewing Co. || 4811 Dusharme Drive, Brooklyn Center || 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
I really don’t know a lot about this Surly Darkness Day stuff, but apparently it’s a beer, and back in the day, you could sell it for a pretty penny on eBay. Apparently it’s black as night, hoppy to dank proportions and a little sweet… or so I hear. So I’m planning on getting in line with all of the nerds this year to see if I can get a few bottles to trade with my internet friend BeerPhearo83 for some special Dogfish Head beer brewed with mummy balls. In any case, word on the street is that people get here extremely early to wait in line for this stuff, so I’ll do just that. During the day they’ll have music, food and a bunch of beers on tap.
Blues & Brews
Aria at the Jeune Lune || 105 North 1st Street, Minneapolis || 6 – 10 p.m. || $75
I’m just going to take a crack at this one, but it looks like perhaps this has something to do with beer… and music? Blues and Brews is an event that supports Canvas Heath, an organization that provides a range of services to homeless youth as well as children, teens and adults that struggle with mental & chemical health issues. This event includes 25+ craft beers and appetizers as well as the music of Chastity Brown Trio, Davina & the Vagabonds and Crankshaft and the Gear Grinders. Check it out.
Commander Barleywine Release Party
Lift Bridge Brewery || 1900 Tower Road, Stillwater || 3 – 10 p. m.
Mark your calendars for the third annual release of Lift Bridge’s Commander Barleywine, an English barleywine that should weigh in somewhere in the 12.5% ABV range. Last year’s event featured a circus theme and we can only guess what the boys are up to this year. Expect music, beer, merriment, and perhaps a few shenanigans.
Third Thursday: Sustainable Design with AIGA MN
Minneapolis Institute of Arts || 2400 3rd Avenue South, Minneapolis || 6 – 9 p.m. || FREE
It’s year two of AIGA Minnesota’s partnership with the Minneapolis Institute of Arts for Third Thursday—a night of incredible art and design. Join us at the hands-on printing studio hosted by Big Table Studio, invent a new font with Chank Diesel, check out the pop-up display of AIGA Minnesota’s 2012 Design Show winners, and grab a coupon (while they last) for a free drink at Icehouse. Music by Van Stee. Refreshments (including Summit) for sale.