Back in the day, beer geeks were stuck in musty basements creating mediocre brews. As the love of craft grew, nuances and subtleties were discovered, and delicious libations started emerging from those recesses. When you add to that the explosion of microbreweries bursting with imaginative new ingredients and styles, beer geeks' lives have become downright heavenly. With the growth of beer festivals, we have found a perfect way to combine this beer-love with music, food, and outdoor celebration. The second annual Beer Dabbler Showcase, part of St. Paul's Highland Fest, brings together all these elements and adds more. Over 40 regional craft and microbreweries will be represented, allowing you to taste some of the area's finest and most inventive creations, with unlimited samples included in the price of admission. In addition, you can check out the Classroom Tent, which will offer 20-minute crash courses on topics including home brewing, starting your own microbrewery, and sustainable brewing. And don't miss the home brew contest, serving to further elevate beer dabbling into a respected craft. Tickets are available at Thomas Liquors (1941 Grand Ave., St. Paul; 651.699.1860), or online at www.thebeerdabbler.com.
Sat., July 17, 1-5 p.m., 2010