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City Pages Beer Festival is almost here!

Don't you wanna have as much fun as these anonymous beer drinkers?

Don't you wanna have as much fun as these anonymous beer drinkers?

Sure, beer drinking is a year-round sport. But as the thermometer gradually climbs back to tank top levels, we chug-a-lugging Olympians seek all the excuses for outdoor imbibing we can find. Fortunately, we have one for you.

Actually, make that 50.

Peak beer fest season begins with the annual City Pages Beer Festival — the longest-running beer fest in the Twin Cities. Roughly 50 breweries from around the state and country will pour samples from 5-9 p.m. May 21 at our new location at the West End in St. Louis Park.

Get a first taste of this year’s summer seasonals, including Castle Danger’s Summer Crush, lifted with Japanese hops, and a lil’ something special from Sociable Cider Werks that’s still under wraps. The lineup is laced with homestate faves, including Indeed, Lift Bridge, Steel Toe, and Duluth titans Bent Paddle. Plus, big-name nationals Oskar Blues, AleSmith, and SoCal hop mongers Stone. Peep the complete lineup here.

Funked-out cover band Free and Easy and the Brian Boru Irish Pipe Band soundtrack the swill fest, while Rusty Taco, Big Ten Restaurant, and WildEarth WoodFired Mobile Pizza Bakery provide the grub.

General admission tickets are $30, but those living large with the “Shock Top Belgian White VIP Experience” ($55) score early entry, access to a VIP deck catered by Pinstripes, Cherry on Top Confections, and the Yard House. The VIP route also gets you unlimited full-size Shock Tops, Michelob Golden Lights, and select Goose Island beers. Snag your tickets here.

Be sure to try your hand at Hammerschlagen and other outdoor games, and swing by Playatta’s photo booth.

Those looking to ahem indulge to the fullest might consider crashing at the St. Louis Park Double Tree by Hilton Hotel, which is offering a discount rate of $89 per night the weekend of the fest. However, we can't guarantee what's in the minibar will be as delicious as the brews lined up for this year's fest.