Grab your goblets and get a good protein base in your gut. It's going to be a marathon month for beer fans in the Twin Cities. Every weekend holds something big, including two Saturdays with two events each. This Saturday kicks it off with Summit's Silver Anniversary soiree and Surlyfest. The 17th brings Autumn Brew Review, the annual fall bash thrown by the MN Craft Brewers Guild. If you are not completely beered out, you can attend both the Minneapolis Beer Fest and Harriet Rauchfest on the 24th.
Here's a rundown of what to expect.[jump]
Saturday, September 10
Summit Silver Anniversary Party When: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Where: Behind the brewery at 910 Montreal Circle in St. Paul How Much: Tickets are $12. 50% of ticket sales will go to support the Minnesota Music Coalition.
Tickets are still available at Ticketfly. Summit just blogged that the event is sold out. What: An all-day celebration of 25 years of Summit beer. Live music will be provided by Solid Gold, X-Boys, Pert Near Sandstone, Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapelles, and the Prizefighters. Hotpants DJs will be spinning Rare Soul, Deep Funk vinyl throughout the party. The Current host Mark Wheat will be acting as master of ceremonies. Food vendors include Pizza Luce, the Loon, Bennett's, Sea Salt, and Black Forest. A variety of Summit beers will be available for purchase.
The party will happen rain or shine. The brewery warns that parking will be limited. They are encouraging guests to seek alternate forms of transportation. They have also arranged free shuttles with area restaurants--Bennett's and Shamrock's on West Seventh Street, Tiffany's on Ford Parkway, and O'Gara's on Snelling.
Surlyfest When: 2 p.m.-6:17 p.m. Where: At the Surly brewery, 4811 Dusharme Dr. in Brooklyn Center How Much: Tickets were $35, but the event is sold out. What: Surly Brewing Company's annual celebration of all things Surly. Admission buys you a commemorative half-liter SurlyFest stein and four beer tokens. Surly will have seven beers on tap including Surlyfest, Bitter Brewer, Furious, Bender, Coffee Bender, Hell, and Cynic Ale. Musical entertainment will be provided by the Bratwurst Brothers, the Sex Rays, and the 4onthefloor. Food will be available for purchase from Get Sauced, Barrio Taco Truck, Natedogs, and the Bikery du Nord Waffle Van.
Surly's neighbors are allowing use of their parking lots, but parking will be limited. Overflow parking will be available at the Caribou Coffee across Highway 100.
Saturday, September 17
Autumn Brew Review When: Session 1--10 a.m.-2 p.m. Session 2--3 p.m.-7 p.m. Where: The parking lot of the old Grain Belt Brewery, 19 13th Avenue NE in Minneapolis How Much: Tickets are $30 in advance and $40 at the door. Session 2 is sold out. Tickets for session 1 can still be purchased at Ticketweb. What: The Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild knows how to put on a good beer festival, and Autumn Brew Review is their biggest and arguably best. It's even bigger this year with two sessions of sampling. Over 70 local, regional, and national breweries are scheduled to be represented at the fest. Admission gets you unlimited tasting and a commemorative tasting glass. Session 1 will also feature an early-morning bloody Mary bar.
If you get hungry during the fest you can pick up a bite from Chef Shack, Uncle Franky's, Stanley's NE Barroom, Pizza Luce, Ngon Vietnamese Bistro, and Barrio Tequila Bar. Each session will begin with the bagpipe opener by Dennis Skrade and Thom Nolan that has become a Twin Cities beer festival tradition. (I don't really get it either. And what's with all the kilts at craft beer events?). The sessions will end with festival-goers led out of the grounds Pied Piper style in "Minnesota's biggest second line" (like a conga line) guided by the Southside Aces. In between you'll be serenaded by the sounds of Matthew Fox, Anthony Ihrig, and traditional organ grinders and accordion players.
If you need a break from the beer you can take advantage of educational sessions on the Pedal Pub and tours of the Grain Belt Brewery grounds led by beer historian Doug Hoverson.
Saturday, September 24
Rauchfest When: 1 p.m.-10 p.m. Where: Harriet Brewing Co., 3036 Minnehaha Ave in Minneapolis How Much: Tickets are $20. They can be purchased at the brewery or online. What: A one-day celebration of beer, art, food, and music. Six Harriet beers will be available for purchase at the event including a special smoked Oktoberfest lager appropriately named Rauchfest. Admission includes one pour. Food will be available from Don's Kitchen, Sun Street Breads, Stanley's NE, Glacier Café, and Dandelion Kitchen. Rauchfest beer brats from the Seward Coop will be featured.
It wouldn't be a celebration of beer and art without art. Attendees will enjoy musical performances by New Primitives, Butanes Soul Revue, High Strung String Band, Blue Soul Caravan, and a DJ from Harriet Brewing spinning vinyl between sets. Your artistic appetite will also be indulged with live painters, fire spinners, and glass artists. Sounds like quite a spectacle.
The brewery advises that parking will be tight.
Minneapolis Beer Fest When: 5 p.m.-9 p.m. Where: Intersection of Fourth Street and Portland Avenue South in downtown Minneapolis How Much: Tickets are $30 in advance and $40 at the door. VIP Experience tickets are $75. Tickets can be purchased at Tempo Tickets. What: If you are still standing at this point, check out the inaugural edition of this tasting event featuring hundreds of beers from local, regional, national, and international breweries. Nearly 100 breweries are on the list. Admission buys you unlimited tastings. The VIP ticket comes loaded with extras like special cask-conditioned beers, early entry, nearby reserved parking, and a VIP-only seating area.
Of course there will be music and food. Food vendors include Chef Shack, Smack Shack, 128 Café, Turkey to Go, and Buffalo Wild Wings. Music will be on two stages. Acts include White Iron Band, Jambo Joe Bones, and the 4onthefloor.
Cheers, Michael Agnew Certified Cicerone A Perfect Pint