Summit, Excelsior and Hess make for a boozy Week in Food

It's an all-alcohol Week in Food, with numerous beer, wine, and liquor-themed events -- most with food mixed in to keep you from having an entirely liquid diet. Instead of staying at home and depleting your own stash of booze, head to one of these events for a good cause/time/meal.

1/15 The only thing that can improve a good manicure is the addition of booze, and that's exactly what you'll get at Pimm's and Polish, hosted by the Grand Hotel Minneapolis. Manicures will set you back $15, and a Pimm's Cup cocktail is just $5 Tuesday night. Lounge in the VIP area of the SIX15 Room while enjoying the pampering effects of glittering nails and refreshing Pimm's creations courtesy of the hotel's mixologists. Visit the hotel any time between 5 and 7 p.m. to take part.

1/16 The Hess Collection of wines from Napa Valley takes over Pinstripes Wednesday night for a special dinner built around the various bottles from this vineyard. Chef Cesar Gutierrez will create five courses, and the wine's ambassador, Brian Batridge, will discuss the pairings that accompany the dishes. You'll be chomping on everything from grilled lamb chop and duck confit to a dessert of chocolatey s'mores. The cost of the meal is $60, which covers tax and tip, and reservations for the 7 p.m. meal can be made by calling 952.835.6440.

1/17 The brew masters of Summit Brewing Company will hold court at Uptown Cafeteria Thursday night for an epic fine-dining experience punctuated with the brewery's beers. This beer dinner will begin with a social hour and then move into a four-course dinner paired with five Summit brews. The courses are as follows: Goat cheese gnudi paired with Summit Winter ale; pan-seared North American king salmon paired with Summit Saga IPA; Porter pot roast paired (naturally) with Summit Great Northern Porter; and gelato and waffle paired with Summit pilsner. Tickets are $65 with tax and gratuity, and you can reserve a seat for this meal, which begins at 7 p.m., by calling 612.877.7263.

1/19 Sip local brews for a good cause Saturday night at Hops for Hunger, an event that will benefit the Southern Anoka Community Assistance food shelf. From 5 to 8 p.m. at the Uppercut Boxing Gym you can sample the beers of 10 local craft brewers, and Stanley's Bar Room will roll up with a food truck to help you line your stomach. Home brew suppliers and liquor stores will be on hand selling wares, and a silent auction will take place as well. Three local bands (Stereo Pirates, the Brandon Projekt, and Free Fallin) will provide live music. Tickets cost $25 in advance and $35 at the door, and you can buy tickets at SACA, Stanley's and all three Financial One Credit Unions.

Another beer-related option for Saturday: Excelsior Brewing Company is hosting the Arctic Fat Fever, a fat bike race on Lake Minnetonka. It's free to register your fat bike for the race, which begins at 2 p.m. and is open to any bikers with at least 3-inch-wide tires (note that no studded tires are allowed). Following the race participants and race watchers can head to the heated beer garden tent next to the brewery, where Tim Mahoney and Bob Barley will serenade you as you sip the newest Excelsior beer, Oar Lock Oat Stout. To sign up to race, click here.

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