Weekend brew round-up: StoutFest at Blue Nile, Tonka Brew Fest, and more

Usher in a new season of beer this weekend
Usher in a new season of beer this weekend
Athena Fedshon

October is officially over and with it the end of Oktoberfest celebrations and Marzen beer releases. Not to worry. This next brew season is all about the stouts and porters, the bigger bolder brothers of the beers that came before. The Russian imperials, the coffee-infused, and the chocolate-forward. What's not to love? This Saturday you can raise a glass to the start of the fall to winter transition with StoutFest at Blue Nile, our top pick event for this weekend. 

Starting at 4 p.m., the Ethiopian restaurant and bar will feature a dozen tap lines all dedicated to the stout style and available to try in flights. For $7 you get three 4 oz. pours and can choose from Surly's stouts (including this year's Darkness), selections from Southern Tier, Bell's, and some less commonly stocked ones like Weyerbacher Heresy Russian imperial stout and Moylan's Dragoon Irish dry stout. Save a little room for a gosa gosa platter.

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In keeping with our theme, tonight's After Workin' Firkin' at the Herkimer is their "Slow and Low" bourbon porter. Their Baraboo pumpkin ale will be on the nitro line as well. Get there as early as 4 p.m. for first tastes. Elsewhere, Mankato Brewery hosts their mint stout at Pub 500 in Mankato tonight, starting at 5 p.m. Dangerous Man will also be doing a special beer release tonight in honor of Dan Jensen and will be taking donations to his memorial fund

If you're going to be a little west of the Twin Cities on Saturday, plan to make a pit stop at Gale Woods Farm in Minnetrista where they'll be hosting the first annual

Tonka BrewFest

from 3 to 6. The event is being put on by the Mound-Westtonka Rotary and will showcase Minnesota breweries including Indeed, Brau Borthers, Mankato Brewery, Excelsior Brewing Co., Fulton, Lake Superior Brewing, and more. The $40 ticket will get you a commemorative glass and as many samples as you like.

In food truck and taproom match ups this weekend, Motley Crews will be at Surly's taproom tonight and Tollefson Family Pork will be there tomorrow. In addition to 2013 Darkness, the taproom will also switch over to a few new beers including the Cacao Bender and Dumpster Fire, a smoked malt IPA. 

The Red Pig & Truffle truck will be serving paninis at Harriet Brewing tonight, including their signature BLT made with a half pound of bacon. Tollefson Family Pork will be there later on Saturday.

Cajun 2 Geaux will be parked at Indeed's taproom tonight and Simply Steve's will roll up tomorrow. 

Over at 612Brew Hibachi Daruma will be on hand tonight and Little G's Pizza will be there tomorrow.

Fork in the Road will be at Fulton tonight and Lulu's Kitchen will be parked at the brewery tomorrow. 

Betty Cocina will be serving tacos outside Pour Decisions tonight only.

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