Beer Fest Season Begins
It's sping, so that means it's also the start of beer fest season. Here are details about a few that are coming up on us quickly.
State Fair Park Exposition Center
Presented by yours truly (well, the Shepherd, not me personally), this is Stein & Dine's fifth year. Though the name implies beer, there's also going to be some distillers and wineries sampling their adult beverages as well as 40+ breweries, most of them local. This event attracts breweries that don't participate in a lot of fests around here, like Bofferding from Luxembourg, Finch from Chicago, Krombacher from Germany, and Unity Vibration from Michigan.
On the food front, the emphasis is on cheese and sausage from Bunzel's, Kettle Range, Usinger's, Clock Shadow, Pine River, Roth and the West Allis Cheese and Sausage Shoppe. Other food vendors include Famous Dave's, Jackson's Blue Ribbon Pub, Miller Time Pub and many more. Burgundy Ties will provide live music. The event runs 2-6 p.m., with VIP ticket holders getting in an hour earlier. Tickets are $40 for general admission or $75 for VIP.
Crafts & Drafts is run by one of the best liquor stores around, Discount Liquor. That's also why it's held directly across the street at Serb Hall. This is a charity event—also in its fifth year—that benefits the Wisconsin Ovarian Cancer Alliance, a non-profit that was founded in 2000 after an oncology nurse was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
In addition to the hundreds of beer you can try with a general admission ticket, each brewery also offers a VIB: very important beer. These limited quantity beers are available to sample with a $1 ticket. On the food side of things, two food trucks will be parked outside and attendees will get a $6 food voucher to use at them: Wicked Urban Grill and Oscar's on a Roll. Additionally, there will be free appetizers courtesy of Serb Hall. Tickets are $55 for general admission which starts at 2 p.m., and $70-$80 for VIP tickets which will get you in at noon with VIB tickets as well.
When Kohler puts on a food or drink event, they go big. That's why this event is spread out over a full weekend and at multiple locations throughout the resort. Events are ticketed individually, because you can't really have just one sampling event going all weekend long, as much as we might want that.
On Friday night, the main event is called a Salute to Swine, presented by Ney's Big Sky Meats. They'll be roasting a whole pig and preparing pork-filled foods for sampling between all the craft brewery tables. Chicago blues band The Cash Box Kings will be providing entertainment. Events start out Saturday with a 5k beer fun run through the village of Kohler with some Leinenkugel's stops along the way. There's also a craft beer pairing event, a wing sauce cooking demo with Ale Asylum, a homebrew competition, Moscow mule tasting with Ketel One, a summer grilling cooking demo with beer from Great Dane, VIP rare beer tasting, and the main Cheers to Beers tasting event in the Kohler Design Center.
On Sunday, there's a Beer Lover's Brunch in the Wisconsin Room, featuring brunch favorites made with craft beer. They always have fantastic brunch buffets, so if you're still around Sunday, you don't want to miss that. And all through the weekend, there will be a beer garden where you can relax between events. Ticket prices vary. Packages that include lodging are also available.