Despite being named after a French explorer, Pere Marquette Park hosts the decidedly German downtown Milwaukee Oktoberfest on Friday, Oct. 5 and Saturday, Oct. 6. Plenty of Hofbrau beers will be ready for consumption each day from noon until 10:30 p.m., and if you get there while the first keg is still flowing on Friday, you can get a free beer. That’s right, free. There’s even a brat eating relay on Saturday. Gotta love Milwaukee.

The Great Taste of Hurling?
Sounds odd, but by hurling I’m referring to the Irish sport that looks like a mix of lacrosse and field hockey. The Milwaukee Hurling Club is hosting a beer tasting at the Irish Cultural Center (2133 W. Wisconsin Ave.) on Saturday, Oct. 6 from 5-8 p.m. The $35 ticket price ($30 in advance) gets you samples of more than 50 brews including the tasty Guinness Foreign Extra Stout (try it if you remotely like standard Guinness Stout), and beers from Wells, New Glarus, Milwaukee Brewing and more. Live music from the Tritonics serves as entertainment and food will be provided by Slim’s West and McBob’s. That’s good craic.

Happy Anniversary to Three Cellars
Congrats to Three Cellars (7133 S. 76th St.), which is celebrating six years of being one of the best places to find and sample craft beer and wine in Milwaukee. To celebrate, Three Cellars is hosting an anniversary tasting and sale on Saturday, Oct. 6 from 6-8 p.m. Mike Walters of Left Hand Brewery is the guest of honor, and he’s bringing some surprise beers with him. Also, there will be a sale on all the wine and beer in the store (there’s a lot of beer to choose from). Cost is $10 (free for Wine Club members). Reserve your spot by calling 235-3336.

Barley Pop of the Week
It’s a shame that Founders Frangelic Mountain Brown was released in July. The limited release sipper has a richness that’s ideal for a crisp fall day. I waited until the temperature dipped below 70 degrees to open the bottle I had in the fridge. Frangelic Mountain is made with hazelnut coffee and that flavor is prominent, but not overbearing. It’s rich and warming, and now I wish I had another bottle to help get me through winter.

Quick Taps
I have six bottles of Bourbon County Stout left and plan (key word “plan”) on cellaring them for at least a year.

I’d really like to get my hands on Bell’s This One Goes to 11 Ale. Let the searching begin.

Events Brewing
Friday, Oct. 5: The highly regarded Autumnal Fire is one of the Capital Brewing samples available from 4-7 p.m. at Discount Liquor Milwaukee (5031 W. Oklahoma Ave.). 

Friday, Oct. 5: St. Stefanus Belgian Blonde, Worthington’s IPA and Amber, and Pilsner Urquell samples from noon to 2 p.m. at Discount Liquor Waukesha (919 N. Barstow Ave.).

Saturday, Oct. 6: The Wisconsin Cheese Bar (1048 N. Old World Third St.) hosts one of the better beer and cheese pairings I’ve seen, matching aged cheddars with New Glarus Spotted Cow, Milwaukee Brewing Booyah and Lakefront IPA. The icing on the cake is a pairing of 40-year old cheddar with a firkin of the delicious Lakefront Bridgeburner. Consumption starts at 3 p.m. and tickets are just $25, which is a bargain.

Saturday, Oct. 6: St. Stefanus Belgian Blonde, Worthington’s IPA and Amber, and Pilsner Urquell samples from noon to 2 p.m. at Discount Liquor Milwaukee.

Saturday, Oct. 6: Esser’s Best brings beer from Cross Plains to sample from noon to 3 p.m. at Discount Liquor Waukesha.

Saturday, Oct. 6: Capital Brewing hands out samples from 3 to 6 p.m. at Discount Liquor Waukesha. 

Wendesday, Oct. 10: Tickets are still available for a Capital Brewery tasting with brewmaster Kirby Nelson at Ray’s Wine & Spirits (8930 W. North Ave.). Call 258-9821 to claim a $15 reservation.