Beer lovers have plenty to keep them busy from this Saturday to April 20. Milwaukee Beer Week is a full slate of suds-related activities, and there really isn’t one day during the event where there isn’t something worth doing. Browse the full list of activities at the Milwaukee Beer Week site and try to plan your calendar accordingly. I’ve listed some highlights below, but they are just the tip of the beer iceberg. There are dozens of more worthy events going on, but I frankly didn’t have the time to write about them all (and no one wants to read a 2,000-word blog).
Saturday, April 13: Milwaukee Beer Week starts with a bang. Firkin tappings at bars all over town signal the start of the barley festivities. Firkin kickoff is a great way to get the beer flowing.
Sunday, April 14: Expect a rare beer or two to be available at Discount Liquor’s Crafts & Drafts fest at Serb Hall (5101 W. Oklahoma Ave.) from 2 to 6 p.m. More than 60 breweries will be there. Cost at the door is $45 for general admission and $65 for VIP. It’s probably a good idea to get tickets before you get there.
Monday, April 15: Five Central Waters beers hit the tap lines at Sugar Maple (441 E. Lincoln Ave.) starting at 6 p.m., but it’s just two of those taps that make this event one of the best on the Beer Week calendar. Sugar Maple will be pouring both the 1414 and 15th Anniversary imperial stouts. The brews are extremely rare, and having a chance to sample both side by side is a Beer Week miracle. Get there early because I’m guessing both barrels will go quickly.
Wednesday, April 17: Central Waters fans should have a good Beer Week. Burnhearts (2599 S. Logan Ave.) turns over 16 tap lines to Central Waters at 6 p.m. Look for Y2K, Exodus, Rye Barrel Stout and a surprise or two. I’ve been to a few beer events at Burnhearts and have never been disappointed. Those folks in Bay View know what they’re doing.
Thursday, April 18: Beer Week isn’t complete without at least one stop at Romans’ Pub (3475 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.). From 6 to 10 p.m. Mike Romans is raiding his cellar and tapping a 2012 Bourbon County Stout and a 2012 Bourbon County Coffee Stout. He’ll also be tapping two rare Fulton & Wood series beers. The fun starts at 6 p.m.
Thursday, April 18: The menu at the New Glarus Beer Dinner at Stubby’s Gastrogrub & Beer Bar (2060 N. Humboldt Ave.) is a good one. But what sets this beer dinner apart is the fact that New Glarus owner, and craft beer pioneer, Deb Carey will be there to answer questions and mingle. The cost is $75 and the dinner starts at 7 p.m. Call 414-763-6324 to make a reservation.
Thursday, April 18: Boone & Crockett (2151 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.) will use La Trappe Oak-Aged Quadrupel in cocktail recipes and have limited release La Trappe beers on tap from 6 to 9 p.m. Boone & Crockett is a great bar, and I’m sure the cocktails will be done right.
Friday, April 19: A barrel of the rare (and delicious) Founders KBS is being tapped at Palm Tavern (2989 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.) at 7 p.m. Very few kegs of KBS show up in town each year, so this is a special night.
Saturday, April 20: Rumpus Room (1030 N. Water St.) ends Milwaukee Beer Fest the way it started, with a day full of firkin tappings. Fresh and tasty firkins will be tapped all day.
My friend John and I stood in line at Ray’s Wine & Spirits with 40 or 50 others last Saturday to bottles of Founders KBS. I was lucky enough to be one of the last to get the prized barrel-aged stout. The beer, which was limited to just two bottles per customer, sold out in just eight minutes.
Thursday, April 18 might just be the best day of Milwaukee Beer Week.
Enjoy the week of barley festivities, but be careful, those high ABV beers sneak up on you.