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Firkin Tasty
Firkin Fest returns to Cathedral Square Park, and does the beer look good.

Last year's Big Firkin award

One of the best beer tasting events of the summer takes place on Saturday, July 20 at Cathedral Square Park in Downtown Milwaukee. Firkin Fest gives beer lovers the chance to try the flavorful, less-carbonated brews that come out of fresh casks. The list of breweries attending is a good one, and there are plenty of firkins to sip from. Tickets are just $45 for general admission and $79 for VIP. General admission tasting lasts from 4-8 p.m.

Germantowners Rejoice

Nightlife in Germantown just got better. Von Rothenburg Bier Stube (N116 W15863 Main St.), which was once one of the better beer bars in town, celebrates a grand opening under new ownership this week. The beer starts flowing on Thursday, July 18. If you bring your own stein in on Friday, the first beer is free. On Saturday, the official grand opening day, there’s a full slate of fun, but the most important part is the tapping of a free barrel at 3 p.m. If you haven’t had enough, on Sunday liters are half-off from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Any time you head to the Bier Stube be sure to wear your lederhosen or dirndl (I had to look that up) and you get beer for half price.

Barley Pop of the Week

I still like my fair share of IPAs and big beers in the summer. But when it’s hot, I also dig a nice, refreshing session beer. I picked up some Lakefront Wheat Monkey last week and wasn’t disappointed. The wheat ale is extremely crisp and has an ABV below five percent. It’s a great grilling companion when the potent IPAs or dark stouts just don’t seem to mesh with the warm weather.

Quick Taps

Make a note that Wednesday nights at Stubby’s Gastgrub & Beer Bar (2060 N. Humboldt Ave.) are “Clean the Cellar” nights, when bargoers get a discount on some of the bigger bottles lurking in the cellar.

Dan Downes, craft beer guru at Ray's Wine & Spirits (8930 W. North Ave.), is pulling up stakes and headed to California. Cheers and good luck to Dan and the rest of the staff at one of the best places to buy craft beer in town.

Events Brewing

Tuesday, July 16: The beer dinner series continues at Erv’s Mug (130 W. Ryan Rd.). This month New Holland is the guest beer. The dinner costs $30 and runs from 5 to 8 p.m. Call 414-762-5010 for a reservation.

Wednesday, July 17: Join Central Waters at Tess (2499 N. Bartlett Ave.) for a beer dinner that starts at 6 p.m. Cost is $51 and you can reserve a spot by calling 414-964-8377.

Thursday, July 18: Rumpus Room (1030 N. Water St.) hosts the Oskar Blues Farm to Table event. Call 414-292-0100 for more information.

Friday, July 19: Try the intriguing New Glarus Strawberry Rhubarb at Discount Liquor Waukesha (919 N. Barstow Ave.) from 4 to 7 p.m.

Saturday, July 20: Wisconsin newcomer Left Coast brings a full slate of samples to Discount Liquor Waukesha from noon to 3 p.m.

Saturday, July 20: New Glarus hands out samples at Discount Liquor Milwaukee (5031 W. Oklahoma Ave.) from noon to 3 p.m.

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