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Could AB InBev's takeover of SABMiller galvanize the craft beer community? Plus: the Wisconsin Craft Beer Festival and events at Draft & Vessel, The Malt Shoppe, and more.

The AB InBev takeover of SABMiller was the big news of last week. Not a surprise, but still big news. There’s been all sorts of opinios on what it means to the craft beer industry. The Financial Times had a great breakdown that is reminiscent of global maps showing the expansion of the Roman Empire in its heyday. I’m not preaching doom and gloom, and I think a merger of this size can ultimately galvanize the craft beer community. But this Time article highlights a few more insidious tactics that big beer is using to achieve the goal of world domination — note that nowhere in the article does it mention brewing better beer.

Family Fun

Beer-related events that involve the entire family are very rare (and I suppose rightly so). But Draft & Vessel (4417 N. Oakland Ave.) has fun for the kids too on Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. New Holland Family Fun Day involves having New Holland brews on tap, of course, but activities like bobbing for apples, face painting and pumpkin carving are also on the schedule. And, Kyle Bice, who paints amazing portraits with beer will be there. Shorewood is a fine place to spend a Sunday.

reDANKulous_bottle_web2Barley Pop of the Week

The latest Backstage Series beer from Founders is a doozy. reDANKulous Imperial Red IPA combines a big sticky hop punch with caramel malt backbone. The potent brew has an ABV of 9.5%, which makes it a nice warmer to ease the transition into fall.

Quick Taps

The Malt Shoppe (813 N. Mayfair Rd.) celebrates a year of business this weekend with giveaways and a cellared beer or two. Congrats.

I got a kick out of Draft Magazine’s pairing of fast food with beer.

Events Brewing

Monday, Oct. 19: Ballast Point brews take over the taps all week at Bernie’s Tap Room (351 W. Main St., Waukesha). Keep an eye on the bar’s Facebook page for rarities.

Tuesday, Oct. 20: Founders takes over the taps at Draft & Vessel at 6 p.m. and is bringing a year-old Backwoods Bastard, Oatmeal Stout on nitro and the new Spectra Trifecta.

Tuesday, Oct. 20: Story Hill BKC (5100 W. Bluemound Rd.) cracks open dozens of pumpkin beers all day. Try flights of the seasonal brews for just $7.

Tuesday, Oct. 20: New Belgium is the guest of honor at the monthly beer dinner at Erv’s Mug (130 W. Ryan Rd.). Seating runs from 5 to 8 p.m. and the event costs $40. Check out the menu.

Wednesday, Oct. 21: Ray’s Growler Gallery (8930 W. North Ave.) turns the taps over to Central Waters. Because it’s at Ray’s, you know Central Waters is going to bring some good stuff. Show up at 5 p.m. to find out.

Wednesday, Oct. 21: The Milwaukee Beer Society samples 15 different pumpkin beers from 6 to 9 p.m. at Best Place (901 W. Juneau Ave.). There are some tasty beers on the list. Try a few for just $10.

Wednesday, Oct. 21: Learn about beers from Brouwerji Bosteels during Bierklasse at Café Hollander (7677 W. State. St.). Tasting starts at 7 p.m. and costs $30. Make a reservation by emailing Bierklasse@LowlandsGroup.com.

Thursday, Oct. 22: Sample beer at the Milwaukee County Zoo (10001 W. Bluemound Rd.) from 7 to 10 p.m. during Zoo Brew. General admission tickets are $50 for zoo members and $60 for nonmembers.

Thursday, Oct. 22: Join Russ Klisch at c. 1880 (1100 S. 1st St.) for a night of Lakefront brews and tasty food. The six-course dinner, highlighted by bratwurst schnitzel paired with Lakefront Oktoberfest, starts at 6:30 p.m. and costs $65. Make a reservation by calling 414-431-9271 or emailing reservations@c1880.com.

Friday, Oct. 23: From 4 to 7 p.m., Point Brewery hands out samples at Discount Liquor Waukesha (919 N. Barstow Ave.).

Friday, Oct. 23 and Saturday, Oct. 24: The Wisconsin Craft Beer Festival takes over the Harley-Davidson Museum this weekend. It includes three tasting sessions (Friday, 4:30 to 9 p.m.; Saturday 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and 4:30 to 9 p.m.), dozens of excellent breweries and a few short beercentric classes. Tickets start at $49.99 .

Saturday, Oct. 24: Pair four beers from Potosi Brewing with four gourmet cheeses at the Uber Tap Room (1048 N. Old World Third St.) from 7 to 9 p.m. Cost is $18.

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