A barrel-aged beer-a-thon, plus tap take-overs and tastings. Beer -- it's what's for dinner.

A Big Day at Champps
Champps (1240 S. Moorland Rd., Brookfield) doesn’t mess around when it comes to beer events, and the bar’s anniversary party, which starts on Saturday Dec. 3 at noon, might be the biggest yet. I’m not sure I’ve seen more quality barrel-aged brews in one place with the exception of FoBAB.

I don’t have room to list all of the options, but some of the barrel-aged highlights are Founders KBS and Lizard of Koz, Bell’s Barrel-Aged Jupiter Imperial Brown Ale, Oskar Blues Barrel-Aged Ten FIDY, Central Waters Cassian Sunset, and the new Raised Grain Barrel One Saison.

But wait, there’s more for the hopheads. Toppling Goliath is bringing beauties like King Sue Imperial IPA, Sosus Imperial IPA and Hopsmack! Imperial IPA. And, Champps will be pouring Dogfish Head 120-Minute IPA.

Owner Tony Lewanovich has done an outstanding job of curating a pretty amazing list of beers at Champps. The anniversary party is a chance for us all to benefit.


Barley Pop of the Week
Last week was the big release of Goose Island Bourbon County stouts. I tried the standard version and the coffee and both were very good. But I wanted to offer up an option for those who didn’t score a bottle or two. Avery Vanilla Bean Stout is aged in bourbon barrels, which provides a slight kick that isn’t too boozy. The vanilla flavor isn’t too strong either, which is a good thing. It’s a delicious well-balanced beer that should satisfy your barrel-aged stout winter craving.


Quick Taps
During the month of December, if you bring a non-perishable food item to Third Space Brewing (1505 W. St. Paul Ave.), you get a free sample pour. Beer altruism is a great thing.

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CraftBeer.com is giving you a chance to vote for your favorite beer bar in Wisconsin. Make your pick until December 31.

Aaron Goldfarb wrote a great piece for Punch called “When Did Rarity Start to Equal Greatness in Beer?” It’s an insightful look at what determines how we judge really good beers.


Events Brewing
Monday, Nov. 28: Get a chance to try 2015 Central Waters Black Gold at Stubby’s (2060 N. Humboldt Ave.). The bourbon barrel stout is a pretty amazing brew and one that’s extremely hard to find. It goes on tap at 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Nov. 29: Good City Brewing (2108 N. Farwell Ave.) is donating all tips from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. to Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin. Have a beer or two and tip generously.

Wednesday, Nov. 30: Coronado Brewing is taking over the taps at Ray’s Growler Gallery (8930 W. North Ave., Wauwatosa) starting at 5 p.m.

Wednesday, Nov. 30: Sours are the focus of the weekly Milwaukee Beer Society Tasting at Best Place (901 W. Juneau Ave.). The cost is $15, and the tasting starts at 6 p.m. See the full list of beers.

Thursday, Dec. 1: Central Waters is bringing samples of their amazing barrel-aged beers to The Malt Shoppe (813 N. Mayfair Rd.) from 5 to 7 p.m.

Thursday, Dec. 1: Sample beers from Guinness at Discount Liquor Milwaukee (5031 W. Oklahoma Ave.) from 4 to 6 p.m.

Thursday, Dec. 1: Taste beers from Biloba Brewing at the Brewtanical Series at Boerner Botanical Gardens (9400 Boerner Dr., Hales Corners). Tickets are $15 for the general public and $10 for members.

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Friday, Dec. 2: Try New Glarus Spotted Cow Grand Cru and other New Glarus beers at Discount Liquor Waukesha (919 N. Barstow Ave.) from 4 to 7 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 2: Central Waters is handing out samples of several beers, including Bourbon Barrel Stout, at Discount Liquor Milwaukee from 4 to 7 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 2: The Brass Tap (7808 W. Layton Ave.) is pouring a full list of winter and holiday beers at 5 p.m. Among the highlights – Lakefront Barrel-Aged Spiced Winter Lager, Deschutes Jubelale Strong Ale and Stone Xocoveza Mocha Stout.

Saturday, Dec. 3: Romans’ Pub (3475 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.) hosts its Christmas party and 38th anniversary party at 6 p.m. You can bet that Mike Romans will have a few treats on tap like he does every normal day.

Saturday, Dec. 3: Central Waters comes to Discount Liquor Waukesha from noon to 3 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 3: New Glarus hands out samples at Discount Liquor Milwaukee from noon to 3 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 3: “Not what I thought” beers are the subject of the weekly sampling at both Three Cellars locations (7133 S. 76th St., Franklin; and N72 W13400 Lund Lane, Menomonee Falls) from 1 to 4 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 4: Raised Grain Brewing (2244 W. Bluemound Rd., Waukesha) releases its first barrel-aged beer at 11:30 a.m. Barrel One Saison is aged in Northern Distilling Vanguard whiskey barrels for more than five months. Customers who try the new brew get a special 10-ounce glass to take home. There isn’t much of it available, so try some while it lasts.