Take a Road Trip for Beer to the Midwest this year
The brutal winter of 2010 brought a succession of freezing snowstorms to the Upper Midwest of the United States, paralyzing highways, closing schools and most likely bringing on some severe cases of cabin fever.
But that snow will melt, and what better way to celebrate the rebirth of spring than planning some tasty road trips to the region’s many upcoming beer festivals. Here’s a look at a few of them.
April 25: The seventh annual Between the Bluffs Beer, Wine & Cheese festival from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Southside Oktoberfest Grounds in La Crosse, Wisconsin. More than 25 breweries will offer samples, and the band Switchback is scheduled to perform.
May 17: The 18th annual Wisconsin Micro-Brewers Beer Fest from 1 to 6 p.m. at the Calumet County Fairgrounds in Chilton, Wisconsin. At least 25 Wisconsin breweries have signed up. Music will be provided by the Jerry Shneider Band and Copper Box.
May 28-30: The second annual Kohler Festival of Beer over three days at The American Club and the Inn in Kohler, Wisc. Besides beer tastings, the festival will offer cooking with beer demonstrations, a golf tournament and a home-brewer competition. Overnight accommodations are available.
June 5: Beer Barons’ World of Beer Festival from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Schwabenhof Pavilion in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. About 50 breweries were represented in at the 2009 festival; the 2010 list is still being set.
June 12: The Great Northern Beer Festival from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Hi-Pines Campground in Eagle River, Wisconsin. More than 25 Midwest microbreweries are scheduled to be there.
June 20: The St. Paul Summer Beer Fest from 1 to 5 p.m. at Midway Stadium in St. Paul, Minnesota. Organizers expect more than 60 brewers to attend.
July 31: Sixth annual Brewfest from 1 to 5 p.m. at Torpy Park in Minnocqua, Wisconsin. Sponsored by the Lac du Flambeau Lions Club, the festival expects more than 25 breweries. All proceeds will benefit local charities.
Aug. 14: Great Taste of the Midwest from 1 to 6 p.m. at Olin-Turville Park in Madison, Wisc. Organizers claim that this is the second-longest running craft beer festival in the U.S. It’s certainly one of the biggest. More than 100 microbreweries and brew pubs will pour samples.
Sept. 11: The eighth annual Thirsty Troll Brewfest at Grundahl Park in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin. Billed as the “Troll Capital of the World,” Mount Horeb’s beer festival featured about two dozen 20 breweries in 2009.
Sept. 18: The sixth annual Great Lakes Brew Fest at the Racine Festival Park in Racine, Wisconsin. Nearly 100 breweries are expected to attend, and organizers plan to extend the festival to two days in 2010.
Oct. 2: The Autumn Brew Review at the Old Grain Brewery in Minneapolis, Minnesota, is sponsored by the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild. More than 60 breweries will be there.
Oct. 16: Wisconsin Dells on Tap , part of the Autumn Harvest Fest in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, features an array of offerings from Wisconsin brewers. Between tastings, be sure to check out the National Mustard Museum.
Many of these beer festivals sell tickets only in advance, so before your road trip, be sure you have them. Check the links to find out when tickets go on sale and don’t hesitate – sell outs can happen quickly.
Remember to drink responsibly. Cheers!