[Image from Boxer Ramen. This week's review of the restaurant here.]
Thursday, Dec. 12
Affligem Tasting Seminar
Every time you say the name of this beer, somebody says "gesundheit" and straps on a medical mask. If they're smart, though, they hold out a glass. Bazi is basically offering a king-sized taster tray of this millennium-old abbey beer—blonde, Tripel, Dubbel and extra-special Christmas edition—then providing info on the beer that's carefully designed to make you like the beer more. Good ol' fashioned PR! But for that, you get 36 ounces of lovely, expensive, high-ABV import beer. Bazi Bierbrasserie, 1522 SE 32nd Ave., 234-8888. 7 pm. $24.
Friday, Dec. 13
St. Johns Winter Beer Fest
HOOOOO! This is the drunkest week ever! HOOOOOOOO! Anyway, big Logsdon Cerasus, Awesome Ale's Spike Driver Strong Ale, smoked pumpkin beer from Ale Industrie, stouts aged in whiskey barrels from Stone. The fest goes through Sunday. HOOOOO! Drunk! Plew's Brews, 8409 N Lombard St., 283-2243. Noon Friday-Sunday, Dec. 13-15. $5 glass, $1 taste.
Commons Brewery Second Anniversary
Commons' simple, rustic Urban Farmhouse was our anointed beer of the year in 2013—and it'll certainly have that one on tap. But for its second-anniversary celebration, the brewery is pulling out special kegs full of beers you've never seen or thought you wouldn't see again: Zoigl lager, King's Blend wild ale (not to be mistaken for the king's cup), the new chardonnay-casked Maybelle farmhouse and a sour red Ortucky Common brewed in collaboration with De Garde Brewing on the coast. Commons promises a humble spread of food to go with the quaffs, but if you show up on Dec. 12 instead, there's a potluck. The Commons Brewery, 1810 SE Stephens St., 343-5501. 5 pm. Prices vary.
Saturday, Dec. 14
Humbug Lager Fest
Oh God! More beer! Forget nutmeg and cinnamon and malty sugars and whatever they've got you brainwashed into thinking is "festive" in the "winter." Get yourself some lager, man. Good, clean lager. Or Southern German-style lager packed so full of flavor it might as well be bread. Occidental pulled together a roster: Commons, Upright, Breakside, Ayinger and others, with food from Urban German. Occidental Brewing Co., 6635 N Baltimore Ave., 719-7102. Noon-10 pm. Prices vary.
Sunday, Dec. 15
Tiki Cocktail Class
Too much beer this week, therefore: Rum! Blair Reynolds will be schooling students on the basics of rum cocktails, from an old fashioned to a buttered rum and Christmas rum punch. We're only making guesses, but you'll probably be rummy when it's over. Hale Pele, 2733 NE Broadway, 662-8454. Noon. $40.