In Germany, the Oktoberfest keg was tapped and steins were raised on Sept. 22.
In Eastern Iowa, we follow suit this weekend and the next, and the next, and the next.
Four beer-inspired celebrations are planned between now and Oct. 26, When the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library brings its annual international beer tasting back home to the museum. With that much beer to drink, we better hops to it.
WHEN: 9 a.m. to midnight Friday (Sept. 28); 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday (Sept. 29); 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday (Sept. 30)
WHERE: Festhalle Barn and other sites in and around Amana
FEATURES: German food, music, parade at 10 a.m. Saturday, kids’ games, contests, demonstrations, carriage rides, pet costume contest, plays, bike race, run/walk. Official keg tapping at 2 p.m. Friday.
COST: $10 for one day, $15 for 2 days
WHEN: 5 to 10 p.m. Oct. 5 and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 6
WHERE: Northside neighborhood between Jefferson and Bloomington streets from Gilbert to Linn streets
FEATURES: Friday: Live music and biergarten. Saturday: Brewfest with 500 beers from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sodafest from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Culinary Row, kids’ area, music, art vendors all day
COST: Friday: Free; Saturday: $20 (commemorative glass, eight drink tickets) to $40 (limited number of brewmaster tickets); $5 sodafest; proceeds go to the American Heart Association and the Horace Mann Elementary Smartboard Program
WHEN: 2 to 6 p.m. Oct. 13
WHERE: Benz Beverage Depot, 501 Seventh Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids
FEATURES: Homebrewed beers form CR Beer Nuts and other Iowa home-brew clubs, food and live music. Free admission and homemade sodas for designated drivers.
COST: $15 in advance, $20 at the door
WHEN: 6 to 9:30 p.m. Oct. 26
WHERE: National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, 1400 Inspiration Place SW, Cedar Rapids
FEATURES: International beers from the Czech Republic and Slovakia, Germany, United Kingdom, Belgium and elsewhere paired with hors d’oeuvres; wine and liquor tasting; non-alcoholic cider and root beer; live music; silent auction.
COST: $60 in advance; $70 at the door