Spring’s on its way, and so are the craft beer fests. Gather round and talk hops with other beer enthusiasts while sampling the latest seasonal brews at these festive happenings.
Winter Beer Dabbler: Minnesotans pride themselves on being hardy, and the Winter Beer Dabbler offers the perfect opportunity to prove their mettle. The annual fest is the biggest outdoor beer festival in the state, taking place on the Minnesota State Fair grounds. Sample more than 500 different offerings from over 150 local, regional and national craft breweries and cideries. Enjoy live music, sample meat and cheese and watch brewers battle it out in the American Brewer Warrior competition.
When: Saturday, Feb. 24, 2:30 p.m.–6:30 p.m.
Where: Midway & Warner Coliseum at Minnesota State Fairgrounds, 1265 Snelling Ave. N., St. Paul
Brew, Blues & BBQ: Head to Modist Brewing for an evening of craft beer, live blues and BBQ. The brewery will have a selection of specialty brews just for the event, and they’ll be joined by ZZQ Smokehouse, which will provide barbecue pulled pork and chicken. A lineup of four blues-inspired brands will play throughout the evening, including Crankshaft and the Gear Grinders and Hurricane Harold’s All Star Blues Revue.
When: Saturday, March 3, 5 p.m.–11 p.m.
Where: Modist Brewing, 505 N. 3rd St.
Utepils Fat Bike Festival: Minnesotans don’t put away their bikes for the winter — they add fat tires and ride them. Participate in bike races through three Minneapolis parks or stick around the brewery to demo fat bikes, shop local vendor booths, warm up by a campfire and enjoy marshmallows and hot chocolate, food trucks and kids’ activities.
When: Saturday, March 3, 10 a.m.–10 p.m.
Where: Utepils Brewing, 225 Thomas Ave. N.
Cost: Free to attend, registration for races is $30–$60
New Bohemia’s Big Bad Beer Fest: Over the last few years, craft beer hall New Bohemia has been stashing away some of its darkest, boldest beers. Barrel-aged beers from Clown Shoes, Founders and Central Waters are finally seeing the light of day during the Big Bad Beer Fest, where you can also find 11 other tap lines of easy-drinking beers, cool beer swag and giveaways.
When: Saturday, March 3, 11 a.m.–11 p.m.
Where: New Bohemia, 8040 Olson Memorial Hwy., Golden Valley
‘Birds of a Feather’
Two inventive Minneapolis visual artists, Dick Brewer and Al Wadzinski, have joined forces for a mixed-media exhibition featuring birds and other winged animals. The name of the exhibition has a double meaning — the two are old friends who share a similarly offbeat point of view and style. Wadzinski works with found objects that are sewn, hammered, welded or bolted together into oddly beautiful objects, proving the value that can be found in discarded, mundane materials. Brewer uses a 21,000-rpm die grinder to create abstract, gem-like images on painted and carved Plexiglas. His experimental works combine three-dimensional, bas-relief elements that play with the viewer’s eye. With the exhibition’s avian theme, the two artists bring otherworldly whimsy to the humble bird-art genre.
When: March 3–April 25. Opening reception: Saturday, March 3, 7 p.m.–10 p.m.
Where: Gallery 360, 3011 W. 50th St.
‘Excavating the Future City’
With the Minneapolis Institute of Art’s newest exhibition, one of Japan’s most prominent photographers is receiving his first U.S. museum survey. “Excavating the Future City: Naoya Hatakeyama” spans 30 years of the artist’s photographs, including a dozen of Hatakeyama’s photo series and nearly 100 works. The artist is known for his starkly beautiful large-scale images that showcase the tension between nature and human culture, capturing the force of human will on nature via Japanese cityscapes. In a series of photographs documenting the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, he also reveals the equally powerful impact of natural forces on cities. Images range from close-ups of limestone quarried by explosive blasts to bird’s-eye views of cities from above. Each tightly composed image captures the phases of creation, change and destruction over time in Japan’s contemporary urban landscapes. Over the years, Hatakeyama himself has evolved as an artist, transforming from a conceptual, detached documentarian to a participant with a point of view all his own. Hatakeyama will be the keynote speaker for the Arnold Newman Lecture on New Media and Photography Symposium (Saturday, March 3, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. at Mia; $30 for GA, $15 for members).
When: March 4–July 22.
Where: Minneapolis Institute of Art, 2400 3rd Ave. S.
Carnaval Brasileiro Masquerade Ball
Every February, the Carnaval do Brazil floods the streets of Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Vitória for a weeklong celebration of Afro-Brazilian culture—what many call the Mardi Gras of the Southern Hemisphere. In the Twin Cities, the festival is celebrated with Brazilfest MN’s Carnaval Brasileiro, the longest-running and most-attended Brazilian event in the state. More than 50 singers, drummers, samba dancers, capoeiristas (Brazilian martial artists) and artisans will transform the Cedar Culture Center into an authentic Brazilian experience. Hear music steeped in the sounds of Brazil from world music guitarist and singer Robert Everest and his 10-piece brand, Beira Mar Brasil, which will be joined by Brazilian singer and samba dancer extraordinaire, Dandara. Other performers include the 15-piece Brazilian percussion ensemble Batucada do Norte, percussion group Drumheart and Minnesota-based Brazilian martial arts group Floração Capoeira. Revelers can also get into the act by wearing masquerade masks created by a master Brazilian artist or having their face and body painted, just like they do in Rio. One thing’s for sure: This party is guaranteed to be a feast for the senses.
When: Saturday, March 3, 7 p.m. (doors at 6:30 p.m.)
Where: Cedar Cultural Center, 416 Cedar Ave. S.
Cost: $22 advance, $30 day of show
‘How to Have Fun in a Civil War’
Minnesota-based Somali playwright and performer Ifrah Mansour mined her childhood memories of the 1991 Somali Civil War for a one-act, multimedia play that explores war from the idyllic viewpoint of a 7-year-old Somali refugee girl. “How to Have Fun in a Civil War” layers poetry, puppetry, videos and multiple narratives culled from interviews of fellow Somali refugees to tell a captivating story about the horrors of war, the resilience of survivors and the healing that must take place afterward with a sense of humor and innocence. The show is part of the Guthrie Theater’s Solo Emerging Artist Celebration, which also features a new solo work by local African-American artist Antonio Duke, who embodies victims of racial violence from the mid-’50s to today in a mix of poetry and prose inspired by “The Iliad.” There will be a post-play discussion with the artists following each performance.
When: Feb. 24–March 11
Where: Guthrie Theater, 818 S. 2nd St.
‘Constance in the Darkness: A Musical in Miniature’
Disney princess culture gets an intergalactic twist in “Constance in the Darkness,” a musical journey about a mother who has gone missing and an astronomer daughter determined to find her in the furthest reaches of space. The story was written by local playwrights Michael Sommers and Josef Evans, who were lauded for another Open Eye Figure Theatre production in 2014, “Strumply Peter,” their absurdist, madcap take on a series of 19th-century German cautionary tales for children. Once again, theatrical designer Michael Sommers, who has an affinity for stage design and puppetry with a middle-European aesthetic, joins the duo. The story is told with a mix of whimsical puppetry, exuberantly arranged songs and energetic performances that are sure to be a crowd-pleaser for kids and adults alike.
When: Feb. 23–March 11 (Feb. 22 preview)
Where: Open Eye Figure Theatre, 506 E. 24th St.