For sampling local beer, Mount Horeb is the place to be this weekend. The fifth annual Thirsty Troll Brewfest will feature at least 29 breweries, most of them from the area.
It's a big event for the community, says Melissa Theisen, executive director of the city's chamber of commerce. "Attendance to the event has doubled every year since it began," she notes, "and this year, with nice weather expected, we should attract 800-1,000 people." The brewfest runs from noon-5 p.m. this Saturday, Sept. 22, at Grundahl Park. Tickets will be sold at the gate for $30.
Among the highlights: Casting a vote for your favorite brew. Three "Trolls' Choice Awards" will be bestowed upon the most popular. Last year, Brother Tim's Tripel from Arena's Lake Louie Brewing took top honors. Another highlight: watching for the various trolls who turn out for a beer, the most famous being event host Ivan the Thirsty Troll.
Expect to see local returning favorites such as Lake Louie and Middleton's Capital Brewery, as well as first-timers, among them Madison's Ale Asylum and Granite City. Both are relatively new breweries, and they weren't ready to showcase their beers at last year's festival.
As for those traveling some distance, Big Sky Brewing from Missoula, Mont. is expected to be serving its well-known Moose Drool, a fitting brew for a bunch of beer drinking troll fanatics.