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St. Louis Microfest ( certainly lives up to its name — what, with brews from all over the world ready for the pouring and sampling — but this party is anything but micro-sized, with cooking demonstrations, live music, specialty sodas and the silly Brewers Olympics all happening throughout the weekend (Friday through Sunday, April 30 through May 2). But first things first: the beer. Upon arrival at the upper Muny parking lot in Forest Park (Highway 40 and Hampton Avenue), guests are provided with a tasting glass to sip and sample to their hearts' content (upgrade to a pilsner glass for $10). The Friday-night tasting session (from 7 to 10 p.m.) focuses on international brews; on Saturday afternoon (from noon to 4 p.m.) North American craft beers are served. Then, on Saturday night (from 6 to 9 p.m.) and Sunday (from 1 to 5 p.m.), both international and domestic beers are in the house (or the parking lot, as it were). Plus, brew masters from all sorts of beer operations show off their stuff in the demo tent: Paul DeVries from Goose Island and Brian Owens from O'Fallon Brewery both drop by on Saturday, and they're just two of many scheduled demonstrators. This tent welcomes chefs as well, including Jamie Manley from L'École Culinaire, who is scheduled for Friday night. Tickets to each session of Microfest, which includes the beer sampling and admission to the demo tent, cost $27 to $42 ($10 for designated drivers), and proceeds benefit Lift for Life Gym, which provides after-school programs for kids.
April 30-May 2, 2010

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