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This time of year is by far my favorite season for getting out of the house and grabbing a pint. The summer heat’s receding, the air’s turning crisp and there’s a general feeling of optimism and renewal floating about. Or, maybe it’s just because football season is back. Either way, there’s plenty of stuff to check out beyond the comfy cushions of your couch.

Speaking of football season, what seems more appealing? Sitting on your couch during the Red River Rivalry or cracking open a beer in the parking lot of Dallas’ Cotton Bowl before the historic Oklahoma vs. Texas shootout on Oct. 12? The latter, of course. You’ve paid your dues all summer, so cash in some much-needed getaway-time with your friends and make sure to pick up growlers of local Rahr & Sons Oktoberfest and Deep Ellum Dallas Blonde before heading to the stadium.

Not an extrovert football-going sports fan? Golf is probably more your speed. If you love beer (it would be weird if you were reading this and didn’t), then the perfect getaway beer-and-sports event is this weekend (Sept. 12 to 15) at the PGA’s BMW Championship in Lake Forest, Ill. (If you are an extrovert, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to shout, “get in the hole” as players tee off at this lush, suburban Chicago course.) While you’re there, knock back some Stella and Beck’s during the tourney, and then head out to nearby Two Brothers Brewing for its awesome Project Opus sour beers.

If you spent all your vacation time on a trip to Denver for GABF, make the most out of your stay there—GABF isn’t the only festival in town. This year, Crooked Stave plans to host What the Funk? on Oct. 11, featuring breweries that didn’t register for GABF in time. We’re talking about the likes of The Commons, Cascade, Prairie Artisan Ales, Perennial Artisan Ales, Oakshire and Ale Apothecary, which will all pour wild, sour and funky beers. The festival takes place at the Sherman Street Event Center, and you’d have to be crazy not to go.

Maybe you were one of the many beer lovers who missed out on getting tickets to GABF. Then get thee to Texas for Flying Saucer’s BeerFeast, which blitzes through the company’s Lone Star State locations on three consecutive weekends starting in Fort Worth on Oct. 12. The events feature rare beers, food trucks and live music, and all the quirky weirdness you’ve come to love about Flying Saucer.

Of course, don’t forget about special beer releases (yes, we’re in special beer release season). Wrack up frequent flyer points with trips out to Firestone Walker in Paso Robles, Calif., for the release of its oatmeal stout Velvet Merkin on Sept. 14, and then Surly in Minneapolis for Darkness Day, the annual release of its devilishly delicious imperial stout Surly Darkness, on Oct. 26.

That should keep you busy the next couple of months.


Chris Staten is DRAFT’s beer editor. Follow him on Twitter at @DRAFTbeereditor and email him at chris.staten@draftmag.com.


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