There are two cracking, but very different beer events in St. Johns this weekend. From Friday to Sunday the 4th Annual St. Johns Winter Beer Fest is happening at the inimitable Plew’s Brews. They’ve lined up 12 taps of heavy duty winter ale, porter, stout and cider including HUB Abominable, 21st Amendment Fireside Chat, Double Mountain FaLaLaLaLa Winter Ale, Ninkasi 2012 Imperial Stout, and Laurelwood’s Vinter Varmer. It might not be snowing, but after a couple of those it will start to feel like a winter wonderland for sure. It’s 15 bucks to get the requisite Belgian tulip tasting glass and eight drink tickets (most 4 oz pours are a single ticket), with additional tickets available for a dollar. Also, they are taking donations for the Toys for Tots program, so bring an unwrapped toy and share the holiday spirit with a less fortunate child in the community.
Plew’s Brews, 8409 N Lombard, December 12 & 13 noon–midnight, December 14 noon-6 pm, 21 and over

If those dark and bold winter beers are too much then Occidental Brewing is hosting the 3rd Annual Humbug Lager Fest on Saturday—tag line: “All the holiday cheer without the fruitcake beer.” This is the place to sample lighter, European-style lagers from the likes of Burnside, Commons, Laurelwood, Breakside and Occidental itself, of course. German brewery Ayinger will also be represented, while Urban German Grill will be providing the sustenance (fresh and natural sausages being their specialty). Heavy or light, the choice is yours this weekend.
Occidental Brewing Company, 6635 N Baltimore, December 13, 12 noon–10 pm