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Details On Two Beer Fests, Tactical Tasting, Stone Brewing Co. Events And More Beer Quick Hits

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Lots of Brews News and Brews Clues to drink in after the jump.

For starters, Flying Saucer on the Lake has announced the lineup for its spring beer festival as well as an opportunity to taste Brewdog Tactical Nuclear Penguin. There's a beer festival a-brewin' in Plano. The Common Table is tapping 11 Stone Brewing Co. beers Saturday, and Flying Saucer on the Lake will offer a Stone beer dinner the following day. Deep Ellum Brewing Company will be pouring at Kettle Art Saturday. The Ginger Man has a few intriguing IPA, Dogfish Head and Samuel Adams events coming up at its three area locations. And the Libertine Bar is offering a vegan beer dinner next week that has already sold out.

So open the calendar on your smartphone or cubicle wall, pop the top of something sessionable and plan your next few weeks of drinking.

This Saturday offers several options for beer lovers. Starting things off at 11 a.m., The Common Table will tap 11 Stone Brewing Co. beers including a few making their Texas debuts, according to manager Jeff Fryman, and will fire up the Randall device to run Stone Smoked Porter through vanilla beans soaked in Knob Creek Bourbon, which sounds like a phenomenal idea. The Ginger Man Fort Worth offers an IPA tasting at 3 p.m. that day. The website recommends reservations, though it offers no details on price or which beers are available. Perhaps they'll include new Ginger Man IPA offerings Dogfish Head Aprihop (which we tried recently and enjoyed quite a bit more than we expected to -- the apricot flavor is very subtle and it's considerably dryer than you'd expect) and (512) Black IPA. And Deep Ellum Brewing Company will pour offerings including Double Brown Stout and, possibly, DP Dubbel from 6-10 p.m. at Kettle Art Gallery as part of the Deep Ellum Art Crawl.

Sunday at 5 p.m. is a Stone dinner at Flying Saucer on the Lake. Tickets are $45 for U.F.O. Club cardholders and $50 for others. The menu:

Stone Pale Ale Pancakes will be served alongside the actual Stone Pale Ale; quiche, made with ham, portabella mushrooms and spinach, will be the second course of the evening, served with Highway 78 Scotch Ale; the third course will consist of Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale served with pulled pork and coleslaw sliders; the fourth course will be special surf 'n' turf kebabs served alongside the 2008 Stone Imperial Russian Stout; and the dinner will finish with Stone Smoked Porter and homemade cookies served with smoked porter ice cream.

DallasVegan will hold a vegan beer dinner at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Libertine Bar, and it makes us reconsider our preconception that vegans are a bunch of joyless whiners who eat nothing but flavorless fake meat and fake cheese made from beans or whatever. In fact, the menu (on the next page) sounds quite tasty. And this site proves that vegans aren't too busy planning PETA protests to enjoy a good beer now and then.

On Monday, April 25, Flying Saucer on the Lake offers limited tastings of Brewdog Tactical Nuclear Penguin, once the strongest beer in the world at 32 percent ABV, at $30 per 2-ounce pour.

Ginger Man Plano will feature Samuel Adams in a beer and cheese tasting 3 p.m. Sunday, May 1, and a "Dogfish Connoisseur Tasting" at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 19.

The Plano Centre will host the North Texas Beer Festival May 13-15, and features a $119 VIP ExBEERience (groan) aboard the Meet & Greet Brews Cruise catamaran Friday, homebrewing workshops, speakers and more. Entrance Saturday is $30 and includes a dozen 2-ounce beer samples. Sunday features golf if you're not too hungover.

And Flying Saucer on the Lake has set the lineup for the Spring Beer Festival May 7. That, along with the Libertine Vegan Beer Dinner menu, is on the next page.

Flying Saucer on the Lake Spring Beer Fest Saturday, May 9

Texas Tent
(512) Black IPA
Rahr Bourbon Winter Warmer
Shiner Ruby Redbird
Saint Arnold Farmer Brown

Captain's Picks Tent
Avery Collaboration
Saint Arnold Divine Reserve 10
Great Divide Espresso Oak Aged Yeti
Ranger Creek La Bestia Aimable

East Coast Tent
Brooklyn East India Pale Ale
Dogfish Head Immort Ale
Samuel Adams Rustic Saison
Ommegang Witte

West Coast Tent
Lagunitas Hairy Eyeball
North Coast Scrimshaw Pilsner
Stone Double Bastard
Sierra Ovila Abbey Ale

Out Of This World Tent
Monk's Cafe
Kulmbacher Eisbock
Maredsous Triple
BrewDog Hardcore IPA

Full Pour Tent
Boulevard Tom's Bock
Crispin Cider

Special tappings to be announced throughout the day via Twitter: Stone 78, 512 Double Pecan Porter, Avery Mephistophiles, Ommegang Gnomegang

Libertine Bar Vegan Beer Dinner Menu

1. Duo of soup: Spicy Tequila Gazpacho and Butternut Squash Paired with Deschutes Red Chair North West Pale ale. Red Chair's unusually complex grail bill of seven malts gives it a great body and a good base yet stays a classic American hop foward pale with a nice cirtus and grapefruit nose. It will play nicely with both soups, enhancing the spice of the spicy gazpacho and cutting some of the richness of the butternut squash.

2. Pine Nut "Goat Cheese" w/ Beet Ravioli and Balsamic and Black Garlic Reduction paired with Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale. Samuel Smith is famous for its brown ales and stouts, the nut brown being one of their most well loved exports. The nutty toasted flavors of the nut brown will pair nicely with the earthy flavors that we will encounter in the beet and goat cheeze ravioli without dominating the body and texture.

3. Wild Mushroom and Fiddle Head Fern Stroganoff paired with Unibroue Don De Dieu Triple Wheat Ale. The high amout of fruit estery flavors found in don de dieu will add an extra level of complexity to the natural flavors of the wild musrooms. The lightly spicy finish and high gravity will match the finish of the dish well in both flavor and intensity.

4. Chile Rellenos stuffed w/ Quinoa, Lentils, and Sweet Potato paired with Great Divide Colette Farmhouse Ale. The sweet yeast and fruit start of Collette sets it apart from most traditional saisons as does its slightly muted hop presence and lighter body. These qualities make it perfectly suited to a spicy chile forward dish. The sweetness will help tame the sharper flavors brought in by the chile while the spices within the beer will help tie the pairing together. The body and faintly tart finish will halp contrast the sweeter richer flavors introduced by the sweet potato and lentils.

5. Vegan Cheesecake w/ Macerated Berries paired with North Coast Old Rasputin Imperial Sout. The intensity of the berries and the richness of the cheesecake call for a pairing with a style that is both flavorful and substantial enough in body to match. The Imperial stout carries excelelnt coffe chocolate and roasted flavors with will harmonize with the dreamy richness of the cheese cake and help highlight the tart sweetness of the macerated berries.

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