St. Paul Summer Beer Fest

For a fourth year, thousands of craft-beer lovers will descend upon the State Fairgrounds armed only with tasting glasses and an insatiable thirst for suds. Last year's fest attracted more than 80 breweries and featured live music and a silent auction. New for 2012 is a beanbag toss tournament -- because really, what beer-swilling afternoon would be complete without playing a little bags? -Michael Rietmulder

Pride kickoff events

Maybe it's the unprecedented level of attention focused on gay rights over the past year, or the fact that Twin Cities Pride is celebrating its 40th annual festival (June 23-24), but this year Pride is bigger than ever. Kicking things off early on Wednesday is an Aegis Foundation-sponsored party at the newly opened Pourhouse with Los Angeles DJ Tony Sinclair and Chicago-via-Minneapolis DJ Sheik, a familiar name for Lush and Karma regulars. Bonus: two-for-one drinks before 11 p.m. (8 p.m. Wed. $10. The Pourhouse) Also Wednesday is "Kaleidoscopic Heels," a drag revue from some local vets including Esmé Rodríguez of "Dragumany" fame and the imitable Mrs. Smith, a "well-to-do lady of a certain age." The latter is threatening to bring out the electric guitar in homage to "Purple Rain," so be forewarned. -Jahna Peloquin