Darkness Day

The lines for iPhones and boy bands have nothing on a chocolately-dark Russian Imperial stout that goes by the name Darkness. Every year, Surly Brewing’s cult-loved bottled beer first goes on sale at the (old) brewery in late October and the masses camp out the night before. Several thousand bottles (with the blood-red wax tops) are sold, food trucks feed the hungry, beer is guzzled and the head brewer’s fave metal bands bleed the eardrums. (Oct. 24, 4811 Dusharme Dr., Brooklyn Center. surlybrewing.com)


Hannibal Buress

Once just your favorite comedian’s favorite comedian — or as Chris Rock called him, “the illegitimate son of Mitch Hedberg” — Buress is now known as the comedian who took down Bill Cosby (or at least got the ball rolling). Lucky for us, Buress seems to love performing in Minneapolis. Hence, this three-night stand at the Varsity, which he plans to film for his next TV special. The Chicagoan is a master of telling it like it is — whether it’s rap commentary, weed observations or sticking it to that formerly beloved Jell-O salesman. (Sept. 16-18, 1308 SE. 4th St., Mpls. $34. varsitytheater.org)


The Haunted Basement

It’s back: the haunted house by which all other haunted houses are judged. Each year, this 13,000-square-foot “art project” beneath the Soap Factory remakes itself into an entirely new scream-athon. Luckily, these remakes are much better than your typical horror movie retread. (Looking at you, “Psycho”!) This time around, once your small group is in the basement, you’ll be pushed down two different pathways. Follow the signs to take an “easier” path or risk your sanity down a more twisted maze. There is no set time for your exit. And remember: You can always say “uncle” and all will be well again. (Sept. 24-Nov. 1. 514 SE. 2nd St., Mpls. $15-$27. soapfactory.org)



Thank you, crown prince Ludwig of Bavaria! If it weren’t for your party-hard ways, we wouldn’t be celebrating the cultural institution of German beer drinking 200 years later. Minneapolis ain’t Munich, but we have more Oktoberfests than you can shake a Hammerschlagen at. These festivities basically take over the town of New Ulm (Oct. 2-3 & 9-10), home to lager-loving Schell’s brewery. Now 50 years old, the Black Forest Inn in south Minneapolis is back with its hilarious 10 days of Oktoberfest (starting Sept. 25). The Twin Cities Oktoberfest takes over the Progress Building with rows and rows of beer-hall tables at the State Fairgrounds Oct. 9-10. For the most German-y Oktoberfest, you’ll want to check out the Gasthaus Bavarian Hunter’s shindig out in the woods near Stillwater (Sept. 18-20 and 25-27).


Zombie Pub Crawl

The ZPC finally got its Guinness world record last year with a head count of 15,458. All zombie heads still attached, too. The drunken, bloody affair is back in downtown Minneapolis with a massive block party in the Warehouse District. The 11th annual celebration (or annoyance, depending on whom you ask) will resurrect the music careers of radio stars long forgotten, including late-’90s pop-punk band Sum 41, former teen idol Aaron Carter, best/worst rapper ever Soulja Boy, plus some random member from Ace of Base. Oh, and Girl Talk will be there. (Oct. 17. Outdoor stage at 5th St. and 1st Av. N., Mpls., plus Fine Line, Mill City Nights and other bars. $16.66-$76.66. zombiepubcrawl.com)



Harvest Festival: If you didn’t get a ticket to the always-sold-out Autumn Brew Review, try this brand-new craft beer fest held by Northeast Brewers & Distillers Association. (Sept. 25-26, NorthGate Brewing, $2 wristband to drink, beers sold separately)

Margaret Cho: The in-your-face comedian is back on the road for what she’s calling “The psyCHO Tour.” Get it? (Oct. 2, Pantages, $49.50)

Fall ComiCon: The season’s biggest comic book convention attracts a lot of kids, but even more adults. And yes, middle-aged dudes are encouraged to dress up as Batman. (Oct. 10, State Fairgrounds Education Building, $8)

AC2: Friends Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen come together for an intimate conversation that is dutifully being called “Deep Talk and Shallow Tales.” (Oct. 10, State Theatre, $79-$129)

Jim Gaffigan: The master of the internal monologue is beloved in Minneapolis, hence the ambitious five-night stand in a really big theater. (Nov. 4-7, State Theatre, $49.75-$59.75)