Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, Missouri
The golden goods at Madison’s craft beer festival, this Friday through May 13

Froth at the Mouth

Craft beer and Cinco de Mayo. Is there a more sure-fire formula for a celebratory weekend? Head for Madison, Wisconsin on Friday and you’ll find yourself in the epicenter of a craft brew bonanza: Read on for highlights:

  • Madison Craft Beer Week runs through May 13, but the Kick-Off Celebration and Cask Ale Festival happens this Saturday, May 5 from 2 to 6 p.m. at Pooley’s (5441 High Crossing Blvd., 608-242-1888, pooleysmadison.com). Savor up to a dozen cask ales while Classical Revolution Madison, a brass quintet, performs traditional German drinking songs and polkas. Endless sampling is $30 or pay as you go —half pints for $4 and full pints for $5.
  • Want to celebrate Cinco de Mayo? Stop at Old Chicago (7202 Mineral Point Rd., 608-827-0033, oldchicago.com/madison), which will be serving a variety of Mexican microbrews. Other Saturday highlights include the Tour de Danes Beer Bus, from 1 to 5 p.m.; $30. The luxury coach departs from 123 East Doty Street for a tour of Madison’s four Great Dane Pubs, hosted by Great Dane Head Brewer Eric Brusewitz. Beer and lunch are included. For information, call 608-284-0000.
  • On Sunday, opportunities to imbibe include the Merchant Six Point Brewery Dinner at 7 p.m. at Merchant (121 S. Pinckney St.; 608-259-9799, merchantmadison.com). Each of the feast’s four courses is inspired and paired with a different brew from the Brooklyn-based Six Point Brewery. $45 per person; $80 for two. Also on Sunday: The chance to sample some rare big beers, as Brasserie V (1923 Monroe St.; 608-255-8500, brasseriev.com) offers flights of hard-to-find quaffs from the Belgium Brewery Malheur and the unusual “sour” beer, Blue Sunday. Tastings run from 3 to 7 p.m.

GO Madison Craft Beer Week in Madison, Wisconsin. 800-373-6376, madbeerweek.com.

Where to stay: Arbor House (3402 Monroe St.; 608-238-2981, arbor-house.com) is located across the street from the University of Wisconsin Arboretum and offers eight eco-friendly guest rooms; weekend rates from $150 to $230 nightly. The Hotel Ruby Marie (524 E. Wilson St.; 877-690-7829, rubymarie.com) is Madison’s oldest operating hotel and offers 15 guest rooms, easy access to downtown, and a German restaurant on the property; rates range from $120 to $190 nightly.

Where to eat: The award-winning farm-to-table Harvest (21 N. Pinckney St.; 608-255-6075, harvest-restaurant.com) hosts a six-course asparagus-themed dinner ($65) on Sunday, May 6; dishes include tempura asparagus roll and a lemon custard tart with an asparagus crust. Fresco (227 State St.; 608-663-7374, frescomadison.com) offers modern fine dining on the roof of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art and panoramic views of the Capitol and State Street.