Thursday-Sunday at Lincoln and Leland; free
We're on board for any festival that celebrates its opening by tapping a keg of beer. At this traditional German fest, you can enjoy authentic food and music, including shows by the Polkaholics and Paloma. Oh, and beer. Lots of beer.
People Under the Stairs (DJ set)
9 p.m. Friday at darkroom; $10
If there's one thing that Thes One and Double K (together known as People Under the Stairs) know, it's records. Take a listen to any one of their last seven albums and not only will you find a soundtrack to your next summer BBQ, but you'll find a treasure trove's worth of samples, enough to keep you guessing for at least the next year. Depending on how you look at it, sifting through dusty records for that perfect break can seem a little archaic, but for PUTS it's been the heartbeat of their music for well over a decade now. Thes and Double have always been vocal about their love for vinyl, and if you've ever wanted a glimpse of how deep their rotation can get you might want to swing by the darkroom to check this one out. Admission is free before 9 p.m.
Friday-Saturday at Aragon Ballroom; $45-$50
Beer aficionados and casual drinkers alike won't want to miss this suds celebration. Choose from three different sessions (6:30 p.m. Friday; 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Saturday) where you can sample more than 200 brews from local vendors like Goose Island, Two Brothers and Half Acre along with dozens of other national labels. You can also pair your pints with some local food options and vote for your favorite. See the list of brewers here.
Do Division Street Fest
Saturday-Sunday on Division (between Ashland and Leavitt); $5
There aren't many more happening streets in town than Division, and this 10-block fest shows off the best, with local vendors, food, music and more. Live music is booked by the Empty Bottle and Subterranean runs all day, headlined by the Hood Internet, Pelican and YACHT (see the full lineup). There is also a Family Fun Fest area with live performances, a bounce house and face painting.
57th Street Art Fair
Saturday-Sunday at 57th and Kimbark Avenue; free
Hyde Park kicks off the season with this 63rd annual event, which features glass, jewelry, leather, photography, printmaking, painting, sculpture, wood, ceramics and even fiber art. Of note is the special Art Buying Boot Camp, where first-timers can learn about finding the best price for a piece, figuring out what size fits their space, and how to "get creative" on a small budget.