Star Wars cantina

Several Madison Craft Beer Week venues are turning themselves into the Mos Eisley cantina Monday for "Star Wars"-themed events celebrating May the Fourth.

The first functional weekday of Madison Craft Beer Week has arrived, and the events barely slow down from the opening weekend's torrid pace. 

Here are a few highlights from today's events:

May the Fourth: Several venues are going with a theme of Wookiees, stormtroopers and The Force in events to honor the unofficial "Star Wars" holiday. The Malt House, 2609 E. Washington Ave., will be screening the fan film "Star Wars Uncut" on the patio while encouraging costumes and pouring a host of space-themed beers. It's also a welcome party for a newcomer to Wisconsin in Chicago-based Metropolitan Brewing, which brings four of its signature lagers and a chance to meet key brewery staff. (They're big "Star Wars" fans, too.) Craftsman Table & Tap, 6712 Frank Lloyd Wright Ave. in Middleton, is hosting a Karben4 tap takeover with a May the Fourth theme. Sprecher's Restaurant and Pub, 1262 John Q. Hammons Drive, pits the Jedi (Hefe Weiss) vs. The Dark Side (Black Bavarian) with discount pints. At The Tipsy Cow, 102 King St., there's "Star Wars" trivia and a costume contest paired with a tap takeover by Colorado's Left Hand Brewing.

Feelin' spendy? The highest-end event of Beer Week features a five-course dinner at the award-winning Forequarter paired with extraordinarily rare lambic-style beers from Madison’s nascent Funk Factory Geuzeria. If you balk at the $150 ticket price (that's not a typo), consider that so far Funk Factory's beers have primarily been available in bottle releases on a single day in Central Wisconsin. To reserve a spot, call 608-609-4717. 5-10 p.m. 708 E. Johnson St.

Euro challenge: Two homebrew clubs, the Wort Hogs of Sun Prairie and the Bluff Hoppers of Sauk City, face off against commercial breweries from Europe in this event co-hosted by Monroe Street neighbors Brasserie V and the Wine and Hop Shop. There'll be two homebrew versions and one pro version of four classic European styles: ESB, maibock, wee heavy Scotch ale and Belgian golden strong ale. For $30 you get pours of each of the 12 beers, as well as a tasting glass, an order of frites at Brasserie V -- and a vote for your favorite beer of the night. 6-9 p.m.

There's much more going on; check out today's full schedule here. Some of the best events require a little planning; check out the Beer Baron's overview of Beer Week events here

Look for the Beer Baron's preview of the day's top Madison Craft Beer Week events each morning at madison.com during Beer Week, May 1-11. Contact Chris Drosner at cdrosner@madison.com or follow on Twitter @WSJbeerbaron.

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Chris Drosner writes the Beer Baron column for the Wisconsin State Journal.