alexandra sieh

I t's been a dry week, not only for our beautiful state, but for a lot of our palates. This summer sun is drying everything out.

Sounds like we all need a break from the rain dances and prayer circles we've got going for moisture, and a weekend downtown may be just the ticket.

So while we bask in the few drops Mother Nature's sending our way, I vote we all slip into our weekend with a good drink, close friends and a few choice beats.

JUL-IPA is here

A few years back, this now-avid beer drinker wouldn't have anything to do with a draft darker than Bud Light.

Teased by Coors fans for what they described beer-flavored water, I insisted that the taste and smell of beer just wasn't appealing. If I was going to drink it, it was going to be as mellow a brand as possible.

I didn't know what I was missing.

Luckily, my most persistent of friends dragged me to the Old C's beer tour, and my taste buds soon realized how wrong I had been.

Hello real flavor, adios to my old Bud standby.

Ambers, porters, lighter wheats. They were all delightful. But it was the IPA that really got my attention. Much to my friends' despair -- they insisted the skunk smell alone made that beer a, well, stinker (to really relish in the lame pun of it all) -- I found the flavor-filled mug delicious.

And this month, The West End Tavern is here for us IPA fans, with their JUL-IPA celebration.

It's a lineup dedicated to what they deem "the world's greatest beer." All IPA all the time, for the fourth year in a row.


These beers represent breweries across the country coming together to shock our tongues and send us on a national tour of IPA greatness.

Beating the heat with a frosty one in hand? You know where I'll be.

Info: The start of JUL-IPA at The West End Tavern, 928 Pearl St., Sunday.

Clubbing to international sounds

Of course, a simple beer at the end of the week doesn't always cut it. Sometimes you just need to bust a move -- beginner or pro-status -- with a few folks who have caught the same dance fever.

And if that's the case, the Absinthe House has got some international rhythms to bust a move to, berating you with bass so loud your ears will be ringing probably for a few days after.

Say hello to Jimmy Bell, Ricard and Cory Michael Kelly -- DJs to keep you on the dance floor for hours.

It's a mob scene in the main room, and just the place to let your mind empty out to the club sounds.

Grab a drink, get those novice moves on the floor, and enjoy the special guest lineup this Saturday.

Use your weekend wisely, my friends, and as always, be safe.

Info: Jimmy Bell, Ricard and Cory Michael Kelly at the Absinthe House, 1109 Walnut St., Saturday night.