Tapping a beer (copy)

Amanda Thuss of Egg Harbor Brewery taps a glass of Shipwrecked during Dells on Tap 2014.

Craft brewing takes center stage in Wisconsin Dells the weekend of Oct. 13-14 when the 19th-annual Dells on Tap takes place in the parking lot next to the Dells Municipal Building and JustAgame Fieldhouse.

The beer-tasting event “honors Wisconsin’s proud brewing history,” according to the event’s web page at www.wisdells.com, and more than 50 craft brewers from across the state will be on hand to fill the special commemorative mugs that accompany a ticket to the afternoon-long event.

After almost 20 years, Dells on Tap will appear this year without its slightly older sister, Autumn Harvest Fest. The Wisconsin Dells Visitor and Convention Bureau decided earlier this year to discontinue the latter festival in light of the increasing number of autumn-themed attractions now available across the region as well as Dells on Tap’s increasing popularity.

“Twenty years ago, Autumnfest was there to fill a void,” said Dells Festivals manager Jenifer Dobbs. “There weren’t as many pumpkin patches, corn mazes or a petting zoos throughout the region the way they are today, and with Autumnfest we were giving the community and visitors something that wasn’t here otherwise.”

Many of the family-friendly additions to the second annual Kilbourn City Live Music and Arts Festival reflect the Bureau’s effort to keep the family activities going for the fall season, according to Jenifer Dobbs, the Bureau’s Festivals Manager.

The Friends of the Kilbourn Public Library will hold their annual fall book sale Oct. 14, as usual, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The year’s final book sale will include a “special bag deal: $2 for a bag full of great books and media,” according to the library web site.

Across town, Dells on Tap’s main event will again take a place this year under the big festival tents from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 14. The increasingly popular Dells Craft Beer Walk will kick off the weekend the evening of Oct. 13, with beer-tasting available at a dozen local restaurants, taverns and businesses across the downtown area.

Dells on Tap’s annual 5-kilometer “Race to the Taps” takes place the next morning at 9, followed by a Bag-Toss tournament at 11.

General admission tickets for Dells on Tap are $35 in advance and $50 the day of the event, and VIP tickets are $60 in advance and $75 the day of the event.

A VIP Admission pass to Dells on Tap will allow entry to the beer-tasting area an hour early at noon that day, and the event gets underway for everyone at 1 p.m.

Anyone wishing to pick up their ticket and commemorative beer mug, which has been changed from glass to high-quality acrylic for safety reasons, for either VIP or general admission ahead of time can do so between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. that day.

The glass mugs “are not so easy to clean up when accidents happen,” the Dells on Tap web page said. “In order to keep our city clean and visitors safe, we are making the switch to a high-quality acrylic mug for the festival grounds.”

Tickets to the Craft Beer Walk are $15 in advance or $25 the day of the event, which lasts from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Advance tickets for both events can be purchased online at the Dells on Tap page at www.wisdells.com, and anyone interested in registering for the bag-toss tournament and 5K run also can do so at links also located there.

Follow Ed Legge on Twitter @DellsEd. Contact him at 608-432-6591.