This weekend, the usual “Chug! Chug!” anthems of downtown partiers should give way to something more refined. At first, anyway. That’s because two big beer festivals will hit town, and sipping microbrews is actually a much quicker way to get blitzed, thanks to their higher alcohol content. The partying starts at 5 p.m. with an Oktoberfest keg-tapping ceremony at Washington Square Park at Crown Center (2450 Grand), followed by fireworks and music from Pros’t and Brave Combo. Admission costs $5 for boozy German heritage appreciation, including acitivities such as pig racing and pumpkin decorating. The fest runs until 11 tonight, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and from 11 a.m to 7 p.m. Sunday.Chase down tonight’s hangover with the second-annual KC Beerfest, held this year in the Power & Light District (1100 Walnut) from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday. For $25 bucks, you get a commemorative beer glass and all-you-can-taste access to 70 mostly boutique craft brands ranging from Avery to Xingu. The best buzz will likely come from Beerfest’s homegrown favorites — O’Fallon, Weston Brewing Company, Schlafly and Boulevard. Also, get heady brew-it-yourself tips from some brew masters in attendance. The best toast? “Oompah!” — a German musical slang term that, after a few beers, becomes the perfect way to say cheers. For more information, see and

Sat., Sept. 27, 1-5 p.m., 2008