We pick three

Shamrock shuffle, Outdoor brewery tour and a virtual book reading make for an eventful weekend

More stories from Amira Lunderville


Photo by Hailey Thorsen

Graphic by Hailey Thorsen

“We Pick Three” is a rotating column where Spectator writers pick their top three upcoming events in Eau Claire and the Chippewa Valley.

Outdoor Brewery Tour

The Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company does regular outdoor tours of their brewery seven days a week. This weekend is no exception.

Due to COVID-19, the tours have been completely moved to an outdoor event instead of the indoor/outdoor walkthrough.

According to their website, no one is currently allowed inside the brewery due to COVID-19 concerns and guidelines.

As of Oct. 8, 2020, the brewery is restricted to 25% of its maximum capacity in the Leinie Lodge, so there may be a wait to re-enter the lodge after the tour.

“You will get the opportunity to see our 153-year-old grounds and buildings, learning and experiencing the history of Leinenkugel’s beers,” the website said.

Each tour is $10.34 and includes five, five-ounce samples of a variety of flavored beers.

There are slots available every day for guests to sign up for the tour. The times range from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The slots come on a first-come, first-serve basis. Guests can sign up here.

Walk-in tours are welcome, but there is no guarantee for space due to limited slots.

The tour is for everyone, but guests under 21 cannot participate in the tastings of the alcohol.

For more information, call 888-534-6437 during normal business hours or go to the event page on the website.

 Shamrock Shuffle

Celebrating St. Patty’s Day will be different this year because of the pandemic, but the annual Shamrock Shuffle is still happening, only virtually.

Brittany Wold, the fitness coordinator of recreation and sport operations, said the event has typically been in person, and participants would start and end at McPhee Center on upper campus.

The event has been going on for over 20 years, Wold said.

In addition to the 5K, they typically host a 1K kids fun run and a 1K indoor toddler run for children two and under, Wold said.

There have been typically over 900 registrants, which requires about 100 volunteers to help run the event, Wold said. Student organizations and sports clubs usually get involved in the preparation of and during the event.

“They help with everything from stuffing race packets to race packet pick up to cheering on runners out on the course,” Wold said. “It’s an amazing team effort.”

This year, the 5K will be held virtually and registrants will receive a printable race bib, Wold said. Instead of receiving a t-shirt, each registration is an entry into a drawing for Scheels gift cards.

According to their website, if they have under 100 registrations, they will draw $25 gift cards, whereas if they have over 100 registrations, they will be drawing $50 gift cards.

In order to participate, people will have to print their race bib and decide which day and time within March 13 and 20, Wold said. Participants can pick their own route that works best for them.

Registration is $15 in order to keep it affordable for students, Wold said.

To register, visit here.

They still encourage participants to dress up and include their pets, Wold said. They hope participants share their photos on the organization’s Facebook and other social media.

For more information, view the Virtual Shamrock Shuffle page or contact the recreation and sport operations department at 715-836-3377 or [email protected].

A Conversation With Brandon Taylor

According to Marie Claire, Brandon Taylor is hailed as “2020’s break-out literary star” at just 31 years old.

At 7 p.m. on Friday, March 12, the Chippewa Valley Book Festival will be hosting Brandon Taylor who will be doing a reading from his novel “Real Life” as well as a question and answer session.

The novel is about a queer Black man from Alabama whose laboratory project has gone bad, leading to a series of events packed into a single week.

According to the event page, “issues of race, gender, sexuality, history and trauma all come to bear upon personal reflection, furtive romance and one of the most disastrous dinner parties in recent fiction.”

People interested in the event can register here, buy Taylor’s book here and submit questions for Taylor before the event here.

For more information, check out the event page or Brandon Taylor’s website.

Lunderville can be reached at [email protected].