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The Tourist Club?s hidden bier haus
Beer, brats and a Bavarian jig

You like hiking. You like beer. But we bet you?ve never thought of combining the two.

Next weekend you?ll have the chance to enjoy both when the Austrian and German Tourist Club--a hidden gem in the middle of the forest on Mount Tam--opens its doors to the public for Sommerfest, an annual midsummer beer-and-food celebration.

You have a few options for getting there, all of which involve a hike. If you have time, you can try the popular two-mile stretch of the Dipsea Trail. But our preferred route is a short yet steep jaunt: Ditch the car at the Tourist Club parking lot and set out on foot down the paved trail of switchbacks for about half a mile until you reach the lodge.

Once you?re in, German beer awaits. Grab a pitcher of Schneider Weisse and put in your order for snacks like soft pretzels and sausages. Then kick back on the sprawling multi-level patio and take in the entertainment--a live Bavarian folk band and lederhosen-clad dancers.

The event often sells out, so buy tickets online ($21) by July 18, just to be safe.

And don?t worry about calories. You?ll burn off some of them on the butt-kicking hike back to your car.

July 20; 30 Ridge Ave., Mill Valley; 415-388-9987 or

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