In beer country, suds-and-grub competitions are nothing new. But Chef & Brew (November 20 at Exdo Events Center) is different than the usual slam-a-beer, eat-a-pretzel event. The festival requires chefs and brewmasters to collaborate on dishes that elevate both the food and the beer. At its core, Chef & Brew is designed to expand patrons’ perceptions of “beer food.” Forget burgers and brats; complex craft brews can hold their own against dishes like kampachi carpaccio and lamb chops. This year, look for a star-studded roster including Argyll’s John Broening and Panzano’s Elise Wiggins. Tickets ($49 for general admission, $80 for VIP) include cooking demonstrations and live music—and, of course, all you can eat and drink.