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Catch a Beer Week Wave

Less than a week to go… what’s catching your eye? A number of new events are worth a ride — more on those below — but first, let’s catch this wave of events featuring breweries that hail from Monterey Bay…

Dreaming of Monterey?

Breweries throughout Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties have been making waves lately, and during SF Beer Week, it’s easy to check them out all around the region.

If you’ll be in Santa Cruz, a must is the Twisted Tasting fest on 2/17, complete with dancing, artisanal foods, beers and ciders. And don’t forget to try the two Brett Bottle Releases at Discretion Brewing in nearby Soquel, available all week long.

Let’s Get Lunar

  • Lunar New Year celebrations commence on 2/16 this year, so consider the Lunar New Year Karaoke Party at 7 Bamboo Lounge, featuring San Jose’s one-year-old Hapa Brewing Co.
  • Or stop by Barebottle Brewing in SF for the release of two Barrel Aged Beers paired with Fortune Cookies, one a version of a Great American Beer Festival medal-winner. As they remind, fortune cookies were invented in San Francisco. “A chance meeting will lead to a pleasant surprise” …in your glass, anyway.

Turn Up The Music!

Too much thinking while drinking?

Speaking of Barleywine…

Oh wait, weren’t we speaking of barleywine? Anyway, for fans of big, malty and hoppy brews…

  • The Bigfoot Vertical (2/13) at Sierra Nevada’s Taproom in Berkeley will reveal the time-travel qualities of the hefty barleywine as you taste back through the years. (2/13) Compare, learn what vintages you prefer and enjoy the sheer bigness.
  • Another famous and instructive vertical descent into curiously aged beers will be going down at Monk’s Kettle on 2/15: Alaskan Smoked Porter Vertical.
  • Be whisked throughout Dogpatch with the Drink SF Shuttle – Meet the Brewers, Dogpatch Edition (2/14). This free service, hosted by the SF Brewer Guild, usually runs the 3rd Wed. of each month in different SF neighborhoods, but this special edition will call Dogpatch home, looping nonstop between Triple Voodoo BreweryHarmonic BrewingSpeakeasy Ales & Lagers andMagnolia at Smokestack. Each location will have at least one of the official SF Beer Week collaboration beers flowing — just hop on, hop off at any stop, at any time.

  • Each year, bars and breweries invite friends to town, ordering guest kegs from breweries they respect the most. You’ll see dozens of congenial examples on the schedule, like Social Kitchen and Brewery‘s lineup featuring Eagle RockModern Times and Monkey Paw on various nights, along with Social’s fine beers.
  • Or stop by The Public House next to the SF Giants’ ballpark, where you can enjoy Allagash and the Bruery Night, when these two American craft breweries bring the goods on 2/16.

Seek Out Something Special

Tucked into the SF Beer Week schedule is the section for Week-Long Specials.

  • Black Sands Brewery’s popular SMaSH fest is back. Throughout the week, swing in for an array of single-hop, single-malt brews. (On 2/13, you can catch up with the brewer and maltsters from Admiral Maltings to learn more about local ingredients.)
  • Poke around further for deals, special pairings and splurges — like this astonishing week-long Beer and Beef event at Hitachino Beer & Wagyu featuring legendary Japanese beef and some genuinely rare Hitachino Brewing Co. barrel aged beers from the best-known Japanese craft brewer.
  • Bypass the boilermaker and explore the cocktail corners of the craft beer universe. In Week-Long Specials, you’ll find beer and cocktail offerings from ThirstyBear Organic Brewery  and Magnolia Smokestack (or get over to the one-time-only Beer Cocktail Showdown at Smokestack to see neighborhood bartenders compete on Monday, 2/12)
  • Uncover beer releases and kick-the-keg events in the weekly section, too. This lesser-seen portion of the site can provide backup destinations if the lines turn out to be too long at an event you had your eye on.

Tip: You can always back out of the Weekly Specials mode and get back to the rest of the list by simply returning to “Schedule” on the menu.

Log into the site, pull up the  SF Beer Week schedule and start discovering — and saving your list of don’t-miss events.  Beer Week’s almost here.