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Look East – SF Beer Week Rising

With over 100 creative and enticing East Bay events already on the SF Beer Week schedule, the breadth of selection is what catches your eye. Every event category is already shining on the horizon.

Bites Love Beers

Some time during the week you’ll want to sit down for an amazing beer meal. More than a chance to get off your feet, a beer dinner or brunch lets you appreciate how select beers dazzle in tandem with artful dishes. One of the stalwart producers of SF Beer Week events, Drake’s Brewing Co., has prepared quite a line-up, including several epic meals. There’s still time to score tickets for the 8th annual Drake’s Sau & Brau on 2/14, promising a feast of pigs, sides, desserts and even vegan options to enjoy with the expansive beer menu. (link to purchase)

For a simpler savory treat, opt for the Beer and Bite Pairing at Whole Foods Market on Gilman St. in Berkeley on 2/15. The cheese buyer and the in-store beer expert will select three notable combinations of craft beers and cheeses to try. Learn more about what makes a good pairing and why. Do you agree? Enjoy the selected cheeses and beers, then go home with a goody bag containing your own super-fresh can of the SF Collaboration Beer #10 Foggy IPA, released just a few days earlier at the SFBW Opening Gala. Oh, the goody bag is a practical shopping tote, natch. (link to purchase)

Speaking of collaborations, consider visiting the SFBW Collaboration Beer Showcase at The Rake, the new pub opening at Admiral Maltings, the craft malt house now open in Alameda. From 2/10 forward, you’ll find beers made from this new, expressive floor-malted California barley. Enjoy hearty pub fare and taste limited release SF Beer Week collabs brewed with Admiral’s malt — on tap throughout the week (or while supplies last). Best of all, as you eat and drink you can look into the malting floor where the grain will be sprouting.

Harmonic Brewing is one of many local brewers excited to be tapping an SF Beer Week release using local craft malt produced by newly opened Admiral Maltings based right in Alameda.

And take an opportunity to meet a hop farmer while tasting Cultivar Beers at the cozy Periodic Table Taproom in Public Market Emeryville on 2/10. The taproom and sake bar will serve a special house-made sausage to go with Cultivar beers and beers from Japan while the hop grower tells about his 5-acre commercial hop farm on the Sacramento River.

Skip ahead to dessert — a selection of treats prepared to pair at the 4th Annual Sweet & Sour Valentine Takeover at ØL Beercafe & Bottle Shop in Walnut Creek. Seven breweries are selected for pairing. Choose a brewery and taste complimentary confections alongside two of that brewery’s beers, one sweet and one sour. Bring a date or a friend or your love of beer and flavor. Above all, this 2/14 favorite celebrates passion for great beers.

Sipping for A Better World

At The Rare Barrel Sour Beer Co. in Berkeley, two of the week’s events are fundraisers — one with Central Coast breweries invited to pour as a Central Coast Showcase benefit for the recent fire and mudflow disasters and another event with a focus on the talented women in the beer industry, from brewers to brewery owners, as a benefit for the Pink Boots Society, the scholarship organization for women with brewing careers.

The Livermore Downtown Brew Crawl & Food Drive offers a stroll around downtown Livermore on 2/15 where a series of tap takeovers will feature dozens of brews from the four Livermore breweries — Altamont Beer Works, Eight Bridges Brewing, Shadow Puppet Brewing Company and Working Man Brewing Company. Bring canned food for the Alameda County Food Bank and grab the Blue Brew Bus to explore all the beery goodness of the Livermore Valley. 

Or head to Alameda for Pinball & Pints on 2/11, when you can support the work of the Pacific Pinball Museum in the best way. Sample beers from a mix of both well-known and newer breweries while playing unlimited games on over 100 vintage pinball machines at the museum. Compete for prizes or just enjoy the scene at this popular returning event. (link to purchase)

Seek Out One-Time-Only Beers

At the Good Hop Bar & Bottle Shop in Oakland, proprietor and former pro brewer Melissa Myers will present original collaboration beers she brewed with friends at Bay Area breweries. Join the fun at Collabopalooza featuring Malty Maven & Friends. Check out Melissa’s creative projects with Hoi Polloi Brewing, 21st Amendment Brewing, 47 Hills Brewing, Oakland United Beerworks, Benoit Casper Brewing and South City Ciderworks. Drop by on 2/12 to sample.

And don’t forget the exciting audacious beers you’ll find at one of the events that originally inspired the creation of SF Beer Week, the 17th Double IPA Festival at The Bistro in Hayward on 2/10. Compare beers and cheeses, enjoy grilled sausages and take in the live music while judges select the double and triple IPA medal winners. Then decide whether you agree with the experts who crown the champions.  

Party On at a Craft Beer Anniversary

Opening your place in time for Beer Week has become a Bay Area tradition. Meaning that Beer Week falls on or close to a lot of local anniversaries. Celebrate the 4th anniversary of Eight Bridges Brewing in Livermore on 2/10 with bands, a favorite food truck and the main event, the release of new beers and firkins.

East Brother Beer Co. turns one, celebrating the milestone at a reprise of last year’s memorable Rec Room Party in Point Richmond. This year’s party offers arcade games, BBQ made with East Brother Beer and the introduction of the brewery’s newest beer. What beer? Until that moment, it’s a closely guarded secret.

Visit the East Bay’s traditional Austrian brewery, Trumer Brewery in Berkeley, on 2/17, for the freshest glass of pilsner in town during the 30th anniversary of Celebrator Beer News, a benefit for the California Craft Brewers Association. Over 35 guest breweries will be pouring their best, including celebratory beers made for the party. (link to purchase)

Or set your sights on the future by going to the brand new Original Pattern Brewing on 2/10 for a tour and tasting at the East Bay’s newest brewery! Next year you can return to their first anniversary party with bragging rights for knowing them when.  (link to purchase)

Guess What’s On Tap

At Oakland’s Diving Dog Brewhouse, swing by on 2/10 for a great assortment of beers from the border to the Bay of San Diego. Try beers made by Pure Project, Bagby, Council, Poor House, Fall, Alpine, Green Flash, Stone, Pizza Port, Thorn St., Belching Beaver, Coronado, Mike Hess, Mother Earth and Lost Abbey, for starters.

Explore Southern CA at Diving Dog Brewhouse, as they truckin’ in brews from San Diego (2/10) and Los Angeles (2/17) for your tasting pleasure.

Later, on 2/18, if you seek out the Chilaquiles & Chill party at Cleophus Quealy Beer Company in San Leandro you can wrap up the week with a quiet morning of delicious chilaquiles from the Canasta Kitchen truck and sample some easy-going wind-down brews from the week’s tasty kegs. Like many Bay Area brewery taprooms, Cleophus welcomes kids and dogs to join you there.

SF Beer Week! It’s coming soon, and it doesn’t last long. Right now, tickets are still available for most ticketed events listed. Yet we all know that even more events will be listed soon. Best strategy:  Get into the schedule to make some choices now, buy tickets to the events you can’t miss, then adjust other events on your itinerary as you go along so you can make 2018 your best SF Beer Week so far.