SF Beer Week Is Here
Sumptuous world-class beers poured freely at the Opening Gala, and now you will see these beers throughout SF Beer Week at taprooms, bars, restaurants and retailers. And, boy, what a great list. Use the SF Beer Week website to see which breweries will be where and seek out these great brews.
Range around the regions or get local with your choices. You can look at everything listed by Bay Area, select options by day, or drill down by type of event using the Schedule tools.
Do NOT forget to check the Week-Long Specials. There are gems in there — special flights, beer-and-food pairings, and much more — and these are activities you can do any time of the week.
(Specials have a separate search menu, so click Week-Long Specials first, then do your search.)
Let’s cruise through some category trends that have surfaced.
We are not fashion victims but we do have style…
The first SF Beer Week offered popular destinations for fans of particular beer styles — notably IPA variants and the then-esoteric world of sour beers — but little did attendees know that was just the beginning.
Oh Hoppy Day
Want to understand how IPAs and Pale Ales are evolving? Get in to City Beer Store’s Forest of Hoppyness to try awesome examples, talk with bartenders and savvy patrons and decide what you think of the regional components to these changes.
Want to go directly to the hazy side? Check out this evening of Hazy IPAs with friends at Beer Revolution. Line up opalescent examples from Temescal Brewing, Alvarado Street and that new award-winning break-out favorite from the Sierra foothills, Moonraker.
Want to double down? Nay, triple down at Harry’s Hofbrau San Jose where an epic Annual Double and Triple IPA Day is in the offing on 2/18. Pace yourself and you can savor your way to IBU enlightenment. Remember, it’s not how bitter, it’s how delightful.
Big Chicken is not to be underestimated! Henhouse Brewing is making a statement about the importance of freshness in hoppy beers by releasing this massively flavorful IPA at their Santa Rosa taproom, and canning and kegging it to get to venues around the Bay. Check all the events by searching for “chicken” in the big list. (You just may find a few fun food events that way, too.)
Call them sour, call them wild, draw lines of distinction or don’t. But you can’t deny that a wide family of refreshing brews inspired by Belgian Lambics and Flanders Reds are bewitching adventurous drinkers these days. Search the site for words like “sour” and find over one hundred gems like these:
Today you can hit Monk’s Kettle’s United Sours of America. Sour Saturdays and Sour Sundays with remarkable lineups on both weekends are well worth a look! This example, Sour Saturday at the Jug Shop, makes most of the bottles you sample available for purchase at the end of the session on 2/19. Unless the sour-seekers finish off the last one on the spot, which happens.
Join Jeffers on Acid with visuals at Mikkeller Bar. Acidity in sour beer, that is, with the engaging and knowledgable director of Firestone Walker’s ground-breaking Barrelworks wild program.
Fifty Tasters Darker
Ale Arsenal in San Carlos has made an enormous and perhaps hypnotic beast out of its now fifth-annual Serpents and Stouts event. Can you charm and tame these monsters? Settle in to encounter the dark ones on 2/19.
Or visit an elite winebar with a serious beer program, The Resolute, for select barrel-aged stouts and porters from around the state.
At the Monk’s Kettle, dark means vintage. What an astonishing library!
More Delicate Styles
Two wonderful styles from before the rise of lagers in Germany are the Kölsch and the Alt biers. Celebrate and compare them with Magnolia in an imagined crosstown rivalry with free Chariot shuttles running to and fro between the brewpub on Haight and Smokestack in Dogpatch.
Got a craving for a proper English pint? The cask ale specialists at Freewheel invite fellow brewers to show off firkin beers on 2/14.
And look through the education category for events that do a deep dive into style, such as the popular Beer Judging 101 in Pleasanton.
Make a Difference
Maybe you feel best when you’re making change. Easy! For example, offer thanks to Planned Parenthood on Valentine’s Day. Support urban farms and nutrition education in West Oakland at the East Bay Brewers Festival. Use the categories to find more fundraisers.
Or keep your efforts closer to the cause of beer. The Celebrator Beer News anniversary party not only showcases the freshest beer of Trumer, the host brewery, but presents the best of dozens of additional breweries in support of the work of the California Craft Brewers Association, fighting to ward off neo-prohibitionist regulation and to support beer quality.
All I Wanna Do Is Have Some Fun
We’ve got you covered. One example: A live rock band pop-up party by Old Bus Tavern and Harmonic Brewing. Because party.
A progressive tasting featuring Ferment.Drink.Repeat, food pairings, and beer cocktails, and hitting The Ave., Ocean Beach and Dark Horse Inn, with our friends at Chariot providing safe travel.
How about a beer pairing with breakfast tacos? Black Hammer Brewing‘s Cilantropalooza on the last Saturday , when they will be re-releasing the Coliandrum, a cilantro lime Wit beer and featuring authentic breakfast tacos by Early Bird Tacos from Austin. Or opt for their Sunday’s indie blues with mac n cheese.
Another very SF gathering is drinking Anchor beers and Humphry Slocombe ice creams at Benders on 2/13. And as the week comes to a close expect some simple pleasures calmly killing the kegs at venues all around the region, like Schroeders.
Get going now with that draft itinerary so you can stay organized. (Add a few nearby alternates in case of sold out attractions.) Let SF Beer Week be your sherpa and get out there! Explore responsibly. SFBW comes but once a year, so don’t miss out on the amazing beers, people and adventures still to be had. Cheers to you.