The 10th Annual San Francisco Beer Week is upon us, and livers, you’re on notice. Contrary to the name, this year’s wide-ranging festivities last more than a week and encompass way more geography than just San Francisco. Independently organized SF Beer Week events take place from February 9th through February 18th and are held all over the region from Monterey to Napa, with out-of-state brewers flying in to participate from as far away as Maine.
Once again, there are literally hundreds of events this year, and sadly, it’s impossible to attend them all. Fortunately, Beer Week has made this handy website with which to plan your agenda, and Eater made this guide of 25 great Beer Week events to consider.
Friday, February 9
Beer Week Opening Gala
What: The annual gathering of Northern California breweries, which includes 120 different brewers this year, is the most cohesive beer week event, a big toast to the local brewing scene and a chance to sample way too many beers — including the coveted Russian River limited beer release of Pliny the Younger, a hype-generating triple IPA.
Details: Held at Pier 35 from 6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., all you can drink, but be careful about that. VIP Tickets are sold out, but general admission tickets for $80 are still available.
Fieldwork Tap Takeover at Crafty Fox
What: It’s the semi-secret “too cool for the Gala” party with Fieldwork at Mission beer bar The Crafty Fox Ale House. Go and try this rapidly growing Berkeley brewery’s fresh IPAs and other innovative beers, including their annual release of Viking’s Lament, a bourbon barrel aged Russian Imperial Porter.
Details: 5 p.m. at the Crafty Fox, free entry
Saturday, February 10
FDR Beer Appreciation 101
What: Start with the fundamentals: Portola brewery Ferment Drink Repeat, or FDR, is all about beer education, and their head brewer (a nationally-ranked beer judge) is on hand for a beer appreciation class to break down the basics of beer styles and beer tasting.
Details: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Ferment Drink Repeat, $35 ticket for the class, which includes eight beers
Humble Sea Sipping Session at City Beer Store
What: Santa Cruz brewery Humble Sea is well worth a trip down the coastal highway, but in this case, they’ll pay us a visit, arriving at City Beer Store, SF’s groundbreaking beer bar and bottle shop. Stop by while they’re pouring Humble Sea’s juicy, hazy, and sour beers — the brewers themselves will be at the bar.
Details: 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at City Beer Store
Belga Beer Dinner with Laughing Monk
What: The Marina’s Belgian brasserie Belga is pairing its moules frites and other dishes with beers from the Bayview’s (mostly) Belgian brewery Laughing Monk. It’s a marriage made in Trappist-style beer heaven, and it ends with a vanilla ice cream beer float. Laughing Monk’s head brewer leads the dinner and will do a Q & A.
Details: $50 per person for 4 courses and 4 beers (4 ounce pours), 4 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Sunday, February 11
Gilman Brewing’s Gears and Beers Car Meet-Up
What: Berkeley brewery Gilman Brewing occupies and old auto shop, and thus it’s fitting that they’re giving a nod to the best hot rods, lowriders, “kustoms,” and classic cars of the Bay area. All cars welcome, there’s no entry fee, and they’ll pour their Belgian golden Strong nicknamed “The Devil’s hot Rod.” Just don’t drink and drive, okay?
Details: 12 to 3 p.m., food vendors on site
Smoke & Juice Harmonic BBQ Competition and Beer Release
What: Dogpatch brewer Harmonic and Bernal brewer Bare Bottle teamed up to brew a Double IPA made in two methods: Invisible Haze IPA. They both brewed the beer, but Harmonic made theirs clear, while Bare Bottle made theirs hazy. Fill up on barbecue as you drink with a cook off competition between Native Sons BBQ , Sunset 29 BBQ, and Slow & Oak BBQ.
Details: BBQ competition tickets, which include a beer, are $35, hours are 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Monday, February 12
Bare Bottle Experimental Beer Night
What: Bare Bottle is all about experimentation, and on Monday, they promise some of their most experimental beers will be available to try. Come for their funkiest, weirdest pet projects that you may or may not be able to sample again.
Details: Free admission, 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Beer Trivia at Old Bus Tavern
What: Mission Street brewpub Old Bus Tavern will let beer geeks show off their knowledge (and drink and hangout) with a beer trivia night. Play solo or bring nerdy friends.
Details: 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Old Bus Tavern
Tuesday, February 13
Fat Tuesday at Old Devil Moon
What: Bernal Heights beer bar Old Devil Moon was founded with a bit of voodoo by a few Cicerones and beer lovers, and with Mardi Gras falling during beer week, that makes the New Orleans-inspired spot the perfect place to be. They’ll have plenty of leftover sours from their big sour fest over the weekend, and will be doing specials like jambalaya and king cakes while a band plays Mardi Gras tunes.
Details: Free entry to Old Devil Moon, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., band at 8 p.m.
Meet the Maltsters at Black Sands SMASH Fest
What: Lower Haight brewpub Black Sands keeps it simple during beer week, releasing a week-long special tap list of their single hop, single malt “SMASH” beers. On Tuesday, head brewer Cole Emde will be on hand with the cool new maltsters of Admiral Maltings to talk about malt character in beer and show of Black Sands’ finished products like Ariana Saison with Admiral Pils malt and Enigma IPA with Admirals Maiden Voyage malt.
Details: No Cover, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Wednesday, February 14
Galentines Day at Temescal Brewing
What: The women of Temescal Brewing in Oakland are teaming up with the Bay Area chapter of the Pink Boots Society, and will be repping an all-lady bartending staff, lady food vendor (El Sabrosito’s pupusa truck), and lady DJs spinning exclusively female artists. $1 from each pint supports the Pink Boots Society’s mission to help advance women in the beer industry by raising money for educational scholarships.
Details: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m, free admission
Triple IPA Love Fest at Monk’s Kettle
What: Love is best reserved for beer, and Monk’s Kettle will show theirs for triple IPAs including, yes, Russian River’s Pliny the Younger, plus Sante Adairius’ Of This World, and a triple IPA from Drake’s. They’ll add HenHouse’s special Big Chicken release to the mix when it arrives — that beer is kegged, delivered, and tapped all in one day.
Details: Opens at noon, no cover
7 Stills and Alvarado Street Beer and Whiskey Release Party
What: Bayview brewery and distillery Seven Stills breaks the usual mold by brewing beers and then distilling them into whisky. For beer week, they’re releasing a collaboration beer with Alvarado Street, the fantastic Monterey brewer, called Tomahawp — a huge, juicy but not bitter IPA. They’ll also release a version of Tomahawp that’s distilled into whisky and aged in new American Oak barrels. Insane.
Details: Held at Seven Stills, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., no entry fee
Thursday, February 15
Lost Abbey Night at Toronado
What: Expect Toronado’s finest pours plus two vintages of The Lost Abbey’s coveted Cable Car, a beer made just for Toronado, plus lots of other rare surprises from that brewery.
Details: Starts at 6 p.m, cash only
Festival of Firkins at Magnolia
What: Sample cask-conditioned ales by the firkin (their cask container) all day at the Upper Haight’s haven from English-style ales, Magnolia. It’s their 10th year running this event, and on the docket are beers from Drake’s, Freewheel, Armistice, Social Kitchen, Hermitage, and more.
Details: No cover, starts at 11 a.m.
Friday, February 16
Modern Times Vegan Dinner at Almanac Taproom
What: Almanac shows some love for vegans at their 24th Street taproom and brings San Diego brewing favorite Modern Times into the mix, pouring their own stouts, sours, and IPAs plus Modern Times’ to accompany vegan favorites.
Details: 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., regular menu also available
Drake’s 510 Malt Liquor Beer Release
What: The extremely East Bay event is back: Drake’s releases its 4th annual 510 Malt Liquor and takes the taps at The Uptown Nightclub in Oakland. Also expect Brass Monkeys, they say. Music and DJs are on the bill, too, with East Bay punk and surf rock bands plus an SF hip-hop group.
Details: 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. at The Uptown on Telegraph, $8 advanced tickets, $10 day-of
Saturday, February 17
Barrel-Aged Beers & Tartine Teacakes at Local Brewing
What: The Local Brewing crew in SoMa pairs four of their barrel-aged beers, including bourbon, tequila, and rum barrel-aged ales, with Tartine Manufactory teacakes and pastries, because this is San Francisco. The event is a fan favorite that Local couldn’t help but bring back.
Details: $40 per person advanced, $55 at the door, only 40 tickets available. Starts at 3 p.m. promptly, lasts until 5:30
Fort Point beer cocktails at Junior Bar
What: Spend the day with Fort Point and new 24th Street cocktail bar Junior enjoying a special “shandy” beer cocktail menu plus food courtesy of Goldbrick Burger.
Details: No cover, 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Rare Barrel Celebrates Women in Beer
What: A showcase of woman-founded breweries and/or breweries with head brewers who are women, held at one of the Bay Area’s foremost sour beer producers, Berkeley’s The Rare Barrel. The brewery will also have some of their own fantastic beers on draft, plus beer from the likes of Saint Adairius, Local Brewing Co., Freewheel, Armistice, and Jester King. $2 from every pour goes to the Pink boots Society to advance women in the beer industry. Food truck onsite.
Details: Held at the Rare Barrel, 1 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Almanac Beer Talks at Almanac Barrel House & Taproom
What: Check out Almanac’s brand new brewery and Taproom in Alameda and learn from the brewers, plus UC Davis’ Distinguished professor of malting and brewing sciences Charlie Bamforth, in a series of TED-inspired beer talks. Tickets include beer samples and light snacks. Get technical with some of the most knowledgeable folks in the business. While you’re there, swing by The Rake next door, the new taproom from local malt outfit Admiral Maltings
Details: 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. in Alameda, $40 ticket
Sunday, February 18
Pliny at Toronado
What: Legendary Lower Haight pub Toronado reports that it’s got 9 kegs of Pliny the Younger for beer week, and plans to tap one pretty much every day, including some when they open at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, the last day of beer week. Even if they run out of Pliny (the horror!) chances are good they’ll also have lots of other great beer from Russian River courtesy of an event celebrating all the brewery’s rare beers from the day before.
Details: 11:30 a.m., cash only, first come, first served
Blind Tiger Day at Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
What: Bayview brewery Speakeasy has survived an ownership transition and lived to tell the tale, reopening their taproom with lots of great beer week events. This one is special because there’s just one keg of the beer they’re showcasing, Blind Tiger, an Imperial IPA named for a prohibition era synonym for the word speakeasy. 10 oz Blind Tiger pours until the keg runs out.
Details: 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Speakeasy’s taproom, $5 per pour
Woods Kombucha Detox
What: Of course you should drink Woods’ beer at their five taprooms in the Bay Area during beer week, but did you know they also make kombucha? Just for you to detox after a week of beer, they’ll be pouring their housemade kombucha at Treasure Island Club, their taproom and beer garden on Treasure Island, and elsewhere. Woods’ will also have yoga to help get you recover — and if that’s not your thing, they’ve always got beer.
Details: Kombucha at all Woods locations, hours at Woods Island Club at 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.