The 11th annual SF Beer Week is nearly here, with hundreds of tap takeovers, beer fests, pairing dinners, and other events taking place all over the Bay Area from February 1 to 10. It all starts with the opening Gala, which features more than 125 Northern California breweries — and five special collaboration beers — at Pier 35 on Friday, February 1 from 6 to 10 p.m. Tickets ($80) are still available.
From there, sifting through the official events guide can quickly overwhelm, so we’re here to recommend 15 cool events in the East Bay as you plot your beer intake. Of course, there are plenty of beer week events in San Francisco, too.
Saturday, February 2
18th Double IPA Festival
What: You wouldn’t necessarily expect Hayward to host one of the country’s biggest IPA competition — The Bistro’s double IPA fest was not only the original kick-off to SF Beer Week, but it’s where Russian River Brewing Co. first debuted Pliny the Younger. This staple Beer Week event is always a must for hop-heads with good reason, featuring more than 60 double IPAs and 30 triple IPAs on tap alongside live music, cheese, salami, and food trucks.
Details: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The Bistro, 1001 B Street in Hayward. Tickets cost $55 at the door.
Comparison Flights Day
What: Take advantage of this rare opportunity to taste the same base beers produced with different techniques, side-by-side. Taste what barrel aging or nitro really does to a beer when sampled alongside the original fresh version.
Details: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. at Sierra Nevada Torpedo Room, 2031 Fourth Street in Berkeley.
Alvarado Street Brewing at Beer Revolution
What: The beer list for this tap takeover hasn’t been posted yet, but it really doesn’t matter. The combination of one of the East Bay’s best beer bars and one of the Bay Area’s most exciting breweries is guaranteed to be a hit.
Details: Noon to midnight at Beer Revolution, 464 3rd Street in Oakland.
Sunday, February 3
The Sour Sunday
What: There are a lot of options for drinking sour beer throughout SF Beer Week, but The Sour Sunday remains the most popular event devoted to the style. It’s a joint effort by Jupiter, Triple Rock Brewing, and Drake’s Brewing, with more than 60 sour beers from the likes of Alvarado Street’s new Yeast of Eden, Beachwood, the Bruery, Craftsman, Jolly Pumpkin, and Woodfour. There are also timed releases for rarer brews from Cascade, Phantom Carriage, Cantillon, and more.
Details: noon to 5 p.m. at Jupiter, 2181 Shattuck Avenue, and Triple Rock, 1920 Shattuck Avenue, in Berkeley. Tickets cost $35-$100.
Thursday, February 7
Drake’s Advanced Oak Cellar Release
What: This is when Drake’s Brewing unveils its best stuff: the rare barrel-aged beers deep in the cellar, funky new additions, and more Advanced Oak bottles. It’s also the only time the cellar is open the public all year.
Details: 5 to 9 p.m. at Drake’s Barrel House, 1933 Davis Street in San Leandro.
Friday, February 8
Russian River at the Hop
What: Legendary brewery Russian River is bringing bottles and taking over the taps at Uptown bar The Good Hop. Chat up the brewery crew and expect to see a certain special beer on tap. (Ahem, Pliny the Younger.)
Details: 3 to 11 p.m. at The Good Hop, 2421 Telegraph Avenue in Oakland.
Hella Halftones: The Black Community in Craft Beer, a Panel + Afterparty
What: Temescal Brewing, Dope & Dank, and Oakhella host this conversation on the lack of diversity in the beer industry and hopes for a more unified community in the future. It starts with beer and barbecue from Roderick’s BBQ, moves into the panel discussion, and then ends with a dance party with Oakhella DJs.
Details: 5 to 11 p.m. at Temescal Brewing’s Outpost, 621 4th Street in Oakland. Tickets cost $3 in advance, $5 at the door.
Eames Exhibit + Design Talk
What: Fort Point and AIGA SF co-host this talk about design and beer. Beer will be served, of course, and after the talk, you’ll peruse the Oakland Museum’s current design exhibit, The World of Charles and Ray Eames.
Details: 6 to 8 p.m. at the Oakland Museum of California, 1000 Oak Street in Oakland. Tickets cost $15.
Almanac & Friends Night Market
What: Cerebral Brewing, Mikkeller SD, Our Mutual Friend, Modern Times, Allegory Brewing, Pariah Brewing, Schilling Beer Co., Good Beer Co., and Yeast of Eden — many of which are rare to find in these parts — are joining Alameda sour hub Almanac for a night market, showcasing not just beer but also snacks, art prints, clothes, and more goods from local makers.
Details: 6 to 10 p.m. at Almanac Brewery, 651B W Tower Avenue in Alameda.
Divine Origins and Woods Wines at Ordinaire
What: Popular natural wine bar Ordinaire hosts Woods for a very appropriate release party. Woods will share a beers from its spontaneously fermented beer and wine project, Divine Origins, and also debut its first natural wine. Woods reps will be onsite to chat about their experiments in brewing and move into winemaking.
Details: 6 to 10 p.m. at Ordinaire, 3354 Grand Avenue in Oakland.
What: Despite being a Mikkeller bar, Mikkeller Oakland’s tap list doesn’t usually carry very many of the famous brewery’s beers. On this night, the bar is gathering a number of experimental one-off beers to tap all at once, and likely never again.
Details: 6 p.m. to midnight at Mikkeller Oakland, 6309 College Avenue in Oakland.
Saturday, February 9
Japan Beer Fest
What: Umami Mart and The Trappist are teaming up once again to celebrate Japanese craft beer. Choose from more than 25 Japanese beers along with the release of Ruben’s Sansho Saison, a collaboration between Old Kan Beer & Co. and The Trappist using the citrusy Japanese numbing spice. There will also be a beer slushie made with Hitachino Yuzu Lager, Aburaya fried chicken sandwiches with sansho guacamole, and sansho cookies from Gold Bakery.
Details: noon to 4 p.m. at The Trappist, 460 8th Street in Oakland.
Beer is Agriculture — A Grain to Glass Tour, Tasting, and Discussion
What: Neighbors Almanac Beer Co. and Admiral Maltings will host this two-part, hands-on event exploring how beer gets from the farm to the glass. It includes tours of both Almanac and Admiral (California’s first traditional floor malting facility since Prohibition); a beer and cheese tasting from a farm that uses Almanac’s spent grain as feed; and an industry panel discussion with brewers and farmers.
Details: 1:30 to 3 p.m. at Almanac and Admiral Maltings, 651 W Tower Avenue in Alameda. Tickets cost $15.
German Beer School & Dinner
What: Taste traditional German beer styles while learning about German beer history and brewing techniques — all paired with a four-course German feast on the waterfront.
Details: 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Brotzeit Lokal, 1000 Embarcadero in Oakland. Tickets cost $75.
Sunday, February 10
Low and Slow: A Sunday Pig Roast
What: Finish SF Beer Week with one last cookout. Temescal Brewing’s third annual pig roast will feature Tacos El Precioso, smoking a whole pig and slicing it into tortas. Pair it with one of Temescal’s special cask beers.
Details: noon to 4 p.m. at Temescal Brewing, 4115 Telegraph Avenue in Oakland. Tickets cost $30 and include food and two pints.