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The 15 Best Events of SF Beer Week 2015

Where to go to celebrate the annual beer bacchanal.

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SF Beer Week is once again upon us, with the Opening Gala (already long ago sold out) ready to pop on Friday night. From February 6-15, the entire Bay Area will once again be awash in craft brews from points both local and national, with hundreds of events on the calendar. To help you plan, we've rounded up 15 of our favorite events, with an emphasis on unusual offerings like great out-of-town brewers, parties involving games (pinball!) and fun pairing dinners. Even if you rarely pick up a pint, this week is the time to step out of your comfort zone and try something fun and new. We guarantee you'll have a good time.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Mikkeller Bar

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34 Mason St
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 984-0279
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2/9: It's impossible to choose a perfect event at Mikkeller, which is having some heavy hitters drop in throughout Beer Week, but our top pick is the tap takeover from Oregon-based Cascade, known as one of the best producers in sour beer. They'll be serving their cranberry, gingersnap, and noyaux beers, among others, and it's not a ticketed event; just show up, order, and drink. The evenings with Crux, Firestone Walker's Barrel Works project, AleSmith, and a collective of L.A. brewers are also well worth your time.

2. City Beer Store

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1168 Folsom St, Suite 101
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 503-1033
Visit Website
2/7: CBS' "house party" at Brewcade, complete with Stillwater's brewer as DJ, is their most unusual event this year, but basically, if you have a spare moment, just go there; they've got a different amazing tap takeover on every night of Beer Week, from rarely-seen-locally Societe, Bottle Logic, and Alpine to up-and-coming Sante Adairius and The Rare Barrel to stalwarts like AleSmith, Lost Abbey, and Stone.

3. Monk’s Kettle

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3141 16th St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 865-9523
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2/11: If you absolutely must taste Pliny the Younger, the beloved February-only mega-IPA from Russian River that inspires crazy lines, here is your chance (to benefit charity, no less). Get there early; lines will stretch around the block, and we do mean that.

4. Beer Revolution

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464 3rd St.
Oakland, CA 94607
(510) 452-2337
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2/14: San Diego's Ballast Point is one of the best breweries going, and Beer Revolution is getting their hands on an absolutely absurd 31 taps, including stuff that rarely or never makes the cut in SF. With its 50-tap selection, Beer Rev is also the place to go for crash courses in lots of breweries' lineups, including Sierra Nevada, Bear Republic, and Marin.

5. Toronado

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547 Haight St
San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 863-2276
Visit Website
2/14: No Beer Week list would be complete without mentioning the big gun that started it all: the Toronado barleywine festival. It's utter mayhem, but you'll never try so many delicious (and alcoholic!) brews in one place. Also notable: A night of 20+ Russian River brews (no Younger) on 2/10.

6. Cerveceria de Mateveza

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3801 18th Street
San Francisco, CA 94114
(415) 273-9295
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2/7: The trio of Woods Beer Co. outposts (Cerveceria de MateVeza, Woods Polk Station, and Oakland's newish Woods Bar & Brewery) have become famous for trying just about anything in their kettle (they are the people behind Girl Scout Cookie beer, after all). This go-round: four beers designed to taste like different Jamba Juices (Aloha Pineapple, Mango-A-Go-Go, Razzmatazz, and Strawberries Wild, if you're curious). You can try them at all three locations on February 7, the same day that Cerveceria and Woods Oakland will engage in another Beer Week tradition—publicly brewing a beer to be served on the last day of the festival.

7. The Hog's Apothecary

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375 40th Street
Oakland, CA 94609
(510) 338-3847
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2/16: Learn more about the nuances of barrel-aging with Hog's cicerone Sayre Piotrkowski and the team from Sierra Nevada, who'll have five consecutive years of their Bigfoot Ale available for your tasting pleasure. In general, they've got a solid lineup all week (Craftsman, Berryessa, and Societe are all highlights), so make some time to drop by.

8. Pacific Pinball Museum

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1510 Webster St
Alameda, CA 94501
(510) 205-6959
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2/8: The only thing better than lots of good beer is lots of good beer and lots of pinball. For $25, you can have your fill at Alameda's Pacific Pinball Museum, complete with unlimited free play on all the machines and brews from New Belgium, Federation, and more. Will the booze improve your flipper skills? Only time will tell.

9. The Hall

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1028 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 558-8293
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2/10: Honey is a hot addition to beer these days, and one of the things that makes it most interesting is how much it can vary (even within our 49 square miles). To prove it, Calicraft is teaming up with City Bees to offer a tasting of both local honeys and beers brewed with those honeys, including a heretofore unreleased line of sparkling mead and a special City Bees beer brewed just for that evening. Pretty sweet.

10. Triple Voodoo Brewery & Tap Room

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2245 3rd Street
San Francisco, CA 94107
(415) 598-8811
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2/10: Sure, you've heard plenty of talk about hops, but how much do you know about the role yeast has to play in a beer's flavor? Bay Area upstarts Gigayeast will show you the way with a flight of four beers created in collaboration with Triple Voodoo. Each uses the exact same base beer, but a different yeast strain. A must for connoisseurs and wannabe connoisseurs.

11. MaMa Ji's

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4416 18th St
San Francisco, CA 94114
(415) 626-4416
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2/10-12: Since they've opened, Castro dim sum spot Mama Ji's has made a point of offering a better-than-average selection of mainly Belgian beers to accompany their top-notch Chinese dishes (including some spicy Sichuan numbers). If you're ready to branch beyond Tsingtao, there's no better time to check it out, with a pairing menu running a very reasonable $60.

12. Elks Lodge

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450 Post St
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 421-1404
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2/12: Your grandpa might curse you for drinking fancy-pants beer in an Elks Lodge, but Almanac's "Fraternal Order of Rare Beers" dinner is worth putting down your Schlitz for. The local heroes are teaming up with three amazing out-of-towners (Jester King, Modern Times, and Brasserie St. James) for a clubby pairing dinner cooked by Stag Dining Group. For $125, you'll get six courses each paired with two beers, plus a couple more welcome beers. Exercise caution, or you'll be weaving like a sailor on leave.

13. Beatbox

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314 11th St
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 500-2675
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2/13: Taste the local brewers of the future at the Hops For Housing event, featuring Euphemia Ales, New Normal Brewing, Gone Boating, Comrades, Method, Poplar, and other up-and-coming homebrewers or breweries-in-progress (including SF's first cidery!). Folk-rock band The Sam Chase will play, and proceeds go to the SF Tenants Union.

14. Whiskey Train

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2/13 & 2/15: Seven Stills, the SF-based distillery that puts out whiskey made from beer, is once again renting out an F-Market streetcar for the urban equivalent of a booze cruise. $60 buys unlimited stout, IPA, and whiskey, live music, and a catered BBQ spread (and bathroom break) when the train hits Fisherman's Wharf.

15. Magnolia Brewery & Smokestack

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665 22nd St
San Francisco, CA 94107
(415) 864-7468
Visit Website
2/15: If your liver manages to hold out until the end of Beer Week, consider saying a blowout goodbye with this massive bash at Magnolia, featuring whole roast pigs, BBQ sides, whiskey and whiskey cocktails, plenty of Magnolia brews, beer ice cream, and live music. It'll give you something good to remember the week by.

1. Mikkeller Bar

34 Mason St, San Francisco, CA 94102
2/9: It's impossible to choose a perfect event at Mikkeller, which is having some heavy hitters drop in throughout Beer Week, but our top pick is the tap takeover from Oregon-based Cascade, known as one of the best producers in sour beer. They'll be serving their cranberry, gingersnap, and noyaux beers, among others, and it's not a ticketed event; just show up, order, and drink. The evenings with Crux, Firestone Walker's Barrel Works project, AleSmith, and a collective of L.A. brewers are also well worth your time.
34 Mason St
San Francisco, CA 94102

2. City Beer Store

1168 Folsom St, Suite 101, San Francisco, CA 94103
2/7: CBS' "house party" at Brewcade, complete with Stillwater's brewer as DJ, is their most unusual event this year, but basically, if you have a spare moment, just go there; they've got a different amazing tap takeover on every night of Beer Week, from rarely-seen-locally Societe, Bottle Logic, and Alpine to up-and-coming Sante Adairius and The Rare Barrel to stalwarts like AleSmith, Lost Abbey, and Stone.
1168 Folsom St, Suite 101
San Francisco, CA 94103

3. Monk’s Kettle

3141 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94110
2/11: If you absolutely must taste Pliny the Younger, the beloved February-only mega-IPA from Russian River that inspires crazy lines, here is your chance (to benefit charity, no less). Get there early; lines will stretch around the block, and we do mean that.
3141 16th St
San Francisco, CA 94110

4. Beer Revolution

464 3rd St., Oakland, CA 94607
2/14: San Diego's Ballast Point is one of the best breweries going, and Beer Revolution is getting their hands on an absolutely absurd 31 taps, including stuff that rarely or never makes the cut in SF. With its 50-tap selection, Beer Rev is also the place to go for crash courses in lots of breweries' lineups, including Sierra Nevada, Bear Republic, and Marin.
464 3rd St.
Oakland, CA 94607

5. Toronado

547 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117
2/14: No Beer Week list would be complete without mentioning the big gun that started it all: the Toronado barleywine festival. It's utter mayhem, but you'll never try so many delicious (and alcoholic!) brews in one place. Also notable: A night of 20+ Russian River brews (no Younger) on 2/10.
547 Haight St
San Francisco, CA 94117

6. Cerveceria de Mateveza

3801 18th Street, San Francisco, CA 94114
2/7: The trio of Woods Beer Co. outposts (Cerveceria de MateVeza, Woods Polk Station, and Oakland's newish Woods Bar & Brewery) have become famous for trying just about anything in their kettle (they are the people behind Girl Scout Cookie beer, after all). This go-round: four beers designed to taste like different Jamba Juices (Aloha Pineapple, Mango-A-Go-Go, Razzmatazz, and Strawberries Wild, if you're curious). You can try them at all three locations on February 7, the same day that Cerveceria and Woods Oakland will engage in another Beer Week tradition—publicly brewing a beer to be served on the last day of the festival.
3801 18th Street
San Francisco, CA 94114

7. The Hog's Apothecary

375 40th Street, Oakland, CA 94609
2/16: Learn more about the nuances of barrel-aging with Hog's cicerone Sayre Piotrkowski and the team from Sierra Nevada, who'll have five consecutive years of their Bigfoot Ale available for your tasting pleasure. In general, they've got a solid lineup all week (Craftsman, Berryessa, and Societe are all highlights), so make some time to drop by.
375 40th Street
Oakland, CA 94609

8. Pacific Pinball Museum

1510 Webster St, Alameda, CA 94501
2/8: The only thing better than lots of good beer is lots of good beer and lots of pinball. For $25, you can have your fill at Alameda's Pacific Pinball Museum, complete with unlimited free play on all the machines and brews from New Belgium, Federation, and more. Will the booze improve your flipper skills? Only time will tell.
1510 Webster St
Alameda, CA 94501

9. The Hall

1028 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94102
2/10: Honey is a hot addition to beer these days, and one of the things that makes it most interesting is how much it can vary (even within our 49 square miles). To prove it, Calicraft is teaming up with City Bees to offer a tasting of both local honeys and beers brewed with those honeys, including a heretofore unreleased line of sparkling mead and a special City Bees beer brewed just for that evening. Pretty sweet.
1028 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94102

10. Triple Voodoo Brewery & Tap Room

2245 3rd Street, San Francisco, CA 94107
2/10: Sure, you've heard plenty of talk about hops, but how much do you know about the role yeast has to play in a beer's flavor? Bay Area upstarts Gigayeast will show you the way with a flight of four beers created in collaboration with Triple Voodoo. Each uses the exact same base beer, but a different yeast strain. A must for connoisseurs and wannabe connoisseurs.
2245 3rd Street
San Francisco, CA 94107

11. MaMa Ji's

4416 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94114
2/10-12: Since they've opened, Castro dim sum spot Mama Ji's has made a point of offering a better-than-average selection of mainly Belgian beers to accompany their top-notch Chinese dishes (including some spicy Sichuan numbers). If you're ready to branch beyond Tsingtao, there's no better time to check it out, with a pairing menu running a very reasonable $60.
4416 18th St
San Francisco, CA 94114

12. Elks Lodge

450 Post St, San Francisco, CA 94102
2/12: Your grandpa might curse you for drinking fancy-pants beer in an Elks Lodge, but Almanac's "Fraternal Order of Rare Beers" dinner is worth putting down your Schlitz for. The local heroes are teaming up with three amazing out-of-towners (Jester King, Modern Times, and Brasserie St. James) for a clubby pairing dinner cooked by Stag Dining Group. For $125, you'll get six courses each paired with two beers, plus a couple more welcome beers. Exercise caution, or you'll be weaving like a sailor on leave.
450 Post St
San Francisco, CA 94102

13. Beatbox

314 11th St, San Francisco, CA 94103
2/13: Taste the local brewers of the future at the Hops For Housing event, featuring Euphemia Ales, New Normal Brewing, Gone Boating, Comrades, Method, Poplar, and other up-and-coming homebrewers or breweries-in-progress (including SF's first cidery!). Folk-rock band The Sam Chase will play, and proceeds go to the SF Tenants Union.
314 11th St
San Francisco, CA 94103

14. Whiskey Train

San Francisco, CA 94133
2/13 & 2/15: Seven Stills, the SF-based distillery that puts out whiskey made from beer, is once again renting out an F-Market streetcar for the urban equivalent of a booze cruise. $60 buys unlimited stout, IPA, and whiskey, live music, and a catered BBQ spread (and bathroom break) when the train hits Fisherman's Wharf.

15. Magnolia Brewery & Smokestack

665 22nd St, San Francisco, CA 94107
2/15: If your liver manages to hold out until the end of Beer Week, consider saying a blowout goodbye with this massive bash at Magnolia, featuring whole roast pigs, BBQ sides, whiskey and whiskey cocktails, plenty of Magnolia brews, beer ice cream, and live music. It'll give you something good to remember the week by.
665 22nd St
San Francisco, CA 94107

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