Saturday, Feb. 19
Bracing for the crowds when Toronado opens its doors for the legendary Barleywine Festival? It's okay, there are other ways to prove the strength of your liver. Drinking strong beers just after noon is a good start:
Afternoon with Social Kitchen's Master Cicerone
Where: Social Kitchen and Brewery, 1326 Ninth Ave. (at Irving), 681-0330
When: 12:30-2:30 p.m.
Cost: Complimentary tastes
What: Meet Rich Higgins, brewer at Social Kitchen and co-planner of SF Beer Week. At 1 p.m., Higgins will lead a guided tasting of Social's strong beers from the perspective of a certified cicerone (the beer equivalent of a sommelier).
You're feeling pretty tough right about now. Take a minor breather and "sober up" with some milder selections:
Session Beer Fest
Where: Church Key, 1402 Grant (at Green), 963-1713
When: 5-11:30 p.m.
Cost: Pay per drink
What: A "session beer" is a low-alcohol brew designed for consumption over the course of a long night. Take a break from the strong beer mayhem with a selection of taps all under 6 percent ABV. While most people define session beer in the 4 percent range, we still welcome the relief.
Enough of the light stuff, it's time to finish strong. Fortify your liver with some beer and hooch pairings:
1 Bourbon, 1 Scotch, and 1 Beer: Beer and Whiskey Pairings
Where: Boothby Center for the Beverage Arts, 1161 Mission (at Eighth St.)
When: 6:30-9:30 p.m.
Cost: $45; advance tickets here
What: Taste 15 select craft beers paired with 15 craft and traditional whiskies designed to complement them. The whiskey selection will represent single malt, rye, and experimental offerings. Note: This event should prepare you for tomorrow's boozy Beer Week finale. Stay strong.