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Which SFBW Event Is Right For You? 

Wednesday, Feb 4 2015

Download the chart and find the event for you.

1. Double IPA Festival
Sat., Feb. 7, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at The Bistro (1001 B St., Hayward). $55 at the door.
This OG beer festival, now in its 15th year, promises to feature more than 50 double and 30 triple IPAs for your drinking pleasure. Certainly enough to get you good and intoxicated (and definitely enough to get you to dance to the live music), but also keep in mind that it's a competition with an official award ceremony at 4 p.m., so be prepared for some MCing. Cheese, grilled sausage, and fried pickles will be on hand to keep things from getting too sloppy, and lest you whine about traveling all the way to Hayward, keep in mind that The Bistro is within stumbling distance of BART.

2. Strong Beer Month
Through February, at 21st Amendment (563 Second St.) and Magnolia Gastropub & Brewery (1398 Haight). A la carte.
The name doesn't lie. For the past 13 years, local powerhouses Magnolia and 21st Amendment have spent February brewing strong beers — hefty brews with ABVs over 8.5 percent. Each brewery offers six, from barleywines to imperial stouts to Belgian-style tripels. Get your punch card stamped for each beer tried, and you'll get a commemorative glass (while supplies last) after you've sampled all 12, hopefully not in one sitting. Best of all, since the promotion is going on throughout the month, you can pop in and out as you weave your way from one Beer Week event to the next.

3. Beerunch
Sun., Feb. 8, 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. at Public House (24 Willie Mays Plaza). $49, tickets available at
Start your Sunday off with a buzz at the sixth annual Beerunch, which is less a sit-down event than a brunchtime cocktail party featuring a collection of local brews paired with bites that that elevate their flavors. It's organized by the Wood Beer Co. crew, meaning that three of their beers will be served along with pours from four other Northern California favorites. Foodwise, expect everything from smoked bacon pancakes (paired with WOODS Porsha imperial stout) to a pulled pork mac-and-cheese fritter (paired with Moonlight Brewing's burned toast ale, a favorite last year and a great beer to wake up to).

4. Battle of the Guilds
Sun., Feb. 8, 1-5 p.m. at Zeitgeist (199 Valencia). A la carte.
Which region of California produces the best beer? Settle this question once and for all at the Battle of the Guilds, where you'll be able to sample 15 beers from San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco respectively, and then definitively decide and vote on the winner. Because it's an event thrown by the cities' brewers guilds, the tap list is downright impressive — and for all the friendly regional competition, it seems the biggest conclusion one can draw from this event is that when it comes to brewing, California as a whole reigns supreme.

5. Beer Dinner with Jeffers Richardson of Firestone Walker
Mon., Feb. 9, 6-9 p.m. at Two Sisters Bar and Books (579 Hayes). $100; tickets available at
Firestone Walker quietly turns out impressive beer after impressive beer from its Paso Robles brewery, and this six-course dinner at Hayes Valley's adorable Two Sisters Bar and Books gives you a chance to sample several of its rare and special releases along with food made with the brews. Even better, brewmaster Jeffers Richardson will be on hand to answer all your important questions about craft beer and the history of Firestone Walker (it's interesting!). Keep in mind that this is, of course, only one of dozens of beer dinners during SFBW, but it should be a good one.

6. Oyster and Beer Extravaganza
Tue., Feb. 10, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. at Magnolia Gastropub & Brewery (1398 Haight). A la carte.
Oysters and beer sound like a weird combination until you've tried a traditional oyster stout, and then you realize that the briny zing of oysters contributes to a richer, more interesting dark beer that doesn't really taste like the sea at all. Every year, Magnolia makes a delicious Oysterhead Stout with four bushes of Hog Island oysters just for SFBW. It'll also have Hen House Oyster Stout on tap to compare, along with raw and barbecued oyster, a fried oyster po'boy, and oyster stew. Come early: The event ends when the oysters and beer run out.

7. Beer & Sausage-Making Demo
Tue., Feb. 10, 6-8 p.m. at 4505 Commissary Kitchen (160 14th St.). $50; tickets available at
Sausages and beer are one of the world's perfect combinations, a fact that will be confirmed at this event from from local carnivore kings 4505 Meats. Three beers from S.F.'s beloved Speakeasy brewery will be paired with three special sausages made with, or made to complement, the brews. Your ticket includes tastings of all plus a literal demonstration of how the sausage is made.

8. Yeast Flavor Profile Demonstration Event
Tue., Feb. 10, 6-10 p.m. at Triple Voodoo Brewery and Tap Room (2245 Third St.). A la carte.
Hey, beer nerds! This one's for you: an event that will give a great overview of how different yeast strains affect the beer's flavor. Triple Voodoo will brew one beer and then ferment it with four different strains of yeast, then offer up all the versions in a flight so you can compare them yourself. Experts from GigaYeast will also be there to answer any and all of your bubbling questions.

9. Evening With Russian River Brewery
Wed., Feb. 11, 3-11:30 p.m. at Pi Bar (1432 Valencia). A la carte.
Russian River Brewery will be taking over the taps at Pi Bar to offer samples of all of its intriguing limited and special releases ... but what the hell, you're probably just gonna go for a taste of the elusive triple IPA Pliny the Younger. Get there early, as the event will certainly be super-crowded and the Pliny will go real quick. Also keep in mind that in the past, Pi Bar has been known to tap kegs of the stuff on other SFBW days at 3:14 p.m. That's right around the time of your upcoming "doctor's appointment," isn't it?

10. Beer with Grapes!
Wed., Feb 11, 4-11:30 p.m. at Social Kitchen and Brewery (1326 Ninth Ave.). A la carte.
All right, here's the event for you oenophiles who are trying to get into the whole "beer thing" but not really feeling it. Every year during crush season, Social Kitchen brews a bunch of beer with grape juice and here is your chance to sample the results. Try a 2014 Belgian blonde fermented with Lake County Sauvignon Blanc grapes, or a 2013 saison fermented with Lake County Semillon grapes. HenHouse Brewing and Magnolia will also be contributing wine-y brews.

11. Double the Funk
Thu., Feb. 12, 6-10 p.m. at WOODS Polk Station (2255 Polk). A la carte.
When you talk with a sommelier or wine store clerk about finding a bottle, does the word "funky" often come out of your mouth? That's a sign that you're probably into wild-fermented wines and beers made with brettanomyces, the fruity wild yeast that makes sour beers sour. Here, the twain meets with predictably delicious results.

12. Sourfest with Almanac and Friends
Fri., Feb. 13, 5-10 p.m. at Public House (24 Willie Mays Plaza). A la carte.
S.F.'s own Almanac Beer Co. has lately been kicking serious ass with its line of sour beers, and it's assembled a dream team of brewers across the country pouring their own rare sour brews. Along with pours from Almanac, expect to be able to compare and contrast more than 40 sours from Bear Republic, The Bruery, Cascade, Crooked Stave, Goose Island, Hanger 24, Marin Brewing, Modern Times, Rare Barrel, Russian River, Prairie, Wicked Weed, and several more.

13. Cask and Queso
Fri., Feb. 13, 6-9 p.m. at ThirstyBear Brewing Co. (661 Howard). $40 advance, $50 at the door; tickets available at
You like Cowgirl Creamery cheese, don't you? And freshly baked bread? (We're assuming you're setting aside your gluten sensitivity, seeing as this is a week celebrating beer.) You can find both paired with cask-conditioned ales, which is a fancy sounding term for beer that isn't kegged and therefore has lower carbonation, a rounder mouthfeel, and generally more nuanced flavor because it's served room temperature. Seventeen cask-conditioned ales from 16 Bay Area brewers will be available to sample, including the SF Brewers Guild's Swept By Fire collaborative beer. Think of it like a wine-and-cheese party, but for hopheads.

14. "Drink the Darkness" A Stout/Porter Fest
Sat., Feb. 14, 11 a.m.-2 a.m. at Monks Kettle (3141 16th St.). A la carte.
If the thought of all your couple friends snuggling and having sex all day is driving you to drink — or if you and your partner are just not the Valentine's Day type — come down to Monks Kettle and embrace the darkness. Dark beers, that is. There will be at least 20 special stouts and ports, including many vintage beers from the Monks cellar. Come, drink, be merry, forget about the crass commercialism of this Hallmark holiday, and leave with a solid understanding of the difference between stouts and porters that will totally stay with you for at least a few hours.

15. 5th Annual Booze & Brew Brawl
Sun., Feb. 15, 6-10 p.m. at 15 Romolo (15 Romolo Place). A la carte.
Congratulations, you made it through another Beer Week. Your liver will thank you — right after you destroy it one more time with this traditional boozy close to the week. Bartender heavyweights will compete to make the best beer-infused cocktail that will be judged by a panel of "elite imbibers" (brewmasters, past winners, other industry types), and by you as you drink them all and cheers to another SFBW done right.


About The Author

Anna Roth

Anna Roth

Anna Roth is SF Weekly's former Food & Drink Editor and author of West Coast Road Eats: The Best Road Food From San Diego to the Canadian Border.


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