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A Guide To Winning SF Beer Week

Updated: Feb 08, 2015 23:48
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Sf Beer Week is a magical time of year where the finest brewers in California flock to our city to meet, greet, drink beer, and eat meat.  Whether you enjoy lagers, ales or barley wines SF Beer Week has an event just for you with hundreds to choose from across the bay area.  As a seasoned beer drinker and SF Beer Week attendee, I put together a nine day itinerary that will allow you to indulge like a lumberjack king, it includes events by Bear Republic, Speakeasy, Achor Steam, Lagunitas, Russian River, Stone Brewing Co., Anderson Valley, and Sierra Nevada.

If you are wondering if my list is biased, it is.  I’ve only chosen venues and brewers that I have tested and decided were awesome.  And this being Broke-Ass Stuart’s site, I have only selected FREE events or those raising money for charity…because despite being frugal, we are extremely compassionate here at whenever beer is involved.  So strap in…or better yet loosen your belt a couple notches, and get ready to call in sick to work because you’re about to win SF Beer Week, presented by the San Francisco Brewers Guild. WARNING: if you dislike beards, flatulence or conversations about yeast, this festival may not be for you.

If you would like to view my SF BEER WEEK itinerary via the official SF BEER WEEK Site click here, you can find all the events and create/share your own itinerary as well, it’s a nice little tool!

There are going to be lots of delightful fellows like this muttering words like ‘farmhouse’ and ‘Fermentable sugars”.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and remember, flattery can get you free stuff, like more beer

Opening Weekend FEB 7th & 8th
A great way to kick things off is at the Speakeasy Brewery and Taproom with the Speakeasy staff, small batch beers, & Native Sons BBQ.  If you’re like me and have a pulse, you’ll enjoy yourself here, they may also have some good tips on other great events to catch.  Sf Beer Week lasts until the 15th.

Day 3: Monday FEB 9th
My chosen dive bar invites Bear Republic to take over their taps, easy decision

Day 4: Tuesday Feb 10th
Anybody who is anybody knows that Zeitgeist is the best beer garden in the city.  And although they have slightly evolved to accommodate a more…gentrified crowd, it’s still a legendary place to drink outside and meet someone strange on a picnic table.  On Tuesday the Lagunitas staff are going present a special keg brewed just for SFBW.  And if you can’t make it that day, Zeitgeist is having awesome Tap Takeovers every day of the week, find them all on the SF Beer Week Site Schedule.

Day 5: Wednesday Feb 11th or “SF Pliny Day”
Have you ever waited hours in line for an 8oz glass of Pliny the Younger?  The  Russian River Triple IPA that won a prize and caused a “Tickle Me Elmo” sized hysteria during SFBW a couple years ago?  If so, then I think you are slightly weird.  The beer is delicious, but I still don’t condone waiting on a sidewalk for it, then again I don’t  wait two hours for an omelette at Mama’s or for an ice cream at Bi-Rite Creamery either.  If Pliny is your prerogative then go to Monk’s Kettle on Wednesday for a long wait, or, if you want slightly better odds, the Russian River Brewery Limited Release tasting at Pi Bar will most likely be serving it…And, if the lines are unbearable then forget Pliny and take a short walk down the way to the Rosamunde Grill in the Mission for their “Sour Flight Night” which means a lot of dynamic and interesting American craft brews and brewers.

Day 6: Thursday Feb 12th
 The funnest way to support tenants rights in my opinion is by listening to music and drinking beer.  An all local beer lineup from home brewers to ‘Breweries-in-planning’, will be raising money for the Tenants Union at BeatBox.  The event does cost 30 bucks, but it’s obviously for a good cause!

Website:   Admission: $30 presale

Day 7: Friday Feb 13th
Have you ever been to Montreal?  It’s an extraordinary place where Canadians manage to speak French while remaining impossibly polite. Sycamore is serving some of Quebec’s finest beers (sours/saisons/barley wines/ etc.)  along with their famous Poutine, which is essentially fries and gravy made by angels in beer heaven,  À votre santé!
Day 8: Saturday Feb 14th,  A Valentines Day Romance, with Beer
SF Beer Week wouldn’t be complete without a stop at the original Rosamunde for a sausage, and a jaunt next door to the one and only Toronado Pub, a place famous for unfriendly service and excellent beer selection.  Beer lovers from all over the city descend upon Toronado Saturday for its annual Barley Wine Festival (not in the Official SF Beer Week Schedule).  Everyone gets to chat about the exotic beers they’ve tasted during the week and try to decide which version of Friar Tuck the guy sitting next to them looks most like.
It’s crowded, tipsy, & friendly, and everyone’s Valentine is in the glass in front of them.  I’m specifically going there this week to try Fort Point/SF Brewers Guild’s Pale Ale called “Swept By Fire” (Specially brewed for SFBW).   Then I’ll go across the street where Sierra Nevada will be taking over Molotov’s which is Lower Haight’s favorite dive bar.
Day 9: Sunday Feb 15th – THE SECRET TAPPING
Relax, tomorrow is President’s Day, have a couple afternoon beers.  If you are still pining over Pliny the Younger, there will be a keg of it at Rosamunde’s in the Mission on the final Sunday.  A couple years ago during Beer Week, a group of us happened upon this little ‘not-so-secret-anymore” tapping.  We showed up to Rosamundes at noon, and the place was empty.  At first they told us we could only drink 2 small glasses of Pliny per person, but the place was dead, so the staff eventually relinquished control and we sat there all afternoon and got shit-hammered on the most coveted craft beer in all the land.  Now, I can’t say that will be the case this year, there will most likely be a big line…no thanks to this article…but I couldn’t resist letting OUR readers know the not-so-secret-secret!  Get there early for a chance at the white whale.

*If you would like to view my SF BEER WEEK itinerary via the official SF BEER WEEK Site click here, you can find all the events and create/share your own itinerary, it’s a great little site!



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Alex Mak - Managing Editor

Alex Mak - Managing Editor

I'm the managing editor and co-owner of this little expiriment. I enjoy covering Bay Area News as well as writing about Arts, Culture & Nightlife.

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