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Nothing Better Than Pinball & Pints at Pacific Pinball Museum

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Beer Week has come and gone as of today but that doesn’t mean I’m not still reeling from all of the fun I had. My favorite event of the entire week is worth the mention. Pinball and Pints at Pacific Pinball Museum was last Sunday, February 19th in Alameda. Your ticket included unlimited plays on over 100 pinball machines throughout the museum as well as a commemorative glass which you could fill with amazing beers provided by 6 local breweries.
Additionally, Pinballs & Pints was a fundraising event which supported the programs at museum, a non-profit organization.

My friend got me a ticket last minute and I headed over there solo. I’m not one for going to events by myself but I’ve been trying to overcome some social anxiety by just giving myself a time limit and promising myself I can piece out if I need to.

Once I walked inside the museum, I was smiling ear to ear the entire time and found myself staying for hours. Since pinball is largely a solo sport, I didn’t feel uncomfortable just stepping up to a game and playing on my own while others tilted next to me. By the end of the event, I had even made new friends and chatted it up with several event goers.

Two classic games at Pacific Pinball Museum beckon you to play them

Breweries present during Pacific Pinball Museum‘s 2023 Pinball & Pints event were:

Mercurius Brewing,  Federation BrewingFaction Brewing, Alameda Island BrewingAle IndustriesBlack Hammer Brewing, and New Belgium Brewing.
I don’t think I could pick a favorite of the afternoon but some highlights included Sarap! (Calamansi Pilsner) by Alameda Island Brewing and the delightfully tart Blueberry Vanilla Berliner-Weisse by Black Hammer Brewing from San Francisco. I loved that the glasses we were given weren’t too big. You were able to taste multiple beers without drinking too much.

My favorite part of the event was that there was more than just drinking to do. Going at your own pace, you could sit and play a machine you’ve always wanted to play, play a favorite game or find a new favorite you’d never heard of before, and learn about pinball within American history.

Pinball and Pints at The Pacific Pinball Museum brought pinball fans of all ages

While I wasn’t playing, I walked around with my beer glass. I walked up to each machine and learned about them via large write ups which are on the top of every game. Almost like book write-ups you see at libraries and bookstores, you’d learn the basics about each machine. Including the game designer, artist, and when the game was created.

The museum is extremely thorough and takes you through the entire history of the game of pinball. You learn about the earlier games and how they evolved into the modern games we play these days. Their collection of games spans over 100 games dating back to the 40s to present day.

Some beer in my commemorative glass we were all given during the event

Pacific Pinball Museum is a A 501(c)(3) Nonprofit organization. Their mission statement says they are dedicated to the promotion and preservation of pinball, one of America’s favorite pastimes. When you go to the museum, you pay an admission fee which allows you to play almost every machine and learn about the game of pinball while you’re at it.

A game synopsis of sorts is above every pinball machine.

Want to support Pacific Pinball Museum? You can find them online here:

Instagram: @pacificpinball

Tuesday are 2 for $22 – all day unlimited play on over 100 pinball machines. Other days, tickets are are $22 for adults, $15 for students, $12 for kids over 5. They even have family passes – a family of 4 for $55. You always get to play all day with unlimited game play.
I know I’m going to keep looking for this event each year during Beer Week. A worthy cause with delicious beers and fun time.

Looking to get your own pinball machine? Pacific Pinball is selling a few online! One of them was created in 1949! As a reminder, since the museum is a non-profit, purchasing a pinball machine from them goes back to their work preserving this fun piece of American history.

Want to see a little bit of the fun I had during Pinball & Pints?
Here’s a quick video I snapped for our Instagram:

Watch a quick snippet of my adventure at Pacific Pinball Museum here

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Katy Atchison

Katy Atchison

Katy has lived in The Bay Area since the age of 3. While other kids were attending summer camp & soccer practice, she was raised selling wares at craft shows with her working artist parents and spent vacations in a small 1920s Montana log cabin. This has all given her a unique perspective on the ever-changing texture of San Francisco and the Greater Bay Area. Currently a blend of all that is The Bay Area - she's a web designer at a tech-company, artist and DIY teacher.