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Drink Here Now: 5 Places to Sip This Week

SliderBar. (Photo by Matt Y./Yelp)

1. SliderBar Opens in the Castro: After getting its start in Palo Alto, this patty-oriented cafe is moving up the Bay to the Castro, taking over the old Criolla Kitchen spot on Market. While the menu of inventive sliders and Belgian frites will tempt burger fans, equally noteworthy is the sixteen-beer draft selection, curated by cicerone Eric Cripe of the Jug Shop, with $2-3 tastes that allow drinkers to sample everything from Kostrizer Schwarzbier to Ballast Point Sculpin IPA. There are also beer floats with Old Rasputin imperial stout and Deschutes Black Butte Porter ($5), agave margaritas ($5) and a selection of California wines ($7-11/glass). (2295 Market St., Castro.) 

2. 2012 Craft Spirits Carnival: They're not joking about the carnival part: in addition to offering tastings of more than 100 handcrafted liquors from artisanal distillers like Charbay, Old World Spirits, St. George Spirits, and Spirit Works, this Fort Mason event will feature a sideshow of aerialists, sword-swallowers, knife-throwers, burlesque dancers, and other big-top attractions. If you sample a spirit that particularly catches your fancy, they also have a license that allows you to buy it on-site. Tickets are $60-125, depending on the day and timing. (Saturday, October 13 and Sunday, October 14, 2-5 pm, at Fort Mason, Marina Blvd. and Buchanan St., Marina.) 

3. Device-Free Drinks at Jones: If you enjoyed last week's piece on "digital detox" retreats that aim to separate addicts from their phones and inboxes, the organizers are offering a miniature taste of the experience right here in the city, happening tomorrow. Check your cell phone at the door, and you'll be treated to drink specials, a DIY cocktail workshop, a massage lounge, and an "analog zone" with typewriters, board games, and cards. Artists will draw portraits of attendees, and they'll also have live music and a communal art mural wall to draw on. Entry is free; RSVP here. (Thursday, October 11, 6-9 pm, at Jones, 620 Jones St., Tenderloin.)

4. Blackwell Rum Tasting: Music entrepreneur Chris Blackwell, founder of Island Records, has family roots in Jamaican distilleries, which is why he's decided to introduce a new barrel-aged rum infused with tropical flavors. To launch the rum in SF, Blackwell is taking over the monthly "Festival '68" reggae dance party at the Make-Out Room for free tastings, specials on rum drinks, and a pre-party for old-school rocksteady songstress Dawn Penn, who'll be performing in Oakland the following evening. Admission is free. (Thursday, October 11, 10 pm-2 am, at the Make-Out Room, 3225 22nd St., Mission.) 

5. Yuppie Friday at Lush Lounge: The folks behind Yuppie Friday are holding another happy hour for charity; this time, the beneficiary is Family House, which provides a place to stay for families with critically ill children being treated at UCSF. A $15 pre-sale ticket includes two drink tickets, or for $20, drinkers can purchase a VIP ticket that includes three drink tickets and five raffle tickets. (Friday, October 12, 5-8 pm, at Lush Lounge, 1221 Polk St., Polk Gulch.)