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Drink Here Now: 5 Places to Sip This Week

1. Free Bushmill's Tastings at Top of the Mark: In honor of St. Patrick's Day, Bushmill's will offer three nights of complimentary Irish whiskey flights at Top of the Mark (starting tonight!), with Senior Master of Whiskey Steve Beal appearing on the 21st and 28th to answer questions. If you enjoy the initial four-variety flight, they're also offering chicken wings braised in Black Bush and served with a chive and sour cream dip ($14), and donating $1 from every Bushmill's cocktail sold to the Raphael House, which supports at-risk children. (Wednesday, March 14, 21, and 28, 5-6:30 pm, at Top of the Mark, InterContinental Mark Hopkins Hotel, One Nob Hill, Nob Hill.)

2. Drambuie Nail or Fail Competition: Drambuie, the sweet, herbal, Scotch-based liqueur, is best known as the secret ingredient in the '60s-era Rusty Nail (along with, well, more Scotch). Now they're looking to update the cocktail for 2012, with a competition that pits 10 of SF's best bartenders against each other to come up with a slightly less rusty version of the classic. The general public is invited to come to the event (which takes place over two nights), sample the competing drinks for free, and vote for a favorite. RSVP at Drambuie's Facebook page. (Monday, March 19 and Tuesday, March 20, 7 pm, at the Sutter Room at the Regency Center, 1290 Sutter St., Polk Gulch.)

3. Txoko's Beer and Pintxo Pairing Event: Basque culture has its own spin on tapas, known as pintxos; like their Spanish equivalent, they're small snacks that are meant to be enjoyed alongside a cold brew. Enter Widmer Brothers, who are taking over Txoko's taps for an evening of pairings. For those just seeking an appetizer, $6 buys a Widmer Brothers IPA and one of chef Ian Begg's pintxos, while heartier eaters can snag a trio of pintxos and a trio of beers to accompany them for $15. RSVP here. (Wednesday, March 21, 5:30-8:30 pm, at Txoko, 504 Broadway, North Beach.)

4. St. Patrick's Day Pub Crawl: Don't want to go it alone this St. Patty's weekend? PubCrawls.com is hosting a three-night stand for booze travelers at over a dozen spots on Union Street, with $1 beers, $3 mixed drinks, and $4 shots of Jameson. Thanks to Goldstar, aspiring crawlers can buy a $5 ticket for one night's festivities, or drop $10 for access to the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night crawls. Discounted tickets are here, and more info is available here. (Friday, March 16, 5 pm-2 am; Saturday, March 17, 12 pm-2 am; Sunday, March 18, 12 pm-2 am, at Bar None, 1980 Union St., Cow Hollow.)

5. Steep Brew Opens Its Doors: The cafe at Whole Foods in Potrero Hill has been remodeled into Steep Brew, a coffee bar by day and gastropub by night. Fans of beer buyer Wesley Anderson's excellent bottle selection upstairs will be happy to know he's curating the 16 downstairs taps, with ultra-rare draft selections from the likes of Anchor, Almanac, Dying Vines, Pacific Brewing Laboratory, Ballast Point, and Magnolia. Upcoming events include a Magnolia tap takeover on Friday, March 23rd (6-9 pm), and a grand opening party on Thursday, April 5 (5-9 pm). (Daily, 8 am-10 pm, at Steep Brew at Whole Foods Market, 450 Rhode Island St., Potrero Hill.)