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Lowering the Bar: 5 Places to Drink For Cheap (or Free) This Week

Each week, we bring you our top picks for the best places to booze on the cheap in SF.

1. Drink Me Grand Tasting: The Drink Me magazine version of a Mad Hatter's tea party features a lot less tea, a lot more booze, and approximately the same amount of funny hats. For just $20 ($30 at the door), attendees will get a full-sized cocktail and tastings of a wide range of libations, from Knob Creek and Laphroaig to Ninkasi and Blue Moon brews to wines from 53B and Michael David. A DJ will spin, and food will be available for purchase; all you have to do is remember to wear your craziest chapeau. Tickets are available here. (Friday, November 4, 5:30-9:30 pm, at 111 Minna Gallery, 111 Minna St., SOMA.)

2. Happy Hour at Cupola Pizzeria: Cupola, the new pizzeria in the dome of the Westfield Mall, is aiming for the post-work and post-shopping crowd with its new happy hour, featuring $3 draft beers like Trumer Pils and Stone IPA, as well as $5 wine on tap. As an added bonus, the kitchen will serve up a free wood-oven-fired pizza to all happy-hour imbibers; they get to choose the toppings, but at the low, low price of free, it's hard to complain. The deal ends at Thanksgiving, so get your free pizza on posthaste. (Monday-Friday, 3-6 pm, at Cupola Pizzeria, Westfield San Francisco Centre, 845 Market St., 4th Floor, SOMA.)

3. Sour Flour Wrap-Up Party: Novice baker Valerie Huryzs set an ambitious goal for herself after learning how to create the staff of life: she gave away 1,000 loaves of handmade bread in just over three months. Her cohorts at Sour Flour are celebrating Val's achievement by throwing a shindig at La Victoria, with plenty of inexpensive food and drink (and maybe even some more free loaves). RSVP here. (Thursday, November 3, 6-10 pm, at La Victoria Bakery, 2937 24th St., Mission.)

4. Shecky's Girls Night Out: For those looking to log some quality time with their favorite ladies, look no further than this two-night shopping blowout at Fort Mason, which promises makeovers, discounted duds, and plenty of cocktails included with the ticket price. Standard admission is $10; those who feel like splurging can also get a $30 "goodie bag" ticket, which includes samples from Michelob, Bud Light, and Cointreau, as well as a bunch of beauty companies, to counteract any booze-related complexion crises. (Interested in the goodie-bag version? Check out Goldstar for a $15 discount.) Regular tickets and full-price goodie-bag tickets are available here. (Thursday, November 2 and Friday, November 3, 5-10 pm at Fort Mason Center, Herbst Pavilion, Marina Blvd. and Buchanan St.)

5. Starlight Room Sunset Menu: The historic Starlight Room atop the Sir Francis Drake hotel recently underwent a major makeover, which extended to the bar menu. Every day at sunset, new bar manager Joel Teitelbaum (formerly of Zero Zero) will offer up $7 cocktails like a Negroni and a Pisco Crusta with red lychee tea and lime, while in-house chef Jen Biesty of Scala's Bistro will provide $7 bar bites like chicken nuggets and fried mac and cheese. It may not be the cheapest after-work option, but for a tourist haunt with a priceless view, it's a pretty solid deal. (Monday-Friday, 6-7 pm, at Harry Denton's Starlight Room, 450 Powell St., Union Square.)