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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. The Bold Italic Clementime Party: Just in time for holiday shopping, The Bold Italic is rounding up the merchants of Clement St. to offer discounts and free libations. Start with a $3 draft or shot special at the Rockit Room, then enjoy free beer and wine as you shop at Green Apple Books, Seedstore, Foggy Notion, and Park Life. If you've got a smartphone, download the Scoutmob app for a free beer at Dirty Trix, then close out the evening with a gratis scoop of chocolate salted caramel brownie ice cream at Toy Boat. RSVP here. (Thursday, December 8, 6-8 pm, Clement St. between 3rd and 7th Aves., Inner Richmond.) 

2. Lomography Opening Party: Lomography, makers of hip analog cameras like the Holga and the Diana, is opening its first SF store, in Union Square, and they're celebrating with a Gold Rush-themed shindig. The party will boast free beer, wine, "moonshine"-themed libations from Cocktail Lab, and sweet treats, as well as BBQ for purchase from the Rib Whip. Dance to the bluegrass sounds of Windy Hill, and pan for "gold" (i.e. free stuff and discounts). Be sure to RSVP here; those without an RSVP won't be able to get in. (Thursday, December 8, 7-10 pm, at Lomography Gallery Store SF, 309 Sutter St., Union Square.)

3. Spark Winterland Holiday Party: No plans tonight? Get into the holiday spirit(s) at Drink Me magazine's benefit for Spark, which advocates for women's rights both locally and around the globe. Admission is $10 and includes drink samples from the likes of Hornitos, Four Roses, Blue Moon, and Cruzan, as well as a performance by a live band. For extra brownie points, bring a first-aid kit, feminine supplies, or a box of condoms, which Spark will donate to local women's-health organizations. Tickets are available here. (Wednesday, December 7, 7-10 pm, at Madrone Art Bar, 500 Divisadero St., Western Addition/NOPA.)

4. Bay Area Beer Socials Toy Drive: Bay Area Beer Socials is offering another way to drink while doing good, with a holiday event at Rogue Ales Public House. Stop by for happy hour with an unwrapped toy for a boy or girl (16 years old or younger), and they'll reward you with a free pint, as well as complimentary appetizers. Apparently, they've had some people try to take advantage in recent years, so don't be a Grinch and show up without a toy-- the Fire Department will be there to turn a hose of shame on you. RSVP here. (Friday, December 9, 6 pm, at Rogue Ales Public House, 673 Union St., North Beach.)

5. Craft Beer Bar Mitzvah Reading: We profiled He'brew and Coney Island Craft Lagers founder Jeremy Cowan when he was in town earlier this year, and he's returning for Hanukkah with another reading from his memoir and free tasting of his brews, including some vintage and limited-release suds. Even though it's going down in a bookstore, don't bring the kids to this bar mitzvah: it's a strictly 21+ affair. (Friday, December 9, 5:30-7:30 pm, at The Booksmith, 1644 Haight St., Upper Haight.)