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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.

Editor's note: This will be the last edition of Lowering the Bar. Starting next week, this column will be transformed into Drink Here Now, which will focus on enticing new drink options for a variety of budgets. Thanks for reading, and we hope you enjoy the new column!

1. Chrome Holiday Party: The messenger-bag mavens of Chrome are throwing a biker-friendly bash to celebrate the holidays, with music from Love Inks, Tidelands, and Melted Toys. Admission is only $6, and even if you can't afford champagne this Christmas, the champagne of beers (Miller High Life, that is) will set you back a mere $1 per can. (Thursday, December 15, drinks at 9 pm, show at 9:30 pm, at Hemlock Tavern, 1131 Polk St., Polk Gulch.)

2. Funcheap SF's Holiday Party: Johnny and his posse over at Funcheap SF are LTB's spiritual siblings, and we would be remiss if we didn't direct you to their holiday shindig at Sports Basement. Bring two cans of food for the SF Food Bank, and you'll get access to free beer, snacks, a four-foot-tall version of Jenga, prizes, and more. And if you're in the mood to shop, Sports Basement will take 10% off any purchase and donate another 10% to One Brick, which simplifies the volunteering process. RSVP here. (Saturday, December 17, 5:30-8 pm, at Sports Basement Mission, 1590 Bryant St., Mission.)

3. Holiday Indie Mart with The Bold Italic: Workshop's Kelly Malone designed the new offices of The Bold Italic, and to celebrate the grand opening, she's throwing one of her Indie Mart events in their space. 25 vendors will offer their wares, and the Secret Hooch Society will mix up Root, Snap, and Reyka vodka cocktails. Speakeasy beer will be on offer, along with snacks from Angry Man Eats and Rice Paper Scissors. RSVP here. (Friday, December 16, 5-11 pm, at The Bold Italic, 34 Page St., Upper Market.)

4. Anthem Screen Printing Holiday Party: Want to make a T-shirt or other screenprinted item for your holiday giftees? For $5, the folks at Anthem Screen Printing will provide you with a blank white shirt and your choice of six designs to print; bring extra apparel, and they'll let you print as much as you desire. While you work, nosh on free food and enjoy $2 beer, wine, and eggnog. And if you get tipsy enough, Santa himself will be available for lap-sitting, gift wishes, and confessionals. (Saturday, December 17, 8 pm-12 am, at Anthem Screen Printing, 1769 Folsom St., Mission.)

5. Cafe Prague's Wurst Holiday Block Party: For a Czech take on Christmas, bundle up and head over to Cafe Prague's outdoor block party, where they'll be grilling up $3 sausages, serving glasses of $3 mulled wine, and offering $5 half-liters of beer (the first 100 visitors get a coupon for an extra buck off their suds). Too Damned Handsome will provide Euro-centric party music, and early visitors (5-6 pm) can nosh on free BBQ chicken wings. (Friday, December 16, 4-8 pm, at Cafe Prague, 424 Merchant St., Financial District.)