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

Each week, former sf.myopenbar.com editor Allie Pape brings you her picks for the best places to booze on the cheap in SF. This week: Wine tasting, wine pounding, and a trip to the moon (via the Rockit Room). Have an event coming up? Want to share a tip? E-mail her.

1. Timbuk2 Bar Week: In the grand tradition of their Dolores Chiller (the messenger bag that's actually a cooler, for all your PBR-based outdoor assignations), Timbuk2 is introducing a new line of backpacks named after SF bars. To celebrate, they're also offering drink specials at said bars for the rest of the week-- you don't need to be a Timbuk2 owner, though there are prizes for those who wear their bag to the events. Tonight is $2 beers and $3.25 cocktails at Dalva; Thursday offers a bottle of the Blue Ribbon and a shot of Jameson for $5 at Hemlock; and the culmination occurs Friday at Timbuk2's retail store, with an old-fashioned (and free) PBR kegger. Frank Booth would be proud. (All events 6-8 pm. Wednesday, October 14, at Dalva, 3121 Mission St., Mission. Thursday, October 15, at Hemlock, 1131 Polk St., Polk Gulch. Friday, October 15, at Timbuk2 Retail Store, 506 Hayes St., Hayes Valley.)

2. Spencer & Daniel's Wine Tasting: Like an infinitely better version of a thrift store, Spencer & Daniel's buys overstocked and undersold wines from other retailers, then sells them in their own shop, passing on the savings to customers. For bargain-hunters, it's a dream arrangement, but for those who doubt the quality of their castoffs, the shop sets skeptics straight with semi-regular tastings. A $5 ticket ($10 at the door) gets you access to 16 different wines to taste, plus giveaways and an art show. As far as we're concerned, that's the definition of Goodwill. (Thursday, October 15, 7 pm, at Space Gallery, 1141 Polk St., Polk Gulch.)

3. Bin 38's Anniversary: Bin 38, the Marina wine bar, is celebrating two years in business by giving away free champagne to the masses-- as long as you arrive before 6:30 pm. After your first glass (or the end of the witching hour), glasses are $5 for the rest of the evening. Be sure to wear closed-toed shoes: with the inevitable local girls overindulging on their preferred tipple, the next misplaced stiletto heel could be your last. (Wednesday, October 21, 4-6:30 pm for free champagne, $5 champagne until midnight, at Bin 38, 3232 Scott St., Marina.)

4. Heaven's Dog Happy Hour: The new-ish restaurant from Slanted Door impresario Charles Phan focuses on Chinese cuisine, but things are equally hopping at its bar, another awesome new palace of mixology with prices to match. Luckily for the poor, those $10 cocktails come down a notch at happy hour; when you buy one, you get a drink chip entitling you to another. Give the spare token to your date, or stockpile three or four for an ultra-classy bender: the choice is yours. Oh, and they do it on weekends, too! (Daily, 4:30-7 pm, at Heaven's Dog, 1148 Mission St., SOMA.)

5. Rockit Room Specials: The friendly folks at the Rockit Room dropped us an e-mail to alert readers to their prices, which are Inner Richmond reasonable. Happy hour runs from 4-8 every night, including weekends, with $3 drafts and wells and $1 off anything else. They also have some good any-day, any-time specials (parentheses ours): a pint of Bud and shot of Jack Daniel's for $7 ("The American"), a Corona and a shot of Cuervo Silver for $8 ("The Mexican"), and any pint and any well shot for $6 ("The International Symbol for Drunk.") Oh, and pitchers of Bud for $10. These guys are looking out for all of us! (Happy hour 4-8, other specials all night, daily, at the Rockit Room, 406 Clement St., Inner Richmond.)