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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. SFAQ Symposium: The San Francisco Arts Quarterly, described as a hybrid of a newspaper and an arts calendar, is releasing its latest issue with a celebration on Saturday. With a free wine tasting from 5-6, and an open bar from 7-10, the atmosphere should be very celebratory indeed. They'll also have talks, live music from the Birds & Batteries and Holy Shit, and snacks from Georges. (Saturday, November 13, 5-10 pm, at the San Francisco Art Institute, 800 Chestnut St., North Beach.)

2. Happy Hour at Hi-Fi Lounge: This bar specializes in PB&Js, but they're not the kind you remember from elementary school: the PB is for Pabst Blue and the J is for Jameson. Get a can of the former and a shot of the latter for a grand total of $6 all day Sunday-Thursday and on Saturday during the day. Just want a cheap pint? You're in luck: draft beer is just $1 on Thursday and Friday between 7 and 10. (Daily at Hi-Fi Lounge, 2125 Lombard St., Marina.)

3. Red and White's Happy Hour: Glen Park's cute little wine bar (not to be confused with the similarly named wine bar Blanc & Rouge downtown) is hoping to attract the fresh-from-BART crowd with $1 off drinks every afternoon. It's a perfect place to cool your heels while you wait for that table at Gialina. (Daily, 3-6 pm, at Red and White, 678 Chenery St., Glen Park.)

4. Yelp at Mission Bar: In their quest to tour the many dive bars of the Mission, Yelpers have chosen an obvious target in Mission Bar (near 23rd Street). Join them on Friday for an extended happy hour. The beer side of the equation boasts $2 PBR, $2.50 Anchor/Sierra/Paulaner/Fat Tire, $3 Stella and Radeburger, and $3.50 Guinness, while well drinks are $3-4. Be sure to grab a name tag, though: no sticker, no drink. More info here. (Friday, November 12, 7-9 pm, at Mission Bar, 2695 Mission St., Mission.)

5. Champagne Tasting at the Wine Club: Like bubbles? The Wine Club's tasting this Saturday is for you, with an exclusive focus on Champagne. Your $10 admission gets you access to numerous vintages for sampling (and potential holiday purchasing). It may go to your head. (Saturday, November 13, 2-5 pm, at the Wine Club, 953 Harrison St., SOMA.)