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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. Art in the Age Cocktail Competition: Art in the Age is holding a cocktail contest at 15 Romolo, designed to show off its two signature spirits, Root (which tastes like root beer) and Snap (reminiscent of gingersnaps). But what really has us rooting is that the event is open to the public, and they'll be offering $4 Root and Snap concoctions all evening, plus free hors d'oeuvres. RSVP to get on the list. (Monday, July 11th, 8 pm, at 15 Romolo, 15 Romolo Pl., North Beach.)

2. Top of the Mark Summer Movie Series: All summer long, the Top of the Mark in the Mark Hopkins Hotel is screening San Francisco-set movies on Tuesday nights, with a free wine tasting beforehand from Domaine Chandon (through July 19th), MacMurray Ranch (July 26th-August 16th), or Brancott & Ravenswood (August 23rd-September 6th). Next Tuesday's film is D.O.A., and the other selections range from the sublime (The Maltese Falcon) to the strange (Arnold Schwarzenegger's pregnancy vehicle Junior). Want to make it special? Goldstar's offering a $25 package that includes reserved seating for the film, appetizers, and two rounds of martinis. (Tuesdays through September 6th, wine tasting at 5:30 pm, movie at 7:30 pm, at Top of the Mark, 999 California St., Nob Hill.)

3. Revenge of the Nerds Drink-a-Long: For July, Cinema Speakeasy's monthly event at GAFFTA will be a drinking party centered around Revenge of the Nerds (whose title is a pretty good summary of Bay Area life). They'll be pouring $3 Tecate, PBR, and Speakeasy brews (the latter while supplies last), along with $4 red and white wine. Admission is $5, and there's a set of rules for how to drink in time with the film-- anytime anyone says "nerd," you're drinking, which is, well, dangerous. (Saturday, July 9th, 7:30 pm, at GAFFTA, 998 Market St., Tenderloin.)

4. Hog & Rocks Anniversary Bash: The Mission's purveyor of fine pork and oysters is turning one this week, and they're celebrating with an all-you-can-eat-and-drink party. Your $25 admission buys access to oysters, a roasted whole pig, and platters of ham and prosciutto, not to mention Tres Agaves margaritas, Maker's Mark cocktails, and draft beer. It's a lineup we wish we could steal for our own birthday. Tickets must be purchased in advance; check out their Facebook event page for info on how to buy 'em. (Sunday, July 10th, 3-7 pm, at Hog and Rocks, 3431 19th St., Mission.)

5. Maverick Birthday Champagne: Hog & Rocks shares a birth week with its older sister Maverick, which turns six next Wednesday. If you have dinner there that night, they'll give you a free glass of champagne to celebrate. Happy birthday, Maverick empire, and thank you for all the cheap booze you bring into our lives. (Wednesday, July 13th, 5:30-10 pm, at Maverick, 3316 17th St., Mission.)