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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's Dogpatch Party: The fine folks of The Bold Italic are throwing another of their "microhood" shindigs, this time in the Dogpatch. As always, there's plenty of free booze to be had. Magnolia Brewery, future Dogpatch residents, will be dispensing free beers at Olivier's Butchery and Rickshaw Bagworks, while Sutton Cellars will be hosting a free wine tasting, Poco Dolce will be pairing wines with their chocolates, and Serpentine will be serving up $1 oysters and $5 whiskey smash cocktails. RSVP here. (Thursday, August 11th, 6-8 pm, 3rd St. and 22nd St., Dogpatch)

2. Mad Style Cocktail Party: Banana Republic is releasing another collection of "Mad Men"-inspired apparel, and to celebrate, they're throwing cocktail parties at all of their local stores. Drop by to sip on a free libation, browse the clothes, and generally channel your inner Don Draper. At the Grant Ave. store, they'll be inserting visitors into "Mad Men" photos with the help of a Kinect, so wear your early-60's duds for the optimal effect. More info here. (Thursday, August 11th, 6 pm, at Banana Republic, 256 Grant Ave. or Embarcadero Center.)

3. Elixir's Cocktail Club: As the economy once again slides into ruin, Elixir is buoying spirits by bringing its free Cocktail Club series back to life. This week's guests are Milagro Tequila, who will lead a free guided tasting before offering cocktails made with their pride and joy for $6 all night long. Subscribe to their newsletter to get info on the next booze-toting guests to make a visit. (Thursday, August 11th, 7-9 pm, at Elixir, 3200 16th St., Mission.)

4. Erotic Photos and Wine: Good Vibrations is playing host to photographer Peter Keresztury's latest show, appropriately titled "The Erotic Woman." The photographs include kinky, fetish, and bondage images, as well as good old-fashioned nudes. To celebrate, Good Vibrations is throwing a wine and hors d'oeuvres reception for the exhibit's opening, demonstrating its commitment to the national dream of drinking free alcohol while shamelessly ogling naked people. (Thursday, August 11th, 6-8 pm, at Good Vibrations, 1620 Polk St., Polk Gulch.)

5. Vino and Vinyasa at the W: This event always fills up fast, so we're featuring it a week early. The W Hotel will once again host a free yoga class with instructors from Lululemon, followed by free wine from Greater Purpose, gratis bites from the W's own Trace restaurant, and mini spa treatments. Enrollment is limited to 200, so snag your spot before it's too late. (Thursday, August 18, 5-8 pm, at W Hotel, 181 Third St., 4th Floor Terrace, SOMA.)