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


Each week, we bring you our picks for the best places to booze on the cheap in SF.

1. Madrone Lounge's Anniversary: While this deal may be last-minute, it goes all night. The hopping Divisadero bar/gallery is turning one, and extending their usual happy hour to the entire evening. That means $2 PBRs and Budweiser tallboys, $4 shots of Spikesville Whiskey, $5 mojitos, and other tasty delights. DJs will shift hourly, culminating in a big dance party for the final two hours. (Tonight, Wednesday, January 20, 6 pm-2 am, at Madrone Lounge, 500 Divisadero St., NOPA.)

2. I Heart Tour Supports Haiti: D-Structure, the Lower Haight clothing/skateboarding store, is offering a great double-whammy of events this weekend. "I Heart Tour" brings four bands together for a good cause. While they usually support domestic violence charities, Friday's proceeds will go towards Haitian relief efforts; $10 buys admission to the concert, a feeling of goodwill, and oh yeah, an open bar. Doing good has never felt so good. (Friday, January 22, 8 pm, at D-Structure, 520 Haight St., Lower Haight. 18+ only.)

3. Big Up Party: If you can't make Friday's event, there's yet another open bar at D-Structure on Saturday. The launch of Big Up magazine's sixth issue will feature two DJs and free beer provided by Nakhon. They'll also give away some prizes. Many thanks to D-Structure for bringing some structure to our weekend. (Saturday, January 23, 7-9 pm, at D-Structure, 520 Haight St., Lower Haight.)

4. Haiti Relief Wine Tasting: It's nice to see so many local bars and restaurants offering a hand to Haiti-- and some great deals in the bargain. First Crush, the opulent wine bar, is getting into the charitable spirit by offering tastings of several wines, with the $10 admission going to Doctors Without Borders. Sip on some fine vintages, and maybe stay for dinner-- 10% of those checks will also go to charity. (Tuesday, January 26, 4:30-6 pm, at First Crush, 101 Cyril Magnin St., Financial District.)

5. History and Beer Tasting at Anchor: The SF Museum and Historical Society is hosting a beer tour and tasting to celebrate their latest book release, Charles Fracchia's When the Water Came Up to Montgomery Street, about SF during the gold rush. There's no better choice of venue for history than the historic Anchor Brewery, so if you can get off work early, it's a great opportunity to take the tour and drink free beer, an opportunity for which guests usually have to book months in advance. UPDATE: This event is now full. Thanks for RSVPing, and apologies for those who didn't make the cut-- space was limited. (Thursday, January 28, 4:30-7:30 pm, at Anchor Brewery, 1705 Mariposa St., Potrero Hill.)

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