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Nonstop Beer at Bay Area Brew Fest

Now that baseball season is over, we're going to need another reason to drink beer. Luckily, there's a big one this weekend (Nov. 13 and 14) at Fort Mason. Bay Area Brew Festival gathers dozens of domestic and international brewers under one roof and, for $50, you can try them all for three hours straight (1–4 p.m.). In addition to local favorites like Lagunitas, Speakeasy, and Big Daddy, look for a wide range of brews, from the traditional (Colt45, brewed with pride in Woodridge, Illinois by the Pabst Brewing Co.) to the European (Spaten from Munich) to the karmic (Lhasa from Tibet) to the downright experimental (MateVeza, a "naturally caffeinated yerba mate beer" from Ukiah).

Weird Art in Bars: Noc Noc

A cross between a Neanderthal’s cave and Aladdin’s lamp, Noc Noc is a cozy cavern with a Gypsy color scheme and plenty of intriguing things to carefully inspect, should your date be late or nonexistent.

An Alternative St. Patrick's Day

Green beer, car bombs, pinching strangers: St. Patrick's Day, the old-fashioned way, can be plenty of fun. But if your memories of last year's hangover are still painful, or you can't stomach the antics of a holiday bartenders not-so-lovingly refer to as "Amateur Night," there are still plenty of ways to enjoy St. Patty's this Wednesday that aren't on the traditional Irish-pub route. (And if you still love the classics, take heart: three of the four bars recently chosen by Thrillist as the city's best are Irish pubs.) Here are a few suggestions for a fresh take on St. Patty's (all hours are for Wednesday):

Do Babies and Beers Go Together?

San Francisco has plenty of ultra-hip parents these days, and with the encroachment of rock shows and art events for the younger set, a new locale is emerging as the Final Frontier of family fun: the local watering hole. Buoyed by recent memories of their salad days and recession-induced frustration at dropping a boatload of cash on a babysitter, parents are bringing their babies into locales that were once their meat markets. As with everything involving urban children these days, this has provoked some heated opinions, from parents defending their need for a post-baby social life to childfree advocates decrying the presence of breastfeeding at the bar.

Watering Holes for the Hungry: Our Favorite Bars with Bites

We've spent a lot of time thinking about the dual nature of bars and restaurants in SF. Obviously, restaurants with great cocktail, wine, and beer programs abound in the city, but on a busy night, dedicated drinkers can usually forget about snagging a table to drink first and eat second-- with people waiting, most restaurants won't allow lingering, especially if food isn't a priority. On the flip side, it's easy to darken the door of a beloved bar all night, but when it comes time for some ballast, drinkers are usually sent out in search of that late-night slice or burrito. With that in mind, here's our list of a few places where barflies can both drink to their heart's content, with no restrictions on seating, and snag a bite without having to leave. Have a favorite we missed?

Rails of the Cocktail: Share your Muni tales at "Riders with Drinks"

So just yesterday morning I was riding the T from my new residence in the Dogpatch downtown. Large coffee in hand, noise-reducing headphones wedged deeply in my ears, I was daydreamingly lost in a Sound Opinions podcast and thus didn't notice that I was leaning against a door that was about to pop open. When it did, I temporarily lost my balance and managed to spill a few ounces of coffee all over the guy sitting in the seat beside me.

Needless to say, he got angry, and my apology was not enough.

Esquire Picks Two of SF's Bars as the Best in the US

According to its June “Bible of Drinking,” today is the last day of Esquire.com’s Drinking Week. It’s a stylish package of articles, ranging from Monday’s annual list of the Best Bars in America 2009 , which includes Tommy's and Alembic (trend watch: dive bars in, classy bars out), to today's “How Not to Become a Drunk.” Overall, it’s much more a guide to the act of drinking alcohol than a celebration of particular8  drinks themselves.

Drinker in Chief: The Prez Throws Back a Little Sonoma Coast Hirsch

Since Bill Clinton, who liked to eat but whose most lasting gastronomical association was with the Big Mac, and Bush, who seemed almost disdainful of good food and didn't even drink, it's been sixteen years since there's been any chief executive whose evinced that most human (and, for us, a most San Franciscan) trait of enjoying a good drink. While Obama's election broke many barriers and has yielded hope in so many ways, one of the nicest things about his presidency so far is that the guy likes to drink. And the examples keep piling up  . . .

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