It’s usually a good idea to avoid drinking alone, and two new Bay Area beer events make it easy to find fellow beer lovers to drink with. Hops and History on Thursday and the NorCal Session Fest on Saturday offer great opportunities for craft beer lovers to sample local brews, meet like-minded people, and raise money for good causes. Although your summer calendar may be packed already, these are two events you may want to squeeze into your schedule.

1st Annual NorCal Session Fest

With as much fanfare and authority as the Internets allow, the good people from the San Francisco Brewers Guild, RateBeer, Drake’s and Triple Rock have declared May to be Session Beer Month for the Bay Area. A number of local establishments have been featuring session beers this month, but the big party is happening Saturday, May 25 at Drake’s in San Leandro.

The term session beer comes from the Brits who, during WWI, were allowed to drink in pubs during only two periods–or sessions–per day. Since there was a war on, workers were expected to stay focused on their jobs, not on getting plowed during lunch. Modern brewers are increasingly producing sub-five percent ABV beers, especially during the summer months, because we often want a few full-flavored and refreshing brews during the day, that allow us to focus on enjoying outdoor activities rather than taking a nap. Session beers also allow a good brewer to show off his or her chops since it requires a special skill to craft a full-flavored beer with less alcohol. We’re not talking light beers here.

The inaugural NorCal Session Fest is your chance to sample a wide variety of session beers, including classic styles, such as a Berliner Weisse from Golden Road, and new some new styles from brewers like Pete Slosberg’s Mavericks.

Your ticket gets you unlimited samples of these quaffable brews. There will also be live music from Clangin' and Bangin' and food for purchase from Fiveten Burger and Fists of Flour Pizza.

Session Fest takes place on Saturday, May 25, from noon to 4:30 pm at Drake's Brewing Co., 1933 Davis St. Bldg 177, San Leandro. Advance tickets are $30 and $35 at the door. Proceeds benefit the East Bay Bike Coalition

Details on the fest as well as other happenings during Session Beer Month are on Facebook:

Hops and History: Tasting San Francisco's Brewing Past

The San Francisco Brewers Guild and FlipSide, part of The San Francisco Museum and Historical Society, are cosponsoring a first-of-a-kind beer event this Thursday evening at The Old Mint. But more than just sampling craft beers from local brewpubs, beer and history lovers can also join docent led tours of the historic 1874 Old Mint, listen to discussions on the city’s past and present brewing scene, and ogle displays of brewaphernalia There will also be a screening of the new movie Brewers by the Bay. If you get your fill of history and beer, there’s also music by DJ Jacob, food by Off The Grid, and a photobooth sponsored by UpOutSF.

Hops and History takes place on Thursday, May 23, from 6:30 to 9:30 pm at The Old Mint, 88 5th St. Tickets are $30 for general admission but only $5 for members. Proceeds from ticket sales benefit the Old Mint Museum Project.

If you’re going to this event, it’s a good idea to first join FlipSide at a special discount, and then take advantage of the member-priced tickets. Member benefits include exclusive parties at The Old Mint, historic bar crawls and lectures. See the FlipSide website for details and use discount code F13-04-90564-F

Get event details and order advanced tickets here