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Allie Pape

Get Your Single-Malt On: It's SF Whisky Week

Scotch lovers, start your engines: this Tuesday marks the first day of Whisky Week, a five-day series of events and tastings that culminates in the annual WhiskyFest, which features over 250 libations from around the globe. Whether you're a neophyte looking to learn more about an unfamiliar spirit or an expert excited to try all those ultra-pricey new expressions you've been reading about, this week has plenty to offer.

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. Play Hooky at Chambers: Not really feeling another few hours in the cubicle this afternoon, especially with a legitimate summer day right outside? Fake an upset stomach and head to Chambers, where they'll be dishing up $4 beers, bloody marys, and margaritas around their signature pool all day long. If you're really feeling flush, or can convince the boss to call it an "offsite," $97 buys a cabana room with four pool passes, where you can change, shower, and head to dinner. (Wednesday, September 28, 1 pm-sunset, at Chambers Eat + Drink in the Phoenix Hotel, 601 Eddy St., Tenderloin.)

Reading Roundup: This Week's Top Literary Events

Each week, we offer a roundup of the best literary events in the city. All events are free and open to the public, unless otherwise noted. Want to submit an upcoming event for consideration? Go here.

The Great SF Read-Out

Saturday, October 1, 7 pm, at Amnesia (853 Valencia St.)

This week marks Banned by the Bay, SF's celebration of the nationwide Banned Books Week, and in a show of support for previously banned literary classics, local writers and artists are encouraged to take the stage during this open-mic performance at Amnesia. BATS Improv, Word for Word's Patricia Silver, and other local luminaries will perform, and Will Franken and Doug Sweetland will team up to create their own banned book with the help of the audience. Can't make the event? There's also a lecture on banned books at the Booksmith on Wednesday, and a banned book swap at Heart on Friday.

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. Andalu's 10th Anniversary: Andalu, the Mission small-plates spot, has been in business for a decade, and they're celebrating by giving every diner a free glass of Prosecco and gratis donut holes on their birthday this coming Tuesday. Can't make the big day? They'll also have a $34.95 wine-pairing dinner (normally $55) from this coming Sunday through the following Friday. (Tuesday, September 27, 5:30-9:30 pm, at Andalu, 3198 16th St., Mission.)

Reading Roundup: This Week's Top Literary Events

Each week, we offer a roundup of the best literary events in the city. All events are free and open to the public, unless otherwise noted. Want to submit an upcoming event for consideration? Go here.

Michael Chabon (The Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man)

Thursday, September 22nd, 7 pm, at the Osher Marin JCC (200 N. San Pedro Rd., San Rafael).

Chabon has earned acclaim for his adult novels, from The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay to Wonder Boys, but he's also a father of four, which explains why he's authored this superhero-themed picture book aimed at the younger set. This family-friendly event will feature a live reading, with all the juicy details about Awesome Man's laser eyes and power grip, which he uses to defeat killer robots. Tickets are $28, include a signed copy of the book, and are available here.

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. Two Special Drink Events at Txoko: Txoko is now a few months into its stint in the old Enrico's space in North Beach, and its Basque fare and relaxed atmosphere have earned acclaim from our own Carolyn Alburger. They're doing a lot of celebrating: This Wednesday, Txoko's throwing a Pisco Porton happy hour, with $6 cocktails like the Elevation (pisco, lemon juice, maraschino liqueur) and the Jabber (pisco, sherry, Lillet blanc, orange bitters, lemon oil), as well as a classic Pisco Sour. For $12, you'll get your choice of cocktail and two bites: mussels with romesco and crispy potatoes, and a wild-mushroom empanada. The first 50 ladies to arrive will receive a drink on the house, too. Next Tuesday, they'll celebrate National Punch Day, with two punches and two cocktails made with Bols Genever going for just $6 a glass. Fish and chips, fried green tomatoes, and arroz with corn will all be $6 as well. (Pisco: Wednesday, September 14th, 5:30-7:30 pm; Punch: Tuesday, September 20th, 5:30-7:30 pm, at Txoko, 504 Broadway, North Beach.)

Beers + Brunch = Public House's Beerunch

Mimosas and Bloody Marys may dominate the brunch-beverage rankings, but MateVeza is aiming to change all that with their line of caffeinated brews, which derive their buzz from yerba mate. With a brew that packs both alcohol and caffeine, it's no wonder they're promoting the concept of "Beerunch," a magical time when drinkers can knock back a couple of brews without returning to bed by 2 pm.

Beerunch will be in full swing this Sunday, and the MateVeza folks have brought a lot of good friends along for the ride, with their rare brews in tow. The event boasts seven beers in total, each paired with a different brunch dish. San Diego-based Ballast Point's beloved Sculpin IPA, which is rarely found on draft in these parts, will be paired with huevos rancheros, while Sierra Nevada and Dogfish Head's second Life & Limb collaboration (also a draft rarity) will go head-to-head with Medjool dates wrapped in Niman Ranch bacon.

Reading Roundup: This Week's Top Literary Events

Each week, we offer a roundup of the best literary events in the city. All events are free and open to the public, unless otherwise noted. Want to submit an upcoming event for consideration? Go here.

Erin Morgenstern (The Night Circus)

Friday, September 16th, 6:30-10 pm, at The Booksmith (1644 Haight St.)

Sunday, September 18th, 1 pm, at Book Passage Corte Madera (59 Tamal Vista Blvd.)

Our Top Picks for SF Cocktail Week

The world's first cocktail week is celebrating its fifth anniversary this year, and as always, there are plenty of educational events, bar crawls, parties, after-parties, and other boozy fun to be had. Since our livers aren't made of titanium, we took it upon ourselves to condense the many awesome options down to six favorites. But if you happen to boast some sort of Six Million Dollar Man-type level of alcohol tolerance, let us direct your attention towards the SFCW Gold Pass, which will get you into almost every event, all week long, for just $700. Be sure to keep some Alka-Seltzer handy.

15 Romolo and Stag Dining Group Dinner

Reading Roundup: This Week's Top Literary Events

Each week, we offer a roundup of the best literary events in the city. All events are free and open to the public, unless otherwise noted. Want to submit an upcoming event for consideration? Go here.

The True Stories Lounge

Friday, September 9th, 7 pm, at the Make-Out Room (3225 22nd St.)

This new monthly reading by nonfiction authors at the Make-Out Room is a spiritual companion to the more fiction-oriented Writers with Drinks, and its organizers have been able to secure a lineup to rival WWD's for their initial outing. Readers include essayist Joyce Maynard (To Die For), novelist Alicia Erian (Towelhead), historian Adam Hochschild (King Leopold's Ghost), and Salon co-founder Gary Kamiya (Cool, Grey City of Love). Admission is $10 at the door, and as always, drinks will be available.

Paul Madonna (All Over Coffee)

Friday, September 9th, 7:30 pm, at the SF Zen Center (300 Page St.)

Paul Madonna's weekly cartoon All Over Coffee appears in the Chronicle and on the Rumpus, has been spun off into two books, and boasts near-iconic status among the artsy set in SF. Combining drawings of beautiful spots around the city (and occasionally around other cities) with philosophical musings, Madonna's art often feels like the work of chance, but hides a meticulous backbone. At this Zen Center lecture, he'll discuss his creative process and show examples of his work.

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