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Allie Pape

SF Beer Week: Our Top Picks

Beer lovers, rejoice! SF Beer Week is almost here, bringing nine days of suds-related fun and excitement to our fair city. From tastings to brewer meet-and-greets to pairing dinners, there's plenty to see and enjoy over the course of the week, and covering it all would be impossible. To help you navigate the festivities, here are a few events that caught our eye.

Housekeeping note: We've been getting a lot of anxious comments from readers interested in getting in on 7x7's party at Anchor Brewing, but that info isn't ready yet. Look for it on the site soon.

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. Pisco Sour Day at La Mar: This Saturday is Pisco Sour Day, and to celebrate, three local bars that specialize in the Peruvian spirit are offering deals on one of its classic cocktails. La Mar's is made with Pisco Quebranta, lime juice, simple syrup, egg white, and bitters, and will go for $5 all day on Friday and Saturday. It's a deal that's hard to sour on. (Friday, February 4, 11:30 am-close, and Saturday, February 5, 12 pm-close, at La Mar Cebicheria, Pier 1.5, Embarcadero.)

Get to Know SF's Newest Brewers (And Their Beer)

SF has already cemented its reputation as a great brewing town, the home to Anchor, Magnolia, Social Kitchen & Brewery, 21st Amendment, Speakeasy, and other beloved craft breweries. For nine fledgling breweries, however, the journey is just beginning-- and if getting in on the ground floor is appealing to you, you'll want to mark your calendar for the Bay Area Nanobrewery Festival, to be held as part of SF Beer Week on February 13th.

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. Waterbar and Epic's 3rd Anniversary: The twin titans of the Embarcadero, Waterbar and Epic Roasthouse, are on their way out of the terrible twos. Celebrate with them on Friday afternoon, when all of their usual happy-hour drink offerings will be available for just $3. Three, as it turns out, is the magic number. (Thursday, January 27, 3-6:30 pm, at Waterbar, 399 The Embarcadero, and Epic Roasthouse, 369 The Embarcadero.)

Try 30 Breweries' Suds in Berkeley This Saturday

SF Beer Week is getting close, but for fans of craft beer who are having those little-kid-on-December-23 pangs, The Brewing Network is offering a pretty swell warmup. This Saturday, they'll be taking over Civic Center Park (just two blocks from the Downtown Berkeley BART) for their annual Winter Brews Festival, a full-scale beerfest. Over 30 world-class brewers, from Magnolia to Lagunitas, will be in attendance, offering samples of their latest and greatest.

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. Tequila Tuesday at Maya: If you like tequila (and who doesn't?), mark the last Tuesday of the month on your calendar. For the next three months, Maya will be lining up a prominent distiller (this month is Espolon) for a sampling extravaganza. For a mere $10, attendees get three tequila tastings, a margarita, and access to a buffet of Mexican bar bites. Reservations are recommended, so get cracking. (Tuesday, January 25, 6:30 pm, at Maya, 303 2nd St., SOMA.)

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. Ironside's Bottomless Brunch: If you're looking for a hangover helper, Ironside has introduced a cheap and tasty option: $16 buys access to an all-you-can-eat brunch buffet, with the standard french toast, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, and grits, plus a few fun twists like ceviche, fried plantains, and bread pudding. Best of all, you can wash brunch down with $10 bottomless mimosas, or a build-your-own bloody mary bar. (Saturdays and Sundays starting January 15th, 10 am-2 pm, at Ironside, 680A 2nd St., SOMA.)

SF Beer Week's Schedule Is Up!

The SF Beer Week website promised a surprise yesterday afternoon at four, and it delivered-- the initial schedule, featuring over 100 events, was posted not long thereafter. The festival runs from February 11-20, and while we'll have a preview of our top picks in the first week of February, those interested in getting in on some of the smaller events should hop on over to the schedule now. Some events, such as the SF Brewers' Guild's Opening Gala, offer discounts on entry if you buy before February 1st, so be sure to grab those tickets soon.

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. Yelp's Holiday Hangover: Instead of throwing a single crazy holiday party, Yelp has decided to spread the wealth by throwing five. (We won't tell them that the holidays are over if you won't.) Each night will feature a different theme, from Casino Night to the Seven Deadly Sins, with free Widmer beer, Skyy vodka, and wine tastings. Head over to their site to choose your poison (you only get to attend one), and try to keep the "Hangover" part as fictional as the "Holiday" one. (Sunday, January 9-Thursday, January 13, 8-10 pm, at Payne Mansion, 1409 Sutter St., Pacific Heights.)

Meet Heretic, The Bay's Newest Brewery

Jamil Zainasheff had never planned to go pro. Over the past decade, he'd carved out a niche for himself in the growing homebrewing movement, authoring books on classic beer styles and yeast and hosting a popular Internet radio show, "The Jamil Show," on the Brewing Network. "I've always said I didn't want to set up a [commercial] brewery, because they're very expensive, and it's a lot of hard work," Zainasheff says.

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