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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.

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. Foursquare at Epic Roasthouse: Enjoy broadcasting your location to friends via Foursquare? Then get ready for what will surely be WikiLeaks-level news in your social circle: the first five people to check into Epic Roasthouse's bar during happy hour get a free drink. (And even the losers win, with drinks from $3-5.) The only problem: happy hour starts at 3 pm. We suggest claiming some sort of ice-skating-related injury. (Monday, December 13-Friday, December 17, 3-6:30 pm, at Epic Roasthouse, 369 The Embarcadero, Embarcadero.)

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. Yuppie Friday's Holiday Toy Drive: The oft-stressful holiday season comes with two built-in mood boosters: helping the less fortunate and getting wasted. Get the pleasure of both by attending Yuppie Friday's event at Vessel, where your $15 admission includes two drinks, and each new, unwrapped toy you donate gets you an extra $5 in bar credit. All the proceeds benefit the SF Firefighters' Toy Program for needy kids. (Friday, December 3, 5:30-8:30 pm, at Vessel, 85 Campton Place, Union Square.)

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. Holiday Shopping Soiree: If you have a few cocoa hounds on your nice list, consider heading over to Leland Tea Company tonight to sample the wares of local providers Neo Cocoa, Clarine's Florentines, and Jade Chocolates, along with other, non-chocolate artisans. They'll have free sparkling wine and appetizers for attendees, and $1 of your $5 entry fee ($6 at the door) will support Larkin Street Youth Services. RSVP here. (Wednesday, November 17, at Leland Tea Company, 1417 Bush Street, Polk Gulch.)

Get Into the Holiday Spirit(s) at the Indy Expo

The word "Expo" doesn't usually have positive connotations: a failed Home Depot spinoff, a failed Canadian baseball team, and myriad obligatory corporate functions come to mind. This holiday season, however, there's one expo that everyone can get behind: the Indy Spirits Expo, which brings a host of independent liquor producers to SF for a night of sampling. This year's Expo is tomorrow (Wednesday), so grab a big meal and get ready to find some gifts to give (or receive) come December.

Sierra Nevada's 30th at Toronado Tonight

Break out the Celebration Ale: this year marks the 30th anniversary of Chico's Sierra Nevada brewery, which was founded in 1980 by Ken Grossman and is currently the nation's second-largest microbrewery (after Samuel Adams). To celebrate, Grossman has embarked on five beer collaborations in the past year, beginning with Life & Limb, produced in partnership with Dogfish Head (read more about it here). Life & Limb was followed by four specially designated Sierra 30 beers, released over the course of 2010.

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. SFAQ Symposium: The San Francisco Arts Quarterly, described as a hybrid of a newspaper and an arts calendar, is releasing its latest issue with a celebration on Saturday. With a free wine tasting from 5-6, and an open bar from 7-10, the atmosphere should be very celebratory indeed. They'll also have talks, live music from the Birds & Batteries and Holy Shit, and snacks from Georges. (Saturday, November 13, 5-10 pm, at the San Francisco Art Institute, 800 Chestnut St., North Beach.)

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