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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. 7x7 Nightlife Party at Infusion Lounge: Our annual Nightlife Guide is almost here, and to celebrate, we're throwing a party at Infusion Lounge with plenty of luminaries from the local entertainment scene. $3 rum cocktails and $2 beers will be on offer, with complimentary tastings and bites. The food and drink deals end at 8 pm, with a DJ keeping the party going until 10. RSVP here. (Thursday, August 19th, 7-10 pm, at Infusion Lounge, 124 Ellis St., 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. Yuppie Friday at Enrico's: While we find it somewhat dubious that anyone wants to be referred to as a yuppie (even those who fit the description), youthful professionalism seems to come in handy for negotiating drink deals. For $15, attendees get two drinks, entrance in a raffle with numerous prizes, and a live jazz/funk band. Plus, all the proceeds go to the San Francisco Community Fund. More info here. (Friday, August 13th, 5-7:30 pm, at Enrico's, 504 Broadway, North Beach.)

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. Free Firestone Walker at The Republic: Paso Robles-based brewery Firestone Walker is looking to build interest in its wares by offering a free tasting at Marina beer destination The Republic. They'll be providing at least five beers for sampling, along with commentary on what makes each variety special. (Friday, August 6, 6-8 pm, at The Republic, 3213 Scott St., Marina.)

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. Peruvian Independence Day at Cantina: We have to admit that we're not always up on the independence days of countries that aren't France, but a pair of pisco-oriented deals offered today is making us revise that position. At Cantina, happy hour will feature $1 pisco punches, $4 shots of Campo de Encanto pisco, and complimentary snacks. Stick around after it's over to sample the latest and greatest from an all-pisco bar menu. (Wednesday, July 28, 5-8 pm, at Cantina, 580 Sutter St., Tenderloin.)

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. Beer, Bites, and Bikes at Show Dogs: Every couple of months, Show Dogs offers up one of its famed all-you-can-eat parties, with $20 buying unlimited brews, mini-sausages, and the famous onion rings. This outing benefits the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition's Great Streets Project, and attendees are encouraged to arrive on two wheels (they'll have valet bike parking) in order to take advantage of all the Speakeasy Prohibition, Black Butte Porter, 21st Amendment Hell or High Watermelon, and Scrimshaw Pilsner on offer. (Thursday, July 22, 6-8 pm, at Show Dogs, 1020 Market Street, Mid-Market.)

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. A Tall, Cold Pint of NightLife: Ever wondered how beer makes it into the bottle? Join representatives of local brewing shop SF Brewcraft and breweries MateVeza and Bison at the Academy of Sciences' NightLife, where they'll discuss how beer is made over a few pints of their finest creations. Admission is $12, and includes full access to the museum. (Thursday, July 15, 6-10 pm, at California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Dr., Golden Gate Park.)

The Cicerone (Basically a Beer Sommelier) Is the Drink World's New Hip Job

This city might be the home of Anchor Steam, one of the nation’s first craft breweries, as well as the Lower Haight’s pioneering beer bar Toronado, but until a few years ago, the beer culture here has been mostly a “large-bearded-man-in-a-dirty-bar type of thing,” says Sayre Piotrkowski, cicerone at the Monk’s Kettle in the Mission.

A grimy dive is certainly not the domain of a cicerone, the term for a certified beer sommelier—the latest hip job in the drink world. According to the Cicerone Certification Program, started by Chicago-based beer expert Ray Daniels in 2007, cicerone literally means “one who conducts visitors and sightseers to museums.” (The leap to beer might be a long one, but the 18th-century terminology sounds duly impressive.)

Lowering the Bar: 5 Places to Drink for Cheap (or Free) This Week

1. Eastside West Wednesdays: After a long day at work, LTB's priority list usually consists of a drink, something nourishing to eat, and some nice music on the stereo. Now, Eastside West has offered to let humpday sufferers enjoy all of these things in public. Every Wednesday night, $8 buys you your choice of a burger or sandwich, and it comes with either a beer or a glass of wine. And they have live jazz! This is a deal that all cardinal directions can get behind. (Wednesdays, all night, at Eastside West, 3154 Fillmore St., Marina.)

Get Your German Beer On at Social Kitchen & Brewery

As a member of the new guard of cicerones (a.k.a. beer sommeliers) profiled in our July issue, Rich Higgins has a few opinions about beer: he's in favor of drinking extremely fresh, locally-made brews, and he's hoping to provide a moderate, European-influenced counterpoint to the proliferation of ultra-high-alcohol "extreme" beers. The new German beer nights at the Sunset's Social Kitchen & Brewery, where Higgins is head brewer, should be a great source of both.

Bar and Street Food Pairings

Drink here: One of the city's best-loved wine bars, SOMA's Terroir specializes in unique and interesting organic vintages, served in a warm, rustic setting.

Eat this: For a perfect pairing with that glass of Côtes du Rhone, Chez Spencer's Spencer on the Go! truck offers French food—ranging from frogs legs to vol-au-vents—right across the street from Terroir. It's open Thursday-Saturday, 6 p.m. to close, and you can bring your food into Terroir (provided you're drinking wine).

Drink here: The hip hop-heavy nightclub 330 Ritch has a more sedate feel on Friday afternoons, when a live jazz combo plays and numerous $6 drink specials are on offer.

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