Photo: Suni Sidu

7 Can't-Miss Events at San Francisco Beer Week

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Venues from Sonoma to Monterey Bay will soon be awash with suds thanks to the return of San Francisco Beer Week (Feb. 7-16, 2020).

While you can try to hit them all, the hundreds of beer tastings, beer dinners, tap takeovers, and quirky beer-themed events can be daunting. Here are the highlights.


(Courtesy of Bay Area Brewers Guild)

SF Beer Week Opening Gala

6-10pm (VIP opens 5pm), Friday, Feb. 7

If you attend just one Beer Week event, make it this epic gathering of the Bay Area's craft beer community. You'll be wearing beer goggles in no time thanks to more than 300 beers from 120 independent Northern California breweries. Enjoy unlimited samples of new, rare, and classic beers; there will also be local food vendors on site. Note that the gala usually sells out; tickets are sold online only. // Pier 35, 145 The Embarcadero; tickets ($80-$125) are available on Eventbrite.


(Courtesy of Bay Area Brewers Guild)

The Sour Sunday

Noon to 5pm, Sunday, Feb. 9

Sours can incorporate tartness, astringency, and fruitiness into beer's traditional flavor palette of hops and malt. Hosted in downtown Berkeley by Jupiter, Triple Rock Brewing, and Drake's Brewing, this event celebrates the world's rarest, wildest, and funkiest brews from more than 60 brewers. // Jupiter, 2181 Shattuck Ave. (Berkeley), and Triple Rock Brewing, 1920 Shattuck Ave. (Berkeley); tickets range ($35-$100) are available on Eventbrite.


(Courtesy of Bay Area Brewers Guild)

Books, Beers & Buccaneers

6-8pm, Tuesday, Feb. 11

826 Valencia has shanghaied The Bindery for an elaborate in-store treasure hunt. It's a race to read between the lines and win the grand prize. Each ticket includes one drink, food, and a raffle ticket for prizes and giveaways (additional drinks and raffle tickets are available for purchase). All proceeds will benefit 826 Valencia, the beloved SF nonprofit dedicated to helping under-resourced pirates aged 6 to 18 improve their writing. // The Bindery, 1727 Haight St. (Upper Haight); for tickets ($18) and info, go to sfbeerweek.org.


(Courtesy of Bay Area Brewers Guild)

Valentine's Day 3-Course Prix Fixe

Starting at noon, Friday, Feb. 14

If your Valentine prefers fine wine with dinner but you want great beer, head over to Monk's Kettle on V-Day for their all-day prix-fixe menu. Expect pairings such as house-smoked gravlax and smoked trout roe caviar with the 2018 Orval pale ale or the 2016 Aninyo Cava Reserva Brut. On the sweet side, you can team a trio of chocolate truffle, red velvet petit four, and chocolate black currant panna cotta with either The Lost Abbey's 2018 Framboise de Amorosa or the 2015 Bucklin Bambino Zin Field Blend. // The Monk's Kettle, 341 16th St. (Mission); for details, go to sfbeerweek.org.


(Courtesy of Bay Area Brewers Guild)

Divine Origins: Enobeers & Natural Wine

Starting at noon, Saturday, Feb. 15

Do you love both beer and wine but still feel uncomfortable with genre fluidity? Woods Beer Co. can help you get fully woke with their barrel-aged beer-wine hybrids. Woods works with local vintners to create these barrel-aged sippers and will be sharing selections from 2017, 2018, and 2019 vintages at all five Woods locations: Cerveceria, Polk Station, Bar & Brewery, Island Club, and Outbound.


(Courtesy of Bay Area Brewers Guild)

SF Beer Week Collaboration Beer Showcase

All week

Craft beer brewers are often more inspired by cooperation than competition, and nowhere is this better reflected than in their collaboration beers. This year, breweries in each of the five regions that make up the Bay Area Brewers Guild collaborated to brew straightforward beers that reflected the unique characteristics of their region. But they all share a common ingredient: malt from Admiral Maltings. These collaboration beers include Rice Stratasphere, a rice IPA from the East Bay brewers; Common Dreams, a California Common from SF brewers; Cloud Based, an oat cream pale ale from Silicon Valley; and more. // The beers will be available for tasting at The Rake at Admiral Maltings, 651A W Tower Ave. (Alameda); for details, dates, a nd times, go to sfbeerweek.org.


(Courtesy of Bay Area Brewers Guild)

Pliny the Younger Release

All week

Consistently ranked as one of the 10 best beers in the world, Russian River Brewing's Triple IPA will be easier to get this year. The beer will make its release at Russian River's two locations—the OG Santa Rosa brew pub and the new Windsor beer garden and tasting space. But for the first time in its 16-year history, the beer will be also available in bottles, limited to two per person per day. You can also sample the beer on a guided tour of the Windsor brewery. If you don't want to make the drive, use the beer search on the SF Beer Week's website for local events including Pliny. // 11am to midnight at Russian River Brewery, 725 4th St. (Santa Rosa); 11am to 10pm at 700 Mitchell Ln. (Windsor).


Create and share your own Beer Week itinerary at sfbeerweek.org. Out of town guests or locals who are traveling to SF Beer Week can find hotel deals and transportation options.

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