Another year, and another SF Beer Week (SFBW) is upon us. But this one’s special, as it’s the 10th anniversary of one of the finest local beer weeks in the country. SFBW features damn near 1,000 events throughout the Bay from Feb. 9-18, starting off with the Opening Gala at Pier 35, including more than 120 Bay Area breweries ($80/$120 VIP).
SFBW celebrates the rich beer culture of the Bay Area, including not just our breweries, but also the bars, restaurants, and bottle shops. While the Gala is the ultimate primer for the week’s festivities, we encourage you to spend hours combing through the listings at sfbeerweek.org to find exactly what tickles your palate. (We did.) And for those of you who blindly (and wisely) trust us to steer you in the right direction, here are 10 of the most creative, intriguing, and delicious places to go during SFBW. Cheers!
Lucky 13 and Fieldwork Brewing’s Dog Day Afternoon
Saturday, Feb. 10, noon – 6 p.m.
Lucky 13 is a Market Street craft-beer institution. There really aren’t enough ways to celebrate our soon departing friend and at SFBW, you can do it with — wait for it — dogs! You can bring your canine buddy, while reps from Rocket Dog Rescue will also be on site, trying their damndest to find homes for some pups in need. And what better way to convince you to adopt a dog than to fill you up with five of Fieldwork Brewing’s “special” offerings? (Note: Exercise caution in feeding Lucky 13’s free popcorn to dogs.)
Limited-Edition CBD Beer Release Blackhammer Brewing Co.
Saturday, Feb. 10, noon – 11 p.m.
Blackhammer prides itself on being experimental, and Saturday, they’ll be debuting the “Sighmelon & Garfunkale” CBD Ale. Brewed with cannabis terpenes from a watermelon OG strain and hopped with huell melon and El Dorado hops, Brewmaster Jim Furman says, “it’s quite melon-y.” With a considerable 5 mg of CBD per pint, S&G highlights the event’s four CBD beers. And while it’s free of THC, Furman says its effects are “quite noticeable … relaxing and warming.” All right, all right, all right!
Beerunch at Public House with Woods Beer Co.
Sunday, Feb. 11, 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
The original Beerunch, accept no substitutions! This is an SFBW staple that includes ridiculous pairings like Woods Sour Morpho — a sour version of its flagship hibiscus ale — paired with oysters and a Morpho mignonette, and Woods Divine Origins Fiano (a saucy, oak barrel-aged ale with grapes) and fried artichoke frito mixto with shaved fennel. Yes, please. Tickets: $59, woodsbeer.com
Drag Brewery Tours at Laughing Monk
Sunday, Feb. 11, 1-5 p.m., and Friday, Feb. 16, 6-9 p.m.
I can assure you San Francisco is the only city in the country that has brewery tours guided by a drag queen. Yup, S.F. staple Ginger Snap leads tours at the top of each hour on two separate days at the Bayview brewery. Grab a pint of Laughing Monk’s stellar Coffee & Cream Ale — back for Beer Week! — while you’re at it.
Craft Series: Alesong Brewing & Blending at Hop Grenade in Concord,
Tuesday, Feb. 13, 5-9 p.m.
Unless Janet Jackson is playing Concord Pavilion again, I’m rarely gonna tell you to go to Concord for anything, so go ahead and file this exception. GABF gold medal winner Alesong Brewing & Blending from Eugene is making a rare appearance at Hop Grenade, with bottles and drafts! Beers like its Pinot Gris Terroir brett farmhouse ale and Vanilla Rhino Suit barrel-aged stout just garnered them accolades from Ratebeer’s coveted Best New Brewers in the World. So go to Concord and get your whalez, bro.
Evening with Russian River at Pi Bar.
Thursday, Feb. 15, 4-9 p.m.
Call me old-fashioned, but I still get excited about Russian River Brewing tap takeovers, especially this yearly SFBW ritual at Pi Bar. While everyone is out there hunting the newest, haziest IPA or whatever, I’m stoked on fresh Pliny The Elder, Blind Pig, and Russian River’s classic portfolio of sours. Heck, I’d even line up a little bit early in hopes of getting that coveted pour of Pliny The Younger — but nah, you don’t want to do that.
Star Wars Night with Lagunitas Brewing at Hogwash
Thursday, Feb. 15, 6-11 p.m.
For the second year in a row, Lower Nob Hill’s Hogwash hosts cosplay-encouraged Star Wars beer night. Lagunitas will pour some familiar beers and some brand-new things, like “Unauthorized,” a mysterious DIPA and collaboration with Anchor Brewing. The best part of this event? A real-life Chewbacca will be there, guzzling beers and taking photos. May the schwarzbier with you!
Cask & Queso, Triple-Fermented at Thirsty Bear Brewing Co.
Friday, Feb. 16, 6-9 p.m.
A beer fest and a cheese fest rolled into one, with artisan bread to boot! Seventeen cask-conditioned beers from local breweries like Thirsty Bear, Social, Speakeasy, Local Brewing, and more will be expertly paired with cheese by Napa Valley’s Janet Fletcher of Planet Cheese. I’m still thinking about last year’s melted Wagon Wheel Raclette from Cowgirl Creamery paired with Thirsty Bear’s Folsom St. IPA. Tickets: $50
HazeFest at Old Devil Moon.
Saturday, Feb. 17, 11 a.m. – 2 a.m.
Oh you want that haze? I gotchu. Bernal’s Old Devil Moon will pour 18 hazy IPAs and hazy sours on tap from Bay Area spots like Sante Adairius, HenHouse, Almanac, Cellarmaker, and Barebottle, along with out of towners like Phantom Carriage, Dogfish Head, and Grimm. Get there early for the weekend Black Magic Beer Brunch, although the bar says “we aren’t shutting it down until 2 a.m.” Welp, see ya later.
Kick The Keg Closing Party at The Willows.
Sunday, Feb. 18, 1-11:30 p.m.
And so it ends. All full pours of beers left over from The Willows’ slate of SFBW events will be 50 percent off at this closing blowout. (That means Mikkeller, Evil Twin, Modern Times, Deschutes, Allagash, and more!) That’s a Sunday Funday if I ever heard one.