In just a few short weeks, San Francisco will transform into a beer-soaked playground for SF Beer Week, Feb. 11-20. During the 10-day "week," he Bay Area becomes ground zero for brewers and craft beer aficionados spoiled for choice among hundreds of events. If your liver isn't already quivering in anticipation (or cowering in fear), it should be.
As the schedule fills out, look to SFoodie as a source for daily updates about sudsy events around the bay. Before overwhelming yourself with the enormous initial schedule, ease into the reality of your impeding 10-day bender by checking out the festival's marquee events:
S.F. Brewers Guild Opening Gala
Where: Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission (at Third St.)
When: Fri., Feb. 11, 5-9 p.m.
Cost: $45 before Feb. 1, $55 after
Highlights: Enjoy special release beers from over 35 regional breweries, including the unveiling of the SF Brewer's Guild collaborative beer week projects (one of which is a "liquid sourdough" brew). Enjoy food pairings from local purveyors such as 4505 Meats, and take home the collectible stemmed glassware. For this "gala," feel free to leave your tuxedos and cocktail dresses at home.
Eleventh Annual Double IPA Festival
Where: The Bistro, 1001 B St. (at Main), Hayward
When: Sat., Feb. 12, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Highlights: Satisfy your hop craving with over 60 Double IPAs to choose from, including Russian River Brewing's annual elusive hop bomb, Pliny the Younger. Food, including BBQ and fried pickles, will be available for purchase.
Where: Toronado, 542 Haight (at Fillmore)
When: Sat., Feb. 19, 11:30 a.m. to close
Cost: Pay as you go
Highlights: A staggering selection of barleywines on tap from across the country. This is a great opportunity to snuggle up with a loved one (or a total stranger), since there won't be any elbow room. The collective enthusiasm is something to behold, but expect long lines at every turn. Not for the faint of heart or those who believe in personal space.
Celebrator 23rd Anniversary Party
Where: Trumer Brewery, 1404 Fourth St. (at Camelia), Berkeley
When: Sun., Feb. 20, 4 p.m.-8 p.m.
Highlights: Thirty-plus breweries pouring their best beers. Chat with industry insiders and brewers, and end beer week with a bang.
Still trying to rationalize going to 10 days' worth of beer events? Just remember: The liver is evil and must be punished.