Man cannot live on beer alone. Or, at least it's not recommended. While the focus of SF Beer Week is squarely on the brew, there are dozens of events that explore the intersection of beer and food. If you're reading SFoodie, then you probably have a stomach. Fill 'er up at these unique pairing events:
An Evening of Beer and Soul
Where: Bar Tartine, 561 Valencia St. (at 17th), 487-1600
When: Monday, February 13, 6pm
Cost: $49, reservations available through Open Table or by phone
What: Chef Sarah Kirnon, formerly of Front Porch and Hibiscus , has crafted two menus for diners to choose from. Each of the menus, which feature highlights such as Congo-style soup and Chef Kirnon's famous fried chicken, will be paired with 8 beers curated by Certified Cicerone Sayre Piotrkowski (formerly of Monk's Kettle). Beer highlights include Linden Street Brewery's Daily (B)red, a red lager using yeast cultured from Tartine sourdough, and Moonlight Prison Wages, fermented with pinot noir grapes. Full menu and beer list here.
Three Ring Circus Brewer's Dinner
Where: Elks Lodge No. 3, 450 Post St. #3 (at Mason), 421-5230
When: Wednesday, Feb. 15, 6pm
Cost: $120, tickets here
What: If you're looking to choose just one beer dinner during the week, this one's a no-brainer. Sean Paxton, aka The Homebrew Chef, has concocted 9 circus-themed courses to pair with 13 beers. The brews, including many rarities, are contributed by Ninkasi Brewing and hometown heroes Speakeasy and Shmaltz Brewing. Beer highlights include Speakeasy Massacre black wheatwine, Shmaltz Coney Island Geektoberfest (a blend of barrel aged beers), and a collaboration between Paxton and all three breweries called Three Ring Circus. The brew, a nut brown ale made with dulce de leche, popped corn and peanuts, is fitting for the evening's "sideshow" theme which will feature circus performances throughout the evening.
As for the food, Paxton is known for being three giant leaps ahead of the beer cuisine pack. Not only are his pairings inspired, but his dishes are creatively infused with beer at every turn. Some examples to look forward to:
Hopped Cotton Candy: Centennial hop scented sugar, wrapped around a cube of Sonoma foie gras terrine infused with Shmaltz He'Brew Genesis beer
Churro: Point Reyes blue cheese mixed into a Speakeasy Double Daddy savory churro with roasted garlic powder
Slider: Ground elk and duck heart patty, rendered dry aged beef fat, He'Brew 15:15 beer ketchup, Speakeasy Payback Porter braised red onions
And, hey, here's one more tasty event:
Night Cheese with Almanac Beer Co.
Where: Mission Cheese, 736 Valencia St. (at 18th), 484-6553
When: Sunday, February 19th, 8pm
Cost: $35, tickets here
What: Enjoy all three Almanac releases alongside a selection of cheeses including Baserri, a Basque-style Tomme from Barinaga Ranch. Marcia Barinaga will be on hand to chat about her farm and cheeses. The Almanac folks will discuss their brews, and cheese plates will be served with garnishes from the farms that contributed fruits to the beers. Advance tickets only, so get in before the doors close...this one's bound to be gouda (ha! get it?!).