San Francisco Beer Week Coming to Bay Area

San Francisco Beer Week

San Francisco takes food and beverage seriously—and their annual Beer Week is no exception. Between February 6-15 over 300 breweries and thousands of enthusiasts will descend upon the Bay Area to celebrate all things craft beer. Brew enthusiasts can plan their San Francisco Beer Week itinerary on the comprehensive website. And what an schedule it is—over 700 beer meals, special events and educational opportunities abound for cerevisaphiles from the world over.

The hottest ticket of all is to the annual SF Beer Week Opening Gala, the Oscars of the of the Northern California craft beer community. Despite the $75 price tag and the fact that the strategic move to Herbst Pavilion in Fort Mason in order to accommodate larger crowds and more breweries, the four-hour event still sold out in record time. And for 4 hours of unlimited access to 82 of California’s best microbreweries on tap, San Francisco’s finest food trucks, and live music, it seems well-worth the price tag. Should you wish to catch a glimpse of the infamous Russian River seasonal Pliny the Younger, however, be prepared to wait. Last year the line wrapped around the entire building throughout the entire night—apparently earning the nickname “Liney the Longer.” Whatever you’re angling to try, don’t forget your pretzel necklace and easily-identifiable outfit if you and your crew expect to find one another at the end of the night.

Debuting at the Opening Gala is Swept by Fire, the annual collaboration between members of the San Francisco Brewers Guild . This year’s concoction was made at Fort Point Beer Company and pays homage to San Francisco’s storied beer industry. The 1906 earthquake all but quashed San Francisco’s thriving turn-of-the-century brewing scene but some brewers (including the still-standing Anchor Brewing Company) quickly recovered to whet the palates of the intrepid San Franciscans rebuilding their city. Today’s guild members worked together to honor these brewers and create a smoky flavors emblematic of the post-earthquake fires. Beechwood-smoked malt from Brewers Supply Group, and charred almond wood from Smokestack at Magnolia Brewer y were combined at hyperlocal Fort Point Beer Company. The resulting beer is 6.2% alcohol by volume—drinkable enough to enjoy throughout the marathon of SFBW shindigs.

The Gala jumpstarts a nine day jubilee of beer dinners, tastings, tap takeovers, and “Meet the Brewer” events throughout the region. In addition to perennial favorites like the annual Bistro Double IPA Fest (February 7th) and the Magnolia Festival of Firkins (February 12th), other hot-ticket events include Schroeder’s annual World Cup of Beer (February 8) and ThirstyBear’s all-you-can-eat-and-drink Paella Fest(February 10). But save room, because each night brings another crave-worthy beer dinner. If fel like walking (and drinking) on the wild side, RSVP to Southpaw BBQ’s Mad Hatter Dinner Party. The $75 seven course tasting menu includes but is not limited to alligator tenderloin, buffalo frog legs, and turtle meatballs.

If you prefer your beer frozen into dessert form, Smitten Ice Cream’s Beer Week collaboration with Marin Brewing Company might strike your fancy. The cultish one-of-a-kind ice cream company uses a patented machine that perfects the process of using liquid nitrogen to create exceptionally small ice crystals. They’ll be churning out craft beer ice cream at the Rockridge shop at 5800 College Ave. in Oakland from 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 10 (510-594-7630) and at the Hayes Valley shop at 243 Octavia St., No. 1A in San Francisco from 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 12.

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