San Francisco’s Beer Week officially kicks off Friday and there’s a lot to look forward to. Now in its 10th year, the collection of events has positioned itself as one of the biggest celebrations in beer. The week includes hundreds of beer-themed events ranging from an epic Opening Gala, pairing events and tap takeovers at almost every bar and restaurant around town. There are also 10 inevitably delicious collaboration beers to try brewed up by unlikely teams of local brewers.
If you live in the Bay Area or are traveling to California to experience the week, here are a few of the highlights worth checking out:
SF Beer Week Opening Gala
Friday, February 9th
If you’re going to only make it to one SF Beer Week event, then make it this one. Beer Week’s opening gala offers a rare opportunity to try almost every Bay Area brewery all at once, including smaller breweries you might not even know exist yet. Russian River Brewing also typically pours its iconic triple IPA, Pliny the Younger, at this festival. Scoring a 10 oz. pour of the beer during the week can often involve long lines and limited quantities. The amount of Younger is limited at the Gala as well, but your chances are much higher than if you hit the local bar scene during the week.
Girl Scout Cookie + Beer Pairing
Sunday, February 11 3-8pm
Forget milk and cookies, this event is all about beer and cookies. Wine Down in SoMa is offering flights of four local brews paired with four Girl Scout cookies. In the case of this event, drinking also helps kids: $4 from the cost of each flight will be donated to the Girl Scouts of Northern California.
A Very Viking Valentines – Beer Dinner
February 14, 6-10pm
Armistice Brewing Company is doing something a little different for Valentine’s Day: a Viking Beer Dinner. The five-course meal features courses prepared by an actual Viking, each paired with one of Armistice’s beers. When talking with the brewers at the SF Beer Week preview there was also mention that one of the courses would be served in “bucket” form. It doesn’t get more romantic than that.
February 11, noon-5pm
$35 per person
Sour Sunday is always one of my favorite Beer Week events. For the day, Drake’s Brewing, Jupiter, and Triple Rock in Berkeley team up for three venues full of delicious and sometimes rare sours. The afternoon festival-like party includes 60 different brews, pricing is per beer, so you can have a casual Sunday and try just a few or work hard to see how close you can get to trying everything.