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Feb 6, 2012 02:29 PM

SF Beer Week - Which Events to Hit?

Just wondering what events Chowhounds are excited about for SF Beer Week, which kicks off this Fri.

I'm thinking: Gypsy brewers event at Alembic next Wednesday.
Firkin Fest at Magnolia right afterwards.

also: The Dark Horse Cajun dinner looks cool for Sunday
the Soul Food and beer dinner at Bar Tartine also intrigues...


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  1. The Double IPA fest at The Bistro, and the Barleywine fest at Toronado are on top of my list.

    1 Reply
    1. re: j mather

      I've always wanted to go to the Barleywine fest, but I've been very intimidated by the crowds. Check out this event too, sounds kinda fun, but WAY TOO EXPENSIVE imho. ($120.) Although it did get my curious about the Elks Lodge, which apparently is open to the public on a daily basis for lunch and dinner. I love me a good Elks Lodge.

      Wednesday, February 15th
      "The Three Ring Circus: A Brewers Dinner & Sideshow"
      -Presented by Sean Z. Paxton, featuring Speakeasy, Ninkasi, and Shmaltz
      Elks Lodge No. 3, 450 Post St. #3, San Francisco

    2. Opening Night Celebration is a good one, with more than 60 beers available, many of them rare and hard to find. Not cheap, but lots of great beer in one place.
      Double IPA Festival on Saturday is also worth considering. More than 70 double and triple IPAs that you can compare side by side.
      Also on Saturday, Beer Revolution will host 3 consecutive Meet the Brewers: one Belgian (van steenberge) as well as Lost Abbey/Port and Firestone Walker.
      Next Wednesday's Sau and Brau at Drakes will be worth checking out. Drakes is doing some amazing things with beer.
      Barleywine at Toronado is cool, but very crowded
      Keep an eye on what's going on at Beer Revolution, Pi Bar, Amsterdam Cafe, Monks Kettle and Rosamunde.
      for a detailed list and an interactive itinerary, check out, and also and

      2 Replies
      1. re: chuckl

        Great list! If only my liver were stronger. I will be at SF Beer Week Opening Celebration. If you see me, say hi. I'll be the one with the beer in my hand.

        1. re: lessleyellen

          that should make you easy to spot. Luckily the Opener will be at a bigger venue this year. Yerba Buena was ridiculously crowded last year. I'll be meeting up with some folks at the Drakes booth at around 7. Stop by and say howdy.

      2. Monday nite's Soul Food and beer dinner at Bar Tartine will have Sarah Kirnon (former chef of Front Porch and Hibiscus) at the helm of the stove doing a sort of pop up improv stint.

        Food should be excellent.

        2 Replies
        1. re: escargot3

          lots of beer and food events going on. It will be impossible to hit them all. I hope you follow up with a post after you go

          1. re: chuckl

            Ok - here's my report from the Opening Celebration last night. I hope I get something out of these scrawled, drunken notes. All of the below are just my opinions.

            * Best Newcomer - Dying Vines out of Hayward. Really nice people. They brew at the Linden St. facility in Oakland and distribute to some local restaurants. They make low ABV session beers inspired by the Brits. I had a great IPA- Hop Candi I think it was called. ***They are pouring at that Soul Dinner on Monday night at Bar Tartine. For the love of God somebody go to this dinner and report back. It sounds amazing. I can't make it. (See Escargot3's post.)

            * Big Surprise - Thirsty Bear. Typically think of these guys as "after work convention beers." They were one of the only breweries pouring sours. And they were good!

            * Favorite other beers -

            Boun Oud Bruin from Anderson Vly: A blend of 5 beers matured in a number of different casks. Sour. Drinkable.

            Longbreak Bitter from Magnolia: fantastic beer I hadn't tried to before. Very sedate hop action with an interesting finish that tasted like corn tortillas. I know that sounds REALLY gross, trust me, it was good.

            New "Zymaster Series" Lager from Anchor: They've got some kind of new program going there. I'm not down with the name, which sounds too much like thighmaster. you can read about it here:
            But anyway, this beer was nice and flavorful and somewhat bracing and tasty and fresh.

            Another major highlight for me was the band, Tiny Television, which played 2nd at the celebration. They had an amazing Strat and pedal steel player, and apparently are opening for Robert Earl Keen at Slim's next Friday. I will be checking these guys out at my earliest convenience.

            1 last note: Major bathroom shortage at the event. Sort of a bummer.