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SUMMER DRINKS: Upcoming Bay Area drink events

Fest-ready vinos at the Outside Lands wine tent

SF Street Food Festival Aug. 18, donations suggested. Last year, this wet dream for fans of unusual, ready-to-eat foodstuffs started to feature al fresco bar areas. We flipped for Sweet Collections' delicately beautiful gelatin art Jello shots — we had to ogle the artfully-made flowers awhile before sucking them down.

SF Cocktail Week Sept. 17-23. See website for ticket prices. The fifth year of Cocktail Week explores the depth and breadth of Bay liquors. Promising events to look for: a North Beach bar history stroll, a cocktail science event hosted by Big Daddy Antiques, an awards night to honor those that have put SF on the map as a bar menu mecca, and a seminar entitled "The Nerdy Aspects of Gin Cocktails."

Cocktails From The Crypt October. Check website for Oakland location, time, prices. Morgan Schick and Eric Quilty know their tipples. The two cocktail vets hold regular showcases of wildly unique drinks, made before your eyes. Last year's Halloween edition included a concoction dubbed Hairy-Handed Gent, made from quinoa vodka, grapefruit-infused Manzanilla sherry, and cinnamon tincture. What will rise this October?

SF Beer Week February 2013. See website for exact dates. For local lovers of hops, few things are more intoxicating than SF Beer Week. The Bay Area goes absolutely bonkers during its tenure — events pop up in breweries and restaurants just everywhere, pairings, classes, dinners, even bikeable beer tours and the odd booze-driven urban hike. It's not too early to get excited for this one.

Whiskies of the World April 6, 2013 This yearly mega-pour has the capacity to be the most expensive drunk you've ever had, and will most certainly expand your knowledge of the all-important Vitamin W. Past years have featured both small craft distilleries and marquee tastes from Japan, Kentucky, and all points in between.

SF International Beer Fest April 27, 2013. Though SF's microbrew scene has only really hit its stride over the last five years, this fest turns 30 in 2013 — a sign that its focus is much more on global hop trends than what's happening right here in our seven by seven mile plot. No problem, you're cosmopolitan.

SF Beer Olympics Impala Lounge, 501 Broadway, SF. Every Friday, sign-up at 8:30pm, free to attend and play, $10 for five beers. Not every drinking event has to be for gourmands, of course. Every week at the Impala Lounge, travelers and locals alike converge to be grouped into teams for beer pong and flip cup — a happy tradition that leaves everyone with a cheap beer smile on their face.

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