Now that Drynuary has basically curled up into a ball and died (take that, seasonal sobriety!), it's time to turn our gaze to SF Beer Week. 10 days of heavyweight gourmet beer drinking lie ahead of us, Bay Area. Even if your hankering for a beer paunch pales in comparison, say, to your desire to fit into your Valentine's Day party dress, you have a responsibility to indulge.
For Beer Week is not just a gustatory pleasure -- it supports what has burgeoned in SF into a thriving biz. Breweries sized from nano to Anchor are filling a six pack near you. Feb. 10-19 will conjure everything from urban beer hikes to beer-and-chocolate pairing events, beer-and-cheese couplings to the finest in bitter ales. Quite recently, we had the pleasure to one-on-one (via email) with David McLean, the mastermind behind all the brews at Magnolia Brewery. This isn't his first time talking with the Guardian about the miracles of local boozing, but this time we've captured his can't-miss picks for hobnobbing and hops that will take place Feb. 10-19 (and yes, they include an stout made with Hog Island oysters). Read more »
The owners of Pacific Brewery Laboratories are taking the first step from nanobrewery to brewpub by moving beyond their underground SoMa garage brewpub and its free tasting parties to the release of their first (soon to be) commercially available beer: the Squid Ink Black IPA. And they're inviting you to celebrate! A three-destination pub crawl is planned, and here's the itinerary: City Beer Store tonight, Tue/6, Le Trappe on Wed/7, and Shotwell’s on Thu/8. Read more »
"Fuck the wine industry! I mean, I drink wine like everybody else." Brenden Dobel, brewmaster at Thirsty Bear Brewing Company may be tipsy -- but then again, we are on a boat.
A bigass boat in fact -- the S.S. Jeremiah O'Brien, one of the mere two Liberty ships still afloat from the batch of 2,710 that were constructed during WWII. But we were pretty far from Normandy on Saturday; the O'Brien was hosting Brews on the Bay, a celebration of San Francisco's alcoholic beverage of choice. Read more »
I didn't have a Bat Mitzvah when I turned 13, but if I had, I would've wanted it to be just like the one Shmaltz Brewing Company threw for its newest Jewbelation ale last night at Amnesia. (And yes, I just said that I wish my 13th birthday party had been at a bar.) The event, which replaced the spot's regular Tuesday program of open mic and Rock'n'Schlock karaoke in honor of SF Beer Week, was hilarious, fun, and exactly as tongue-in-cheek as you'd expect from a brewing company whose first beer (He'Brew) was the result of an inside joke between founder (and Bay Area native) Jeremy Cowen and his high school friends. Read more »
There’s not a lot to look forward to in February. Unless, of course, you happen to be into beer. (And, er, love.) Yes, we're currently in the middle of a great SF Beer Week. But the city has also embarked on an entire month of sudsy exploration. A proud tradition imported from Munich, Germany, strong beer (Starkbier) festivals have become part of the beer drinker’s winter calendar worldwide. In San Francisco, where good beer is as easy to find as a decent burrito, and not much more expensive, Strong Beer Month, co-hosted by Magnolia Pub and Brewery and 21st Amendment (both of which make their own) still stands out on the beer enthusiast radar as a special occasion. First, because it’s about beer. Second, because it’s about strong beer – as in extra-alcoholic. And mostly, because like any celebration of the craft of beer-making, it’s full of delicious and surprising nuances.