Upcoming Bay Area drink events
Meet the brewers: Magnolia Gastropub and Brewery 1398 Haight, SF. (415) 864-7468, www.magnoliapub.com June 20 6-9pm, free. Haight Ashbury's Magnolia is as well-known for its salubrious cask ales and piquant bitter beers as it is for the subtle shades of Grateful Dead in its décor. Hunker down for some Q&A with the minds behind its masterful brews. Next up in this series of monthly meet-and-greets with SF Brewer's Guild members is the Mission's Pi Bar in July.
Seasonal cocktails at the Boothby Center The Boothby Center, 1161 Mission, SF. www.sfcocktailweek.com. June 28 7-9pm, $65.
Every month the Boothby Center, city hotspot for the alcoholic arts, hosts classes taught by local artisan cocktail mastermind Scott Beattie. Beattie confers with local farmers about what's fresh now, and brings you his findings in tasty cocktail recipes. The Boothby Center also offers monthly "Mixology 101" courses for the shaker newbie.
Pacific Brewing Laboratories dinner conversation 18 Reasons, 3674 18th St., SF. www.18reasons.org. July 24, 7pm, $35. We've gotta hand it to these youngsters — they've come a long way from their first underground tasting parties in their (adorable) SoMa garage beer laboratory. Now, their Squid Ink IPA and Nautilus saison are available in local bars and stores. Learn how they did it at this communal meal at community food university 18 Reasons. The center also holds organic wine tastings from time to time, so keep your eye on its website.
Bier Sommer San Francisco Art Institute, 800 Chestnut, SF. www.sfai.edu. July 27-28, 3pm-10pm, free. The outdoor plaza at SF Art Institute will be turned into a beer garden to host performance artist Hans Winkler's film homage to one of the world's favorite beverages. Winkler's previous SF projects have involved contracting day laborers to stage a "revolution" replete with machetes and black flags, so whatever he's brewing here should be good -- take it in as you sip beer from Germany's Traunstein brewery.
Noise Pop's Noisette Speakeasy Brewery, 1195 Evans, SF. noisette.noisepop.com. Aug. 4, 1-5pm, $50–$85. The homegrown music fest that could may be taking notes from Outside Lands — this year, it adds a food and drink event that makes use of superlative tunes as backdrop. Bayview's Speakeasy Brewery will host a concert featuring not just live grooves from the Dodos, Pillowfight, and more — but also dishes made by chefs from Commonwealth, Monk's Kettle, Bar Crudo, guerilla gourmands Graffeats, and other culinary mystics.
Outside Lands Speedway Meadows, Golden Gate Park, SF. www.sfoutsidelands.com. Aug. 10-12, three-day ticket $225. How did we ever attend Outside Lands without its cozy, be-tented Wine Lands? Surely this year, the soaring tones of Stevie Wonder and Skrillex will be best enjoyed over a fine glass of California wine by Kermit Lynch or Bonny Doon Vineyard in the beloved barrel booths. Actually, maybe you should have a couple glasses before Skrillex goes on.
SF Street Food Festival www.sfstreetfoodfest.com. 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 www.sfcocktailweek.com. 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. www.jupiterolympus.com. 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 www.sfbeerweek.org. 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 www.whiskiesoftheworld.com. 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 www.sfbeerfest.com. 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. www.facebook.com/beerpubcrawl. 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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