Beer Week is back, perhaps before you knew it — even, maybe, before your hangover from last year had fully receded. Regardless, get ready. There is, as usual, a glut of places holding events for you to hone your beer gut, learn about the brewing process, and generally learn something new. Here are some promising parties and gatherings among the more than 600 (holy shit!) happenings.
As in year's past, the best way to plan is with the very San Francisco (read: well-designed UX) website and app from which you can pin events. For your convenience, the links below are to those as listed on the app/site.
Also, don't forget about all-week events — for example, Sunset Reservoir Brewing in, you guessed it, the sunset, has a Happy Week discount going, a dollar off everything all the time. And consider starting your days with beer in donut form thanks to seasonal beer geeks Almanac and fried-food purveyors Dynamo Donuts.
Last, the big Opening Gala goes down on Friday night, but tickets are all sold out. If you're going, I'm going to assume you've got the info, and you'll know what to do. If you're not, don't worry a bit — just take a look down here.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 23
Dim Sum Beer Brunch: The folks from Fort Point want to ease you into the week with a private dim sum beer pairing brunch at the ever-popular Hong Kong Lounge. That, or join them to take a polar bear plunge and a brewery tour and start things more aggressively.
Drink Fruity Sours: If you want sour beer but don't want to cram into the line for the yearly Sours of America event at Monk's Kettle, get your fix thanks to the Woods Brewing Co. folks. You can check out their Dolores Park adjacent Cerveceria, their Polk Street digs, or their Oakland hub for "smoothie" and "fruity" flavors that everyone, even non-typical sour fans, will obsess over.
Brew Beer: Oh yeah, if you go to the Mission or Oakland location of Woods, help them brew their annual 7-day beer! It's a fast fermented recipe you can even help design in what's maybe the most hands-on Beer Week experience to be had. Remember to try it when it's done on the 30th (see below).
SUNDAY, JANUARY 24
Who's Your Daddy Cornhole Tournament: Head to the Bayview to the sweet-ass Speakeasy Taproom to drink and compete in a sport best played with a beer in hand.
Beer and BBQ: Over at the Dock at Linden Street, a brewery that's nearing Oakland-classic status, grab their beer, try some from Hermitage, a brewery based in San Jose they're highlighting, or go for bourbon which they're also featuring. Barbecue? There'll be plenty from Two-Star Michelin chef James Syhabout. Book it now — seating is limited.
MONDAY, JANUARY 25
Beer Dinner Throwdown: Drake's Dealership, with copious outdoor seating, solid pizza, and beer you won't find in bottles, is highlighting their monthly Oaktown Throwdown. That's a a head-to-head tasting, this time against HenHouse, whose saisons and farmhouse beers from Petaluma are always a delight.
Hophead's Revenge: For the hop-obsessed, talk to and learn from the brewers at the likes of Alpine and Societe from San Diego. Most of all, taste it all thanks to the taps at City Beer Store, who host.
TUESDAY, JANUARY 26
Cheese Pairings: Beer and cheese are destined to be together, and Mission Cheese is doing both justice. The tropical hops from Altamont Beer Works, new on the scene, will complement the finest American mongers have to offer.
Single Hop Blowout: Black Sands brewing is all about their single malt, single hop format, and they'll have a suite of beers to try that let particular varietals like Simcoe, Nelson Sauvin, Equinox shine.
Beer Dinner And Bus Ride: Enjoy food and house-brewed beer from Old Bus Tavern, one of our 17 Best New Restaurants of 2015, before hopping on a a bus bound for glory, or more specifically for Harmonic Brewing. There's a beer party and live band at the end of this rainbow.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 27
Toast to Parks: Sample fresh, SF-brewed IPAs in a benefit supporting the SF Parks Alliance. This is all held over at Local Brewing, and though the guest taps are promising, make sure to try the new Imperial IPA from Local. They've just release it and the flavors are gigantic.
Oakland Tap Takeover: The bad boys of the Oakland scene at Beer Revolution will feature a couple NorCal breweries not to miss — Fieldwork, Altamont, and Faction, plus Oregon's beloved Boneyard. As is their thing, expect big beers and hop bombs all night.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 28
Fort Point at Fort Point: A beer dinner in Fort Point's namesake historic landmark. Expect local seafood, in keeping with the theme.
Movie and Beer: It's a seriously San Francisco night at the Mission's new movie theater Alamo Drafthouse, where there's always great beer and food. But one night and one night only, score a Magnolia beer flight as curated by bar director Isaac Shumway to go with a screening of "The Grateful Dead Movie" and a Dead-themed prix fixe dinner.
Cellar Night: Beer at Berkeley's the Rare Barrel gets better with age, so try 13 taps and 3 bottles of their cellar's best. These folks specialize in sours, so if that's not your thing, stay away and leave it to those with more refined palates.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 29
Rare Mikkeller Beers: Catch all of the famously innovative beers in the Mikkeller spontanbeer series: Those are spontaneously fermented and aged on fruit in oak barrels. The team from Mikkeller will walk you through them, one by one.
Barrel-Aged Brews: You're in luck as Triple Voodoo in the Dogpatch is cleaning their cellar. Get ahold of beers aged on barrels that once held bourbon and wine, imparting unique and unpredictable flavors.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 30
Garden Happy Hour: Fort Point again, this time in another unique spot. Come to Golden Gate Park's Botanical gardens for a tour the California Native Garden including a beautiful manzanita collection and drink a Manzanita smoked beer from Fort Point while you stroll.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 31
Belgian Beer Brunch: Oakland's Half Orange, acclaimed for its burger and food generally, will be doing a Belgian brunch and pairing with South Bay brewers Cleophus Quealy. Expect Fig Barleywine and Maple Tripel to go with your waffles, people.
Time for Tea: At this point, may I suggest you switch to tea over at 21st Amendment? Still, eat some beer sausage from the Fatted Calf, or, if you're trying your luck, they''ll have strong beers at the ready.