OK, I’m flummoxed, non-plussed, bewildered, confused… SF Beer Week has gotten so damn big that I don’t know what to do. I don’t know which events to attend, which ones to publicize. It’s rapidly getting out of hand, far, far out of hand.
The moveable fest we’re calling SF Beer Week — Feb. 6 – Feb. 15 — has really taken off; all kinds of pubs and restaurants and bloggers and who knows whom have jumped in. Hell, I ‘ve learned that even Oliveto’s, the posh (and most exccellent) restaurant in Rockridge Oakland has a beer dinner going featuring the beers of Russian River with Vinnie Cilurzo on hand to provide commentary… The mind reels
I’m going to quickly run through the two days and list some high points, but it’s utterly impossible to be fair about it. The only thing for each of us to do is go to SFbeerweek.org, check out the events and make your own list… and keep checking back, they’re well over 100 events and counting…
So without further blabbing…
Overview: The event kicks of with tapping somehting, perhaps a special keg of beer at Anchor, San Francisco, Friday evening, Feb. 6. The event is private. They tried to invite our guvantor, Arnold Schwartzenegger, a guy who actually drinks beer. But politics got in the way, I’m told. SF Mayor Gavin Newsom’s out, of course — don’t ask me why — just check this news story. They’re still casting around for a likely candidate. I think Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates, the guy who carried the legislation in 1982 making brewpubs legal in California would be a good choice. Who knows.
Blabbing on. So, the official kickoff will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 7 when the Bistro’s annual Double IPA Fest gets underway in Hayward: More than 50 double IPAs, live music, food, street closing, a tent if it rains, $25, includes commemorative glass, five taste tickets. More can be purchased. Awards announced at 5 p.m.
The 10-day week wraps up on Friday night, Feb. 13, with Beer Chef Bruce Paton’s big Beer and Chocolate Dinner at the Catherdal Hill Hotel, San Francisco, followed on Saturday, Feb. 14, with the annual Toronado Barleywine Fest at the Toronado, 547 Haight St. in San Francisco. Doors open at 11 a.m. No admission, pay for your beer.
Both the Bistro Double IPA and the Barleywine Fest are professionally judged in blind tastings; there will be winners.
The final, final event will be the Celebrator Bay Area Beer Celebration, Sunday, Feb. 15 at the Oakland Convention Center (rear of the Oakland Marriott, 1000 Broadway). $35, 4 – 8 p.m. More than 50 breweries pouring beer, the price gets you all the beer you want. There’s a VIP session from 3- 4 p.m., $50. The event celebrates the Celebrator Beer News 21st anniversary. Good going folks.
OK, here are a few events, on the first two days:
Thursday, Feb. 6
Uncommon Brewers Beer Dinner, Red Restaurant and Bar, 1003 Cedar St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, 831 621-6270. $65. The menu has been posted.
Brewed for Thought Presents an Introduction to Belgian Beer, 7. p.m., Alpha Sigma Phi- UC Berkeley, 2498 Piedmont Ave, Berkeley, CA: Reservations: 707-206-8422, $15, includes Belgian beer glass with five, 4oz samples, plus one full pour.
Park Chalet Toga Party with the Hallway Ballers, Park Chalet, 1000 Great Highway, San Francisco, 415-386-8439. $3 pints, $2 pizza. Park Chalet is the downstairs restaurant on the Golden Gate Park side; the Beach Chalet is upstairs and overlooks Ocean Beach.
Millenium Vegetarian Organic Beer Dinner, (also, Saturday Feb. 7). This is top flight organic, vegetarian cuisine, paired with four course beer dinner with all organic brews, featuring their wonderful vegetarian food pairings with Eel River IPA, UnCommon Brewer’s Siamese Twin, UnCommon brewer’s Porter and Bison Chocolate Stout. The menu is available throughout service from 5:30 – 9:30 p.m. Reservations a must: 415-345-3900.
Saturday, Feb. 7.
A glass of Allagash White
Bistro’s 9th Annual Double IPA fest, 11 a.m. (See above.)
Santa Cruz Ale Works and The Parish Public House Beer and Cheese Tasting, Parish Publick House, 841 Almar St., Santa Crz, 831-421-0507. No admission, pay for beer and cheese. This is a new, excellent pub in Santa Cruz; the brewery is also Santa Cruz’s newest and makes a range of very drinkable ales.
Monk’s Kettle, SF Beer Week Kickoff Reception, The Monk’s Kettle, 3141 16th St., San Francisco, 12:30 – 2 p.m. Featuring San Francisco Brewer’s Guild President Rich Higgins, of ThirstyBear Brewing. Large and growing list of West Coast beers on tap. Happy hour prices. There will be many more events at Monk’s Kettle as the week rolls on.
Meet the Brewer: Rob Tod, of Allagash, at The Trappist, 6 p.m., The Trappist, 460 8th St., Oakland, 510-238-8900. Rob will bring many of his very fine and interesting beers. No admission, pay for your beer.
City Beer Store Tasting with AleSmith (San Diego) beers (including hopefully, Speedway Stout. Alesmith’s founder Peter Zien will be present. No admission: pay for your beer and beer will be available in bottles to purchace and take home. Time to be announced.
German Beer Tasting, Rosie’s Cracker Barrel with Chris Nelson and Merideth Canham-Nelson from thebeergeek.com, Rosie’s Cracker Barrel, 1 Esquiline Road, Carmel Valley, CA, 831-659-2629. Chris and Merideth will pour five of their favorite German beers, served with snacks and music. In the last year, they’ve traveled the world creating beer videos. They’ve hit Germany at least twice.