January 31, 2009

Fat, drunk, and broke. SF Beer Week is almost here.

Behold, the inaugural SF Beer Week. I've been eagerly anticipating this 10-day "week" for months.

Foreward. There are nearly 100 events scattered over all neighborhoods throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, from Carmel (a stretch even for the South Bay) to Petaluma in the North Bay, from Beach Chalet by the Pacific to Richmond out in the East Bay. It would be impossible to BART to hit them all.

The events range from "free"--you only pay for the beers and other incidentals like nibbles--to more than one $100 beer-pairing dinner. It would be impossible to afford to hit them all.

And let's not forget, though some Pilseners and lighter lagers will be poured, many barleywines, higher alcohol barrel-aged beers and other strong ales will be featured. It would be impossible to let your liver filter them all.

It is from this mind frame that, in my attempt to go, see, drink, eat, learn, and meet my full share of places, beers, foods, and people, respectively, that I devised this schedule. (Huge [p]regret: I'll be missing all the great-sounding events in Santa Cruz since it'd be impossible to return home safely.) I reserve the right to change any events based on opportunity, greatness, affordability, and downright whimsy.

SF=San Francisco
EB=East Bay
NB=North Bay

Day one eases me in, celebrating two of NorCal's biggest, best, and oldest breweries.
SF 11 a.m.-10 p.m. All things Anchor (beer, wine, whiskey, cheese) @ Murphy's Pub in SF's Union Square.
SF 6-8 p.m. Sierra Nevada tasting, including the new Torpedo Extra IPA @ The Jug Shop (in Russian Hill).

SF Noon+. AleSmith @ City Beer (in SOMA).
EB 6-8 p.m. Possibly heading out to the Trappist in Oakland for Allagash's Rob Tod. (Only problem is, he'll be in the City on Mon.)

Woah. HUGE day. Like Hansel in Zoolander, "I'm going monk."
SF 11 a.m.-3ish. Beer2Brakers bike ride around the entire city. We don't need no stinkin' Gatorade. $10
SF 3-7 p.m. Dogfish Head's Sam Calagione holds court @ The Alembic (in Upper Haight).
SF 6-9 p.m. Beer dinner with the Homebrew Chef, Sean Paxton @ 21st Amendment Brewing. $50.
SF 10-midnight. Unless I'm in a food-and-beer coma, I'd like to head over to the Toronado(in Lower Haight) to meet Lost Abbey/Port's Tomme Arthur... and buy a bottle of Cable Car.

NB 1-5 p.m. Moylan's Brewing event @ Noonan's. What's this beer event about? Whisky, cheese, and chocolate. You know I've never taken the ferry up to Marin? I will this night. $29.
SF: 6-midnight. In case I didn't catch him @ Trappist, here's my 2nd chance. Allagash's Rob Tod hits the Toronado. (Stay tuned for my upcoming Beer Session #24 post on their "Curieux.")

All day across the Bay.
EB 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Local beer and slow food pairings from Ground Zero. Not to mention, gotta try "Original Albion" beer @ Chez Panisse. A la carte (in the Gourmet Ghetto). This is going on the 9th-12th, lunch and dinner seatings.
EB 4 p.m. Barrel-aged beer tastings @ both Triple Rock & Jupiter brewpubs (in Berkeley). $10.
EB 6:30-9:30 p.m. "North County Cheese Off." Flights of North Bay brews @ The Bistro (in Hayward). $45

If I wasn't allergic to 2 dishes that contain seafood, my C-note could be no better spent than at Scala's for Beer + Nosh's beer-pairing dinner. Think 7 courses prepared by a local celebrity chef paired with 7 beers including some you're not likely to try again. I look forward to the pictures!
SF 6-8 p.m. Chillax with Sierra Nevada's ass't brewmaster Terry Sullivan @ The Page (in Duboce Park).
scheduled February 11, 2009 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
SF 8-midnight. Nightcap for the beer+cheese night featuring Ommegang, in hopes of finding some more "Obamagang," er, I mean "Inauguration Ale" as well as their anniversary Chocolate Indulgence. Where else? @ the Toronado.

To be sure, there are several awesome-sounding beer dinners in the City tonight, but I'll be heading over the Bay Bridge. Dig it:
EB 2-3 p.m. I'll probably pop back into Chez Panisse for another round of a la carte slow-grub and beer.
EB 6-8 p.m. Me. Yep, The Mad Zymurgists, the Tri-Valley's homebrew club and advocates of all manners of fermentation science, asked me to speak and sign books at the Hop Yard (in Pleasanton). Thanks to Brian of the Mad Zymurgists and Towne Center Books, the local indie bookstore for handling sales. (I'm not-so-secretly looking forward to trying some homebrew, too.)

SF noon-2 p.m. Bavarian Beer Brunch @ Gordon-Biersch (in SOMA). Mit oompa band! $30.
SF 4-8 p.m. (or, as their other site says, 6-9 p.m.) "Meet the Brewers" @ Speakeasy Brewing (in Bayview/Hunter's Point). They hold these every month, but Speakeasy is the one SF brewery I haven't been to yet.

SF Noon+. The only game in town! Barleywine Fest @ the Toronado.

Oh no. Last day.
EB 1-2:30 p.m. Beer judging 101 in San Leandro. $25.
EB 3-8 p.m. Celebrator shindig @ the Oakland Convention Center. $35.

Should be one helluva week.


Anonymous said...

Hey Brian...thanks for checking out the Beer Retard. It's funny that you stopped by cause I happen to be in the middle of reading your book right now. Are you keeping tabs on your readers or something?

the said...

Added you to my blogroll (finally), mister.

Anonymous said...

Hey Brian
You are missing two of the founding events on your list. The kick-off Double IPA Festival at the Bistro in Hayward and The Beer Chef's Beer and Chocolate Dinner at The Cathedral Hill Hotel

Brian Yaeger said...

Hence the beauty of Beer Week. Something for everyone. I'm not shy about admitting this in public: I'm no huge fan of 2xIPAs. Though born and raised in California, I'm just not that into West Coast IPAs, so while I love trying them, I can't make a night of drinking nothing-but. As for the chocolate dinner, sadly this gets chalked up to price. Half Pint & I are going conservative this week, splurging one one $50/per dinner. We're well aware of what we'll be missing: http://www.beer-chef.com/assets/menus/BEERANDCHOCOLATEPAIRING2009.pdf
I think I drooled on my keyboard.

Anonymous said...

So much to do - so little time - I will almost definitely run into you at some of the events - here is to a great week ahead filled with our favorite beverage and a bunch of kick ass people.

Bryan Kolesar said...

Wow! Sounds like my experience last year with Philly's Beer Week. I did something like 22 events over 10 days and was definitely fatter, poorer, and a little "older" for the experience. Looks like I should bump into you at a few of these event. Have fun and be safe!