From Pilsner to Porter, everything you need to know about this year’s events…February 7th to 16th.
Warn your liver — it’s Beer Week again here in the Bay Area! Yes, that brief but glorious stretch of time when local brewers commune and the Bay celebrates all things hoppy.
This year’s event guide is as robust and full-bodied as any we’ve encountered before, and features a wide range of tap takeovers, limited releases and restaurant collabs with brewers from all over the region. Best of all, the week serves once again as a sterling showcase of the immense talents and high profile products produced here by our very own breweries in the 6–5–0 area code.
So take a good look through our curated list of what your local keg connoisseurs have in store for you. And pace yourself…because there’s an awful lot of great beer to drink this year.
Interested in a little learning to go with that lager? You’ll want to join brewery owner Kristiann Garrett for the Besties & Beer blind tasting. Kristiann will teach you how to taste test like a pro and give you a little history lesson (including how women influenced beer in the past and the present). Following that friendship theme, the brewery will also be joining the lineup at Freewheel Brewing’s Firkin Friends Fest.
At the West Coast Craft Can Invitational, you’ll get the chance to learn about new styles and flavors from a bunch of brewers and industry professionals. The event will serve an outpouring of live music, food trucks, as well as vintage arcade games. And with a people’s choice awards, you’ll get to cast your vote in categories such as “Best Label Design” and “Best New Discovery.” The proceeds benefit Code 30 Foundation, a nonprofit which supports families of fallen police officers.
Devil’s Canyon Brewing // 935 Washington St, San Carlos; 650.592.2739
Ready for a firkin party? Then come enjoy the camaraderie of the 5th Annual Firkin Friends Fest. Freewheel will be inviting its local brewery buddies to take over the beer engines for the evening, with guest appearances from Hop Dogma, Mad Fritz, Strike, Triple Voodoo, and a host of others.
Freewheel will also be playing host to a handful of homebrew clubs. At the 5th Annual Battle of Brew Clubs, these groups will be going head-to-head in a competition over best beer recipe. While you’re there, better try last year’s winner—Sudzer’s Sweet.
For creative souls and one-of-a-kind gifters, check out the Freewheelin’ Art Show. Local makers will showcase their paintings, stickers, jewelry, you name it. (Sorry, no pinky-up types allowed.)
Freewheel Brewing // 3736 Florence St, Redwood City; 650.365.2337
Enjoy a pilsner… then take home a puppy! During the Rocket Dog Adoption, Ghostwood wants to introduce you to your future wagging sidekick. But even if you can’t take one of these canine cuties home, you’ll make some furry friends before the night is through.
Throughout the week, Ghostwood will release the Clearly Dangerous IPA, the Bourbon Barrel-Aged Darkvision Imperial Stout, and their latest pastry stout. They will also have taco and movie nights. Does it get much better than that?
Ghostwood Beer Company // 965 Brewster Ave, Redwood City; 650.503.8763
Who doesn’t love a celebration? This seven-barrel, San Carlos microbrewery will be commemorating their 3rd anniversary with beer releases, live entertainment, and food trucks.
You’ll also find their beers on tap in SF’s Outer Orbit, a family-friendly Hawaiian restaurant and bar stocked with a colorful armada of pinball machines. Outer Orbit will be offering beer passports where you’ll collect a stamp with each new beer you try. 20 earns you a prize. So grab that first beer, then test your pinball prowess on Fish Tales and Zodiac.
Blue Oak Brewing // 815 Cherry Lane, San Carlos; 415.273.9676
If your love likes lagers, bring your special someone for Date Night on Valentine’s Day. Along with a special dish, you’ll get the chance to pair chocolate porters with… well, chocolates.
Also make sure to rise and shine for the Wake & Break(fast). It’s one of their most popular yearly events, and no wonder. You’ll get to try one of their breakfast-inspired beers alongside a doughnut sandwich.
Taplands //1171 Homestead Road, Santa Clara; 408.709.2990
So a snake walks into a bar… Sorry, we actually don’t have a punchline for that, but slide on over to Alpha Acid for Barrel Constrictor Day, an afternoon dedicated to the brewery’s line of barrel-aged Imperial stouts. Make sure to let us know what you think of their Breakfast Constrictor (a beer with coffee, maple, cinnamon, vanilla, and brown sugar).
The roster also includes two days of Milkshake IPAs. These frosty, boozy treats combine natural Colombian fruits like guava and tangerine, age them in barrels along with Tahitian Vanilla and lactose, then strengthen them with tropical hops.
For Valentine’s Day sweethearts, sip on the newly released Raspberry Romance (a barrel-aged sour ale rested on raspberries) — or quaff the Gummi Bear Juice (a sour IPA).
Alpha Acid Brewing // 121 Industrial Rd #11, Belmont; 650.394.4728
Not only is Clandestine celebrating Beer Week, but their also celebrating their second anniversary on South First Street. There are so many reasons to visit… attend their Sporcle Trivia night, stop by for a Milky Way Stout, or pop over for their super hoppy Apollo 11-inspired can.
If you’re a crafty one, learn to make succulent jewelry. (Because why stop at putting these adorable chubby plants in pots when you can put them on earrings and necklaces too?)
Clandestine Brewing // 980 S 1st St Ste B, San Jose; 408.520.0220
All aboard the Coast-side Brew Bus! Pacifica Brewery will be partnering with Pedro Point Brewing, Hop Dogma Brewing, and Half Moon Bay Brewing for a memorable bar hop taking beer aficionados Pacifica to Half Moon Bay.
Led by Pacifica Brewery’s Head Brewer Cameron Collier, you’ll receive an ongoing commentary on background, history, and tasting notes of many of the beers you’ll be tasting throughout the night
And if you can’t wait for the next destination? No worries, the bus will be stocked with munchies and brews to tide you over.
Pacifica Brewery // 4627 CA-1, Pacifica; 650.735.5311
To start out the week, Gourmet Haus Staudt will be bringing three SoCal breweries to the Bay. Whether you chose North Park’s Grandmaster Fu West Coast IPA, Pure Project’s Offshore Lights Murky IPA, or Smog City’s Sabre Tooth Squirrel Red Ale, you’ll be in for a treat. Tasting flights will be offered for each.
Gourmet Haus Staudt // 2615 Broadway, Redwood City; 650.364.9232
Others You’ll Want To Check Out:
- Hermitage Brewing: Meet the Brewers Craft Beer Festival (February 16)
- The Refuge: a number of takeovers (February 9, 12, 14, 16)
- O’Malley’s Sports Pub: 21st Amendment Tap Takeover (February 8)
- Nom Burger: Beer Floats and Been Around The Bay (February 12 & 13)
- Sacrilege Brewery + Kitchen: Admiral Malt Takeover and four-course beer dinner (February 7 & 17th)
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More beer from The Six Fifty:
- How Devil’s Canyon became the Bay Area’s friendliest beer maker
- How tiny Alpha Acid Brewing makes the Peninsula’s most un-boring beers
- Beer gardens & breweries: our favorite spots to have a drink outside on the Peninsula
- A kinder, gentler microbrew at Redwood City’s Freewheel Brewing
- Brewing with an appetite: Sacrilege Brewing + Kitchen seeks to elevate the pub food experience
- The 650’s eight favorite dive bars on the Peninsula
- A temple to Bay Area craft brews rises at Santa Clara’s Taplands
- Serving up the freshest beer (daily!) with Fieldwork Brewing in San Mateo