Toast the biggest week in beer Feb. 10-19 with our guide to Silicon Valley events.
The annual SF Beer Week celebration returns to the Bay Area Feb. 10-19 with a scattering of events aimed at suds-lovers of all kinds taking place at venues across the 650.
The festival’s much anticipated opening gala — traditionally held in San Francisco — will sadly only return from its pandemic hiatus in time for next year’s SF Beer Week celebration. For now, the kickoff ceremony will take the form of five separate, smaller events in each of the Bay Area Brewers Guild’s chapters on Saturday, Feb. 11.
The Silicon Valley chapter, which includes participating venues on the Peninsula as well as in the South Bay, will host its local kickoff event on Saturday, Feb. 11, from 6-9 p.m. at Guildhouse in San Jose. A $65 ticket gets entrants access to unlimited tastings from participating brewers, including Ghostwood Beer Co. in Redwood City, Taplands in Santa Clara and ShaKa Brewing in Sunnyvale. VIPs can pay $90 for a ticket that also grants early entry to Guildhouse (at 4:30 p.m.) and a commemorative tasting glass, along with opportunities to speak (and drink) with members of the Silicon Valley chapter of the Bay Area Brewers Guild.
SF Beer Week also features the release of a limited-edition fundraising beer called This Beer Creates Opportunity, aimed at raising awareness and improving diversity in the Bay Area craft beer industry. Proceeds from the sale of the hazy double IPA, brewed by members of the Bay Area Brewers Guild’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, will be used to establish a scholarship fund at the University of California Davis through their Continuing and Professional Education program. DeVonne Buckingham, the director of brewing operations at Drake’s Brewing in San Leandro — which hosted the collaboration brew event — said that the endowment would benefit “new faces and palates and historically marginalized communities” by offering recipients access to brewing education courses and certificate programs at UC Davis.
The special brew will be available on draft at all five SF Beer Week kickoff events, at participating bars throughout the week and in cans at select retail locations. Those wishing to contribute directly to the endowment may also do so on SF Beer Week’s website.
Here’s a roundup of the other SF Beer Week events taking place in the 650.
Blue Oak Brewing Co., San Carlos
Join the folks at Blue Oak as they celebrate the San Carlos brewery’s sixth anniversary with live music and food trucks on Saturday, Feb. 11. Rock Club Burgers will be serving burgers named after your favorite rock bands, and Cali Caracas will be dishing out Venezuelan arepas, tostones and empanadas.
Gourmet Haus Staudt, Redwood City
Gourmet Haus Staudt in Redwood City will kick off Beer Week with a tap takeover by Firestone Walker Feb. 11. The Paso Robles-based brewery has made available a number of limited releases and vintage beers for the event, including the 2013 Sucaba, a barrel-aged barleywine, and the 2014 Parabola, an imperial stout aged in whisky barrels.
On Sunday, Feb. 12, Gourmet Haus Staudt will host its annual Lambic Extravaganza. The event is the only one of its kind during SF Beer Week, focused exclusively on Belgian lambic beers. These often sour beers are fermented by wild yeast strains native to the area in Belgium where the beer is brewed and don’t use the traditional strains of cultured brewer’s yeast that most breweries use. Lambic beers from cult brewers Cantillon and Tilquin will be available on draft, as well as an impressive selection of bottled beers from producer 3 Fonteinen.
On Tuesday, Feb. 14, Gourmet Haus Staudt will shine a spotlight on stiff and heady triple IPAs before wrapping up SF Beer Week with two tap takeovers showcasing breweries from the Central Coast and Pacific Northwest Feb. 17-18 respectively. Check Gourmet Haus Staudt’s SF Beer Week page for updated draft lists.
Devil’s Canyon Brewing Co., San Carlos
Devil’s Canyon will host the ninth annual West Coast Craft Can Invitational Feb. 11. Over 25 breweries will be represented, and the 75+ different styles of beer have one thing in common — they’re all in cans.
Tickets to the event are $50 and include access to all the beer you can taste, as well as a commemorative pint glass (designed to look like a can, of course). For designated drivers or others who aren’t drinking, $20 tickets are available and include all-you-can-drink craft root beer brewed by Devil’s Canyon. A selection of food trucks will be parked in the outdoor beer garden to sell you something to eat while you imbibe.
This year, Devil’s Canyon announced that they’ll be donating proceeds from the event to a local nonprofit. Tickets and additional information are available on Eventbrite.
Freewheel Brewing Company, Redwood City
On Feb. 16, Freewheel Brewing Company in Redwood City will present a showcase of English-style cask-conditioned beers from a number of Bay Area breweries for Firkin Friends Fest 2023. Stay tuned to their event page on the SF Beer Week site for the list of invited brewers.
Alpha Acid Brewing Company, Belmont
Belmont brewery Alpha Acid on Feb. 11 will unveil their latest release of Barrel Constrictor — an imperial stout clocking in at a whopping 15% ABV. The brewery will have eight different versions of the dark beer on draft, and a limited number of bottles will be sold to go. La Fenice Pizza will be slinging their naturally leavened, woodfired pizzas.
On Feb. 17, Alpha Acid will celebrate the release of Final Final, an intensely hopped triple IPA, alongside yakitori from Kikuchi.
Finally, on Feb. 19, join Alpha Acid for “Surf N Satay” featuring the debut of a fruited sour ale inspired by the flavors of mango lassi, and skewers from Satay by the Bay.
Ale Arsenal, San Carlos
Ale Arsenal, the hole-in-the-wall beer bar in San Carlos, has a jam-packed week of events scheduled for every single day of the festival.
On Feb. 11, the bar will celebrate 831 Day, paying homage to breweries in the 831 area code, comprising portions of Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Cruz counties. Ale Arsenal will have beers from Alvarado Street Brewery, Humble Sea Brewing Co., Private Press Brewing, and Sante Adairius Rustic Ales.
The focus shifts to breweries in Orange County Feb. 12, featuring beers from Riip Beer Co. and Green Cheek Beer Co. On Feb. 13, Sonoma County’s Russian River Brewing Company gets its go at the spotlight.
The bar will celebrate Sours & Saisons Valentine’s Day Feb. 14, where the lovesick and heartbroken alike can enjoy a selection of both Belgian and domestic beers from the likes of Jester King Brewery in Austin, Texas, and de Garde Brewing in Oregon.
On Feb. 15, Ale Arsenal will be pouring beers from Alpha Acid Brewing Company. On Feb. 16, discover the “New Kids of California,” an assemblage of new school craft brewers in the Golden State. Ale Arsenal will pour beers from Crow & Wolf Brewing Company, Everywhere Beer, MachineHead Brewing, Movement Brewing Co., and There Does Not Exist. Ale Arsenal will highlight the West Coast pilsners of Wondrous Brewing Company and Highland Park Brewery Feb. 17.
Take a break from all of the IPAs that dominate the Bay Area beer scene Feb. 18 and celebrate Lagerpalooza with beers from Heater Allen Brewing, Moonlight Brewing Company and Wayfinder Beer. Finally, on Feb. 19, slither up to the bar for the 10th annual Serpents & Stouts. In addition to a selection of imperial stouts from craft brewers, Jungle James Animal Adventures will host a reptile petting zoo from 3-5 p.m.
The Refuge, San Carlos and San Mateo
Though The Refuge recently closed its location in Menlo Park, its two other outposts in San Carlos and San Mateo have a mix of brewery showcases lined up for SF Beer Week.
In San Carlos, The Refuge will turn over its taps to Russian River Brewing Company.
For Valentine’s Day the bar will offer up a selection of chocolate stouts, fruited lambics and other sweet and sour beers perfect for pairing with the bar’s bread pudding.
On Feb. 18, The Refuge in San Carlos will wrap up the week featuring beers from Alvarado Street Brewery.
At their San Mateo location, The Refuge will be featuring flights of beer from Narrative Fermentations in San Jose Feb. 13-17. From Feb. 16-17, the bar will add on three kegs from Temescal Brewing. And Feb. 18-19 they’ll be pouring a house beer called Refuge IPA, brewed in collaboration with Anderson Valley Brewing.
State of Mind Public House and Pizzeria, Redwood City and Los Altos
State of Mind in Redwood City will be serving beers from Russian River Brewing Company Feb. 12. Conveniently enough for football fans, there will be four beers available on draft, one for each quarter of the Super Bowl being played that day.
On Feb. 13, the Russian River party moves over to State of Mind in Los Altos, where mystery special releases and a selection of bottles will also be available.
On Feb. 16, State of Mind in Los Altos will showcase four Gose beers from Anderson Valley Brewing. The slightly sour brew’s taste of coriander and relatively low alcohol content make it the perfect pairing for pizza.
Finally, on Feb. 18, the Los Altos outpost will host its fourth annual Hazy vs. West Coast IPA Showdown. Customers can blind taste and vote from a selection of three hazy IPAs and three West Coast IPAs in the niche battle of IPA styles.
Taplands Taproom & Brewery, Santa Clara
Taplands kicks off Beer Week festivities with their seventh annual Wake & Break(fast) at 9 a.m. Feb. 11, serving craft beers that go well with doughnuts, such as stouts and blonde ales, alongside their own Sid’s Serrano pale ale with smoked serrano peppers. They host New Kids on the Block: Beer Edition at 5 p.m. Feb. 16, showcasing craft beer from new breweries with a focus on the Bay Area. The week wraps up at noon Feb. 18 with the sixth annual Locals Only Tap Takeover featuring craft breweries in the Silicon Valley chapter of the Bay Area Brewers Guild. Visit their SF Beer Week page for lineup details as they’re announced.
Fibbar Magees, Sunnyvale
The Irish pub hosts The Younger Games at 3 p.m. Feb. 19, in which attendees get a raffle ticket for a chance to purchase this season’s Pliny The Younger from Russian River. There will be 40 other beers on tap for those who miss out on Pliny.
Humble Sea Brewing Co., Pacifica
Humble Sea hosts the Other Half Tap Takeover at noon Feb. 10 featuring Poetry Snaps Japanese rice lager, Cheddar imperial IPA, DDH Green City hazy IPA and Forever Ever Session IPA. Feb. 10-12 they’re releasing bottles and drafts of two special barrel-aged offerings: The Rice Ain’t Wrong Barrel #2, a Japanese rice Belgian-style ale aged a full year in a red wine barrel with a wild yeast blend, and Abbaye De Rockaway Grand Cru 2022, a Belgian-style quad aged in bourbon and red wine barrels. At noon Feb. 15 they’re tapping a special keg of Deep Chili Exploration, the brewery’s bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout infused with a blend of pasilla, oaxaqueno and chilis de arbol.
Highway 1 Brewing Co., Pescadero
The Coastside brewery will release a new beer and barbecue a whole hog from Corvus Farm from noon-4 p.m. Feb. 19, with live music by the Djangatos.