Special releases, droves of IPAs and…a doughnut breakfast sandwich—all you need to know about what’s brewing during our favorite week in the 6–5–0.
It’s no secret that we’re big fans of the Peninsula’s brewery scene. How could we not be? With high-profile breweries like Alpha Acid, Devil’s Canyon, Freewheel and Taplands increasingly making their mark on the beer world, it’s hard not to feel obligated to consume more beer based on civic duty alone. Seriously though, we’re lucky to have some fantastic breweries around here, which is why SF Beer Week definitely runs high on our list of the best events on the Peninsula.
This year’s annual Beer Week festivities kick off with an opening gala in San Francisco this Friday, Feb. 1, followed by numerous events throughout the week before concluding on the following Sunday (Feb. 10).While the city itself might have some cool things to offer, this is the Peninsula’s time to shine, too. Whether you’re just breaking into the beer scene out here or you’re a veteran brewer looking for a new take on Beer Week, we’ve got the 6–5–0 mapped out for you…one pint at a time.
So hand over those car keys and check out our full list of what’s hoppin’ on the Peninsula for SFBW 2019.
Sacrilege Brewing + Kitchen in Half Moon Bay makes a good point when they say that you don’t need to commute all the way into the city to celebrate Beer Week, and after spending some time looking at their roster of events for this week, we couldn’t agree more.
Sacrilege will celebrate the launch of its new IPA, Jesus “Hops” Christ, all weekend starting Feb. 2. They’re also having a Super Bowl party on Sunday — Owner Joe Pacini says he’ll have New England beers facing off against LA beers all through the game.
Later in the week they’ll host “A Taste of the Future” Beer Dinner with Modern Times Beer (RSVP required); Feb. 6–8 they’ll feature a to-be-determined lineup of beers out of Santa Cruz; and to mark the closing weekend, they’ll host a brunch both Saturday and Sunday featuring different breakfast beers, including some from Founders Brewing and Dog Fish Head.
“We’ll have a whole slew of breakfast beers on tap, and even some brunch items on the dinner menu,” Pacini said.
730 Main Street, Half Moon Bay (650) 276–7029 www.SacrilegeBrewing.com
Alpha Acid Brewing in Belmont has a very full week ahead of them: they’ll kick off at their industrial tap room on Saturday (Feb. 2) with Barrel Constrictor Day, celebrating the bi-annual release of their well-known and highly sought after line of bourbon barrel aged imperial stouts.
That’ll be followed by Sour Bowl Sunday starting at noon, a “Monday She Wroatmeal” showcase the day after (featuring flights of a deconstructed chocolate coconut oatmeal stout), an “IPA brawl” with tacos on Tuesday, a collaboration day with Coastside brewers Hop Dogma on Thursday, Final Final Friday (come for a pour of their famous Final Final IPA), Project Alpha Day on Saturday (complete with the release of 6 brand new experiential IPAs) and — last but not least — a Sunday Funday Brunch with low ABV beers, beermosas, micheladas, radlers, and the added full force of the Spunbyss food truck.
Phew — a long line up indeed.
121 Industrial Rd #11, Belmont (650) 394–4728 www.AlphaAcidBrewing.com
Armstrong Brewing Co. kicks off their Beer Week events on Saturday, Feb. 2, with a Beer & Slider event co-hosted with S.F.-based Waystone bistro. Tickets are $45 and grant you access to an open beer & wine bar, a slider spread and live music, all up on Waystone’s rooftop.
Armstrong also has a busy week ahead of them at their regular headquarters in South San Francisco. Catch 4 Can Fill Tuesday — your chance to fill a four pack of any of the beers Armstrong has on tap — and SF Beer Week Trivia Night on Wednesday.
Later in the week Armstrong will be offering a special sour beer flight featuring small batch beers brewed just for that night. And don’t forget to keep your eye out for their post-Beer Week happenings, as well: Feb. 14 marks Armstrong’s release of their Sweet & Sour 4 Pack, which includes two sours and two stouts.
415 Grand Ave, Suite #103, South San Francisco (650) 989–8447 www.ArmstrongBrewing.com
Devil’s Canyon Brewery is hosting its 6th annual West Coast Craft Can Invitational on Feb. 2. The invitational is a great way to get a feel for Devil’s Canyon… and, of course, for the 28 other breweries they’ll be hosting. The day’s festivities include live music, food trucks and an impressive array of craft beer to try, as well as a People’s Choice part of the day in which participants can cast votes to show their appreciation for their favorite brews. General admission tickets are $40 if bought in advance (designated driver tickets are $15 and come with unlimited Devil’s Canyon root beer!).
The following day is DC’s Besties & Beer, a women-only beer tasting celebration (all levels of female beer enthusiasts are welcome). Tickets are $30, and include a blind tasting led by owner Kristiann Garrett, with a talk about how women have had an influence on society through beer. Tickets are here — and they’re going fast. Probably one of the coolest Beer Week events we’ve seen (sorry, guys).
Not to worry if you can’t make it to San Carlos for any of Devil’s Canyon special Beer Week events; DC hosts Beer Garden Fridays all year long.
935 Washington St, San Carlos (650) 592–2739 www.DevilsCanyon.com
Freewheel Brewing Company specializes in cask ales — one of the only breweries to do so in the Bay Area (…or maybe anywhere, for that matter.) Cask ales take brewing back to its historic roots: beer is carbonated naturally instead of via a CO2 line and is served at cellar temperatures — 50 to 52 degrees — instead of chilled to 38 or 40 degrees like most. In short, cask ales are a really special kind of brew, and Freewheel will be putting on a cask ale showcase for Beer Week with help from fellow Peninsula breweries at Firkin Friends Fest on Feb. 7.
General Manager Devin Roberts calls cask ale “a niche of a niche,” and says that the cask ale offerings from other breweries always come as a surprise — ranging from hazy IPAs to imperial stouts and even ciders. “It’s a really fun industry night that’s like casual meet-the-breweries,” Roberts explains.
Also on the calendar for Freewheel: Saturday’s Art Show & Beer Release, featuring a Russian imperial stout and work from local artists; a free comedy show on Wednesday, featuring Good Suds (tickets here); and Battle of the Brew Clubs Sunday, a showcase full of veteran home brewers (the Bay Area home brewing scene is “amazing,” according to Roberts, making this spirited annual event especially worth checking out).
For a full list of Freewheel’s many Beer Week happenings, check here.
3736 Florence St, Redwood City (650) 365–2337 www.FreeWheelBrewing.com
Blue Oak Brewing Company’s second anniversary happens to correspond with Beer Week (sounds like two excellent reasons to celebrate to us). Birthday festivities start at 1 p.m. on Feb. 2 at Blue Oak’s new tasting room in San Carlos: admission is free (!) and the party will feature new beer releases, a food truck and live music. Expect a rowdy one.
Better yet, make the trip to Blue Oak—Beer Week or otherwise—to buy a few pints of their Resilience IPA. All profits from Resilience are used to aid victims of last autumn’s Camp Fire devastation in Paradise, California. A good beer for a great cause.
815 Cherry Lane, San Carlos (415) 273–9676 www.BlueOakBrewing.com
The bar’s Beer Week line up doesn’t disappoint this year: Saturday, Feb 2, they’ll kick off the week with Gung Haggis Fat Choy, a joint celebration of Robbie Burns Day (Scotland’s national poet, if you weren’t familiar) and Chinese New Year. Head over for some cross-pollination of cultures and, of course, beer.
They’ll follow that with their 3rd Annual Wake and Break(fast) on Sunday. Consider this an early Super Bowl kick-off complete with a solid roster of breakfast beers and (!!!) donut breakfast sandwiches. On Monday they’ll host Drink and Draw with Ghost Town Brewing, featuring a chance to make some art while trying out a lineup of beers from Ghost Town, an Oakland-based brewery. Finally, Wednesday, Feb. 6, is North Bay Brewers Night, a showcase of the best the North Bay has on tap.
1171 Homestead Road, Santa Clara (408) 709–2990 www.Taplands.com
Ghostwood Brewery is fairly new to the Peninsula’s brewery scene, having just opened their doors in September, but make no mistake — there’s nothing amateur about them. Most of those behind Ghostwood are “old time beer nerds,” according to co-owner Jason Simpson. He points to Ghostwood’s first can — a kettle sour called Stargazer — as something to be excited about: the release is set for Feb. 5, the Tuesday of beer week.
Also on Ghostwood’s calendar for Beer Week is the release of Hazeless Bastard, a West Coast Double IPA, on the first Saturday of Beer Week (which will also be featured at Bistro Double IPA Fest over in Hayward). This is a big week of firsts for the RWC-based brewery: they’re also putting out their first-ever pastry stout on Saturday the 9th.
If you’re keeping an eye out for Ghostwood during Beer Week, you should know they’ll also have an IPA on tap at beloved beer bar mecca Toronado on Lower Haight in San Francisco. That said, if you’d rather not make the trip up to the city, Simpson’s recommendation of what to try on tap (“other than everything”) are the brewery’s milkshake IPAs. (Sign us up!)
“Milkshake IPAs have been popular with everyone from hardcore beer people to those who may not actually even like beer but are trying getting into it,” Simpson said, adding that Ghostwood’s brewers have done a fantastic job perfecting the beer.
All told, it’s lots of new beer from the Peninsula’s newest brewery.
965 Brewster Ave, Redwood City (650) 503–8763 www.ghostwoodbeer.com
Other SFBW events on the Peninsula that are worth a look:
- Yoga + Beer + Discover | SF Beer Week
- SFBW 19 – CA-Only Cider Tap Takeover
- SFBW 19 – Barebottle Tap Takeover + Food Pairing
- SFBW 19 – Hop Dogma Release
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