As SF Beer Week is into full swing, Drink Me Magazine has asked me for my recommendations on the best ways to spend each of the remaining nights…
Monday February 8th – Monday is a GREAT NIGHT to be a BEER LOVER to be in BERKELEY. Bobby G’s Pizzeria will be hosting Brian Hunt of Moonlight Brewing Company. Jupiter and Triple Rock will be holding their annual “Sour Fest,” an event celebrating the lip-smacking cheek-puckering styles that are the latest fetish/frontier/focus/fascination for risk-taking craft-brewers throughout the West Coast. All three of these locations are within about a quarter-mile of one another, and all in close proximity to the Downtown Berkeley BART station.
MAP – A is Jupiter, B is Bobby G’s Pizzeria, C is Triple Rock Brewery
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Tuesday February 9th Of all the nights of Beer Week, TUESDAY IS THE NIGHT I AM MOST EXCITED ABOUT. I will be participating in the last (and most ambitious) of my three Beer Vs. Wine Events, a 5-course sustainable seafood menu at Bar Crudo in SF. Bar Crudo’s Chef Mike Selvera and Sommelier Alex Fox are legitimate culinary all-stars. (I am boxing well out of my weight class on this one, but beer always has a punchers chance.) If you have been waiting to attend one of my dinners, this is the one to jump on. Reservations can be made by calling Bar Crudo – 415-409-0679 – or via their website.
If you find yourself feeling more like a pub crawl than a sit down menu, Tuesday offers you the opportunity to meet two of the better brewers on earth, Vinnie Cilurzo of Russian River Brewing Co. and Brian Hunt of Moonlight Brewing Company. Vinnie will be bouncing between, the newly opened Pi Bar, and The Toronado where there will be no fewer than 18 RRBC Beers on tap. The Monk’s Kettle will be hosting Mr. Hunt for a night focused on his unhopped, gruit-styled beers, including my personal favorite, the incomparable, Uncle Fudd.
Wednesday February 10th SF Brewer’s Guild Dinner at The Monk’s Kettle. One beer from each of the participating brewers as well as the special Brewer’s Guild collaborative “Imperial Common” all squeezed into one six-course menu.
*Dinner has sold out – BUT… Monk’s will be re-opening to the public at about 11pm, all of the special Brewer’s Guild Beers should still be available.
Thursday February 11th My Sour Valentine at City Beer Store will showcase some of the best sour ales being brewed in the US. Native to the Flanders region of Belgium sour beers are ales fermented using wild yeast strains (many of the same bacteria that can “spoil” wines). Last year this event was so popular many had to be turned away. This year Craig and Beth have wisely decided to move things across the street to Triptych to accommodate the throngs of us sour-seeking sippers.
Double Bastard Vertical at The Monk’s Kettle – As a whole, the West Coast of the US makes the biggest, baddest, hoppiest, and highest-gravity ales anywhere in the world. Perhaps the brewery that embodies this bigger is better ethos more than any other is Stone Brewing Co. in San Diego County. Stone’s flagship beer is a burly Strong Ale called “Arrogant Bastard.” Once a year the Bastard gets bigger, as Stone brews up batches of “Double Bastard Ale.” This absurdly strong beer, both in terms of flavor and alcohol, has proving to be ideal for cellar aging. Thursday Night we are pulling three vintages of this beastly beer up from our cellar to offer a one-time-only vertical flight I like to refer to as Generations of Bastards.
2006 Oaked Double Bastard
2007 Double Bastard
2008 Double Bastard
*$16 beer only, $20 with cheese pairing
Friday February 12th Another Night when it is not necessary to leave the Mission. I would use this relatively quiet night on the Beer Week Schedule to hit up two of the events that are going to be running all week; Beer flavored ice creams Humphrey Slocombe and small plates with Japanese Microbrew at Nombe
Saturday February 13th The 17th Annual Barleywine Festival is everything you’d expect with huge alcohol content beers at The Toronado. It is always an absolute zoo, and always worth it. Try not to get arrested.