The best bets for SF Beer Week in the East Bay

Far West Brewing plans to open a craft brewery, barrel-aging facility and restaurant in North West Berkeley. Photo: Quinn Dombrowski
SF Beer Week brings together brewers and drinkers across the Bay Area. Photo: Quinn Dombrowski

SF Beer Week, which kicks off on Friday, is a monster of an event, with countless happenings hosted across the Bay Area over the course of ten days. Its online schedule is almost impossibly long, even when it filters out events outside of the East Bay. But don’t be discouraged — we’ve done the hard work for you and picked out our best bets for the week, including three Pliny the Younger sightings and an array of sweet (and less-so) events for Valentine’s Day.

TAP TAKEOVERS AND TASTINGS

“Lost in the Woods” at The Good Hop This New Belgium-sponsored tasting is your only opportunity to taste the 2015 La Foile, a Flanders-style sour brown ale, and the 2015 Transatlantique Kriek, a lambic produced in collaboration with Belgium’s Oud Beersel. They’ll also be pouring a third New Belgium barrel-aged sour one-off and will hold a web-toast with the different brewers. The $40 event includes three 5-ounce tastings, food pairings, a globe glass and one 22-ounce bottle of La Folie or Transatlantique Kriek to take home. Those not wishing to pay the ticket price can still taste the beers on their own, but they will be served at full price.
Saturday Feb. 7, 5 to 8 p.m. Tickets are available at Brown Paper Tickets. The Good Hop, 2421 Telegraph Ave., Oakland.

Sour Sunday at Jupiter and Triple Rock Sour beers are a dominant theme at this year’s Beer Week. Get your taste of these lip-puckering brews this Sunday. Berkeley’s Jupiter will be serving local sours, while Triple Rock will pour sour beers from around the world.
Sunday Feb. 8, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Jupiter, 2181 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley and Triple Rock, 1920 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley.

Young Guns of SF Beer Week at Freehouse Get a taste of the best of the new breweries popping up around the Bay. Beers from San Leandro’s Cleophus Quealy, Alameda’s Faction Brewing Company, Berkeley’s Fieldwork Brewing Company and San Francisco’s Fort Point Beer Company will all be on tap.
Thursday Feb. 12, 5 to 11:30 p.m. Freehouse, 2700 Bancroft Way, Berkeley.


Trappist by Colin Burke McClure
The Trappist and The Trappist Provisions (above) are hosting a number of events over the course of SF Beer Week, including a private Allagash tasting on Feb. 13. Photo: Colin Burke McClure

The Trappist Classics Oakland’s The Trappist is “going back to its roots” with an evening dedicated to Belgian brews. They’ll be serving beer from as many different monasteries as they can, including a rare keg of Westmalle.
Friday Feb. 13, 12 to 11:30 p.m. The Trappist, 460 8th St., Oakland.

Allagash Tasting On the same day, The Trappist Provisions will host a private Allagash tasting for all of us who wish we could jaunt off to Maine for creative American takes on Belgian-style beer. The event will be hosted by Allagash’s Northern California sales director Aaron Nelson. They’ll have a number of Allagash’s rare beers on tap including their Tiarna, Resergum and Farm to Face. Those who don’t want to pony up for the private session can come in any time between 6 and 11:30 p.m. to sample Allagash beers.
Friday Feb. 13, 7 p.m. $25. Call 510-594-2339 to reserve. The Trappist Provisions, 6309 College Ave., Oakland.

TICKETED EVENTS

Dodgeball at Pyramid Alehouse Get a chance to drink and get large bouncy balls thrown at your face on Saturday at Pyramid’s Berkeley location. The brewery has partnered with the Adult Dodgeball League for this “epic last-person-standing” dodgeball game. The prize? A brewing class for you and six of your closest friends. The entrant with the best costume also wins a prize. To join the game, bring a $10 donation or an item worth $10 to donate to Project Open Hand.
Saturday Feb. 7, 1 to 4 p.m. Pyramid Alehouse, 901 Gilman St., Berkeley.

Beer and Pinball If enclosed balls are more your thing, head out to Alameda for a day of pinball at the Pacific Pinball Museum. They’ll be highlighting Bay Area nanobrewers and homebrewers in addition to a few other craft beer offerings. The $25 admission fee ($30 at the door) includes a tasting glass, unlimited tastings and unlimited pinball.
Sunday Feb. 8, 3 to 8 p.m. Pacific Pinball Museum, 1510 Webster St., Alameda.

A Brr machine at work at Smitten. Ice cream is made to order, as you watch. Photo: Alex Loescher
Smitten’s Brr Machine can produce beer ice cream with a serious buzz. Taste it on Feb. 10. Photo: Alex Loescher

Beer Ice Cream Most beer ice cream won’t give you a buzz, but the treats coming out of Smitten’s Brrr machine have a significant alcohol content. The Rockridge shop will be churning ice cream using beers from Marin Brewing to pair with their salted caramel, Tcho chocolate and seasonal ice cream bases. This happy-hour event has timed tickets for 6 and 7 p.m. and includes four scoops of ice cream.
Tuesday Feb. 10, 6 and 7 p.m. $25–$33. Tickets are available at Eventbrite. Smitten Oakland, 5800 College Ave., Oakland.


The 5-1-0 Mash Up Thrash Up Ice cream not hard-core enough for you? Join Drake’s and Beachwood Brewery of Long Beach for a “metal-as-f&*%” show at Merchant’s Saloon in Oakland on Friday the 13th. The duo has brewed a special 5-1-0 Malt Liquor especially for the event, which will feature music from local bands No Limbs, Year of the Fist and Fracas. Both Year of the Fist and Fracas have musicians who also work at Drake’s.
Friday Feb. 13, 8 p.m. $7 cover. Merchant’s Saloon, 401 2nd St., Oakland.

Homestead, August 2013, Oakland, CA. Photo: Emilie Raguso
Homestead will be serving elevated bar food alongside Trappist-picked beers on Feb 8. Photo: Emilie Raguso

BEER DINNERS

The Trappist and Homestead Collaboration Dinner These two Oakland stalwarts are teaming up to serve an “elevated take on bar food” in Homestead’s dining room. Expect dishes such as lobster rolls and buffalo wings alongside a “beer buffet” featuring 15 different brews, each poured in 4-ounce tastings.
Sunday Feb. 8, 5 to 10 p.m. Homestead, 4029 Piedmont Ave., Oakland.

Elevation 66 Winter Beer Pairing Dinner On the prix fixe side of things, El Cerrito’s Elevation 66 Brewing Company is hosting its popular winter beer pairing dinner during SF Beer Week. At $60 for four courses, beer pairings, an additional pint and tax and tip, the meal is a steal.
Monday Feb. 9, 6 to 10 p.m. Email brian.kelly@elevation66.com for tickets. Elevation 66 Brewing Company, 10082 San Pablo Ave., El Cerrito.

Brats and Beer Floats Old Oakland’s Rosamunde and New Belgium have created an evening of bratwurst and seriously fancy beer floats. Each of the four floats consists of a special ice cream-beer pairing: Cocoa Mole (Mexican chocolate ale) with cinnamon ice cream, Salted Chocolate Belgian stout with caramel ice cream, Portage Porter with coffee ice cream and 1554 Black Lager with vanilla ice cream.
Tuesday Feb. 10, 6 to 10 p.m. Rosamunde Sausage Grill, 911 Washington St., Oakland.

BEER FESTIVALS

Double IPA Festival The Bistro in Hayward is kicking off its SF Beer Week celebration with all things strong and hoppy. They’ll be pouring over 50 double and triple IPAs, hosting a professional brewing competition, playing live music, and serving cheese, sausages, and fried pickle “Frickles.”
Saturday Feb. 7, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. $55. The Bistro, 1001 B St., Hayward.


East Bay Brewfest Pyramid Brewing is hosting what looks like countless events over the course of SF Beer Week, and one of their best is their celebration of East Bay beer. For $20 ($25 at the door), guests have an option to taste beers from the likes of Ale Industries, Bison Organic Brewery, Calicraft Brewing Company, Eight Bridges Brewing Company, E.J. Phair Brewing Co., Federation Brewing, High Water Brewing, Independent Brewing Company, Linden Street Brewery, Line 51 Brewing, Lucky Devil Brewing, Oakland Brewing Company, Pacific Coast Brewing Company, Pyramid Breweries, Trumer Brauerei and Working Man Brewing Company. A specialty glass is also included in the admission fee.
Thursday Feb. 12, 6 to 9 p.m. Pyramid Alehouse, 901 Gilman St., Berkeley.

taproom
The Albany Taproom is hosting two of our top picks for SF Beer Week, a Barrel Aged Festival on Feb. 13 and a Bitter Valentine’s Day IPA tap takeover on Feb. 14. Photo: Albany Taproom

Second Annual Barrel Aged Festival Albany’s Taproom is celebrating everything aged and funky on Friday the 13th. They’ll have 32 different taps of barrel aged beers, and samples can be purchased in 5 or 10-beer flights or a la carte.
Friday Feb. 13, 12 to 11 p.m. Albany Taproom, 745 San Pablo Ave., Albany.

PLINY THE YOUNGER WATCH

Strong Beer Night Berkeley’s Bobby G’s Pizzeria is hosting several Beer Week events, but the highlight will certainly be this one. On Feb. 13, they’ll pour IPAs, double IPAs and triple IPAS, including (they hope) a Pliny the Younger keg. Bobby G’s makes no guarantees, so they ask that guests check their Twitter feed before getting their hopes up. If they’ve got it, show up early.
Friday Feb. 13, 5 to 11 p.m. Bobby G’s Pizzeria, 2072 University Ave., Berkeley.

Imperial IPA Extravaganza Ben and Nick’s in Oakland is celebrating Valentine’s day with a similar event showcasing the strongest, hoppiest beers in California. They’ll be pouring brews from Auburn Alehouse, Altamont Ale Works, Ballast Point, Faction, Knee Deep and Russian River. Ben and Nick’s hasn’t officially announced a Pliny tap, but they’ve strongly hinted that The Younger will make an appearance. They describe the event as “extremely legit,” so if you like your beers strong and piney, mark your calendars. The extravaganza will run much of the day, but don’t expect the Pliny to stick around for long.
Saturday Feb. 14, 11:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Ben and Nick’s Bar and Grill, 5612 College Ave., Oakland.

Schubros Brewing, BBQ, and Pliny the Younger at Beer Revolution If you miss the first two Pliny tastings, head down to Jack London Square to try snagging a glass at Beer Revolution. In addition to this Russian River beer, they’ll be pouring glasses of San Ramon’s Schubros Brewing and serving barbecue.
Sunday Feb. 15, 2 to 10 p.m. Beer Revolution, 464 3rd St., Oakland.

Photo: Plank Oakland
Plank, in Jack London Square, will host one of three East Bay beer-and-pig dinners on Feb. 10. Photo: Plank Oakland

WHOLE HOG DINNERS

Hops and Hogs at Plank Jack London Square’s newest beer garden-slash-bowling alley is offering beer-braised pig and fixings plus one 20-ounce beer for $20. They’ll throw in a free $10 game card along with the meal. First come, first served.
Tuesday Feb. 10, 6 to 10 p.m. Plank, 98 Broadway, Oakland.

Sau and Brau at Drake’s The San Leandro powerhouse brewery calls this their favorite event of the week. Their whole pig is roasted and served with small-batched barrel aged beers and other Beer Week specials. Live music will be playing all evening.
Wednesday Feb 11, 6 to 9 p.m. $50. Drake’s Brewing Company, 1933 Davis St., San Leandro.

Ale Industries Pig Roast Back in Oakland, the Jingletown Jazz Room will have its own porcine celebration, complete with Ale Industries beer. The pig in question will be coming from a local farmer and the live music will sure to be jazzy.
Friday Feb. 13, 5 to 10 p.m. Jingletown Jazz Room at Ale Industries, 3096 East 10th St., Oakland.

VALENTINE’S DAY

Chocolate and Beer pairings The Sierra Nevada Torpedo Room, Pacific Coast Brewing, Rosamunde’s, and Eight Bridges Brewing are all hosting chocolate and beer tastings that day. What more could you want on this special holiday than a beer buzz and a sugar high?
11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sierra Nevada Torpedo Room, 2031 4th St., Berkeley.
4 to 11:30 p.m. 
Pacific Coast Brewing Company, 906 Washington St., Oakland
6 to 9 p.m. Rosamunde Sausage Grill, 911 Washington St., Oakland
12 to 7 p.m. Eight Bridges Brewing, 332 Earhart Way, Livermore.

ValenSTEIN’s Day Beer Pong Tournament You heard it right: beer pong. The Berkeley location of Pyramid Brewing will host the couples tournament from in the evening. Unlike the game you played in college, Pyramid’s tourney will be played with water. Beer for drinking will be sold separately. $15 gets you in the door with a commemorative beer stein and one fill. The winner gets their food and drink on the house, plus a 64-ounce growler.
6 to 9:30 p.m. Pyramid Alehouse, 901 Gilman St., Berkeley.

Bitter Valentine’s Day Triple, Double, and Single IPA Takeover For those with less of a desire for sweets, the Albany Taproom will exclusively be pouring hoppy beers. They’ll be featuring five breweries with three beers from each brewery. Come taste a range of IPAs from Altamont Beer Works, Berryessa Brewing Company, Auburn Alehouse, Six Rivers Brewery and Dust Bowl.
12 to 10 p.m. Albany Taproom, 45 San Pablo Ave., Albany.

TALKS AND CLASSES

Seven-Day Brew Calling all homebrew enthusiasts: Woods Bar and Brewery will be brewing a special Beer Week beer from Saturday to Saturday. On Feb. 7, they’ll welcome the community into the brewery to taste and choose ingredients for the beer. The following weekend, they’ll hold a tasting of the beer.
Saturday Feb. 7, 12 to 4 p.m. and Saturday Feb. 14, 12 to 5 p.m. Woods Bar and Brewery, 1701 Telegraph Ave., Oakland.

Photo: Hog's Apothecary
Hog’s Apothecary will host a discussion with Sierra Nevada on pilsner-style beers on Feb. 8. Photo: Hog’s Apothecary

Sundays with Sierra Nevada: Nooner Launch and Pilsner Exploration IPAs and barrel-aged sours aren’t the only craft beers brewing in the Bay. Lighter, more sessionable beers like pilsners are also an important piece of the puzzle. Sierra Nevada’s Nooner Pilsner is a new entrant into the world of pilsners; learn about the brew from the Torpedo Room’s cicerone Ryan Tovey and Hog’s Apothecary’s cicerone Sayre Piotrkowski at Hog’s on Sunday afternoon. They’ll be highlighting the ingredients used to make this specific beer as well as offering flights of other similar brews.
Sunday Feb. 8, 2:30 to 5 p.m. Hog’s Apothecary, 374 40th St., Oakland.

Craft Beer Mystery Tour Put your palate to the test at Pyramid’s Walnut Creek location. They’ll host a blind tasting of several different craft beers, offering instruction and tips from the brewery’s cicerones. Kids can come along and sip on free hot chocolate. Pyramid is asking for a $15 donation to Open Hand for admission.
Sunday Feb. 8, 3 to 6pm. Pyramid Alehouse, 1410 Locust St., Walnut Creek.

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