Our top 10 picks for SF Beer Week events in the East Bay

Whether you prefer sour, IPAs or ambers, the East Bay has plenty of brews to quench your thirst during the 10-day beer extravaganza.

SF Beer Week takes place Feb. 7-16, with more than 100 events happening in the East Bay, including at the Rare Barrel in Berkeley. Photo: Suni Sidhu

It’s a well-known fact that the Bay Area is blessed with some exceptional craft beer. And between all the local brewers, maltsters and Master Cicerones, there’s no shortage of creativity and innovation flowing out of the region. If you’re even the slightest bit interested in learning more about the Bay’s beer bounty, you need to check out SF Beer Week. Running this year from Feb. 7–16, the annual brew fest features a whopping 400+ activities to choose from — more than 100 of which are located in the East Bay alone.

Here are the 10 SF Beer Week events in the East Bay — including dinners, tastings, releases and other must-attend happenings — that we’re most excited about this year. So cheers, prost, salud, sláinte and kanpai to more great beer.

Floor-malted barley at Admiral Maltings in Alameda.
Take a tour of California’s only malthouse, Admiral Maltings in Alameda, where it turns raw California-grown barley into one of the most important staples of beer making. Photo: Admiral Maltings

Feb. 8: Grain to Glass: A Farmer, Maltster and Brewer(s) Walk into a Bar

Learn about the wonderful world of malt at Admiral Maltings production facility, the first in California and the only floor malting company of its kind in the modern era. Take a tour of the the Alameda-based malthouse, learn about the vital role grain plays in beer making and taste some fresh brews in the adjacent pub at The Rake. 2 p.m., $20. Admiral Maltings, 651A W Tower Ave. (at Pan Am Way), Alameda

Feb. 8: Beer Judge 101

Led by two renowned industry experts and beer judges, David Teckam and Brian Cooper, this class is an introduction into the world of critical beer tasting. Teckam and Cooper will guide you through a compare-and-contrast-style tasting, discussing attributes like flavor, body and aroma of several unique, world-class beers, and how best to approach a brew from a judge’s perspective. 1 p.m., $40. BottleTaps, 3020 Bernal Avenue, Suite 160, Pleasanton


The Sour Sunday returns to Jupiter and Triple Rock in Berkeley for SF Beer Wee
The Sour Sunday returns to Jupiter and Triple Rock in downtown Berkeley for SF Beer Week. Photo: Lance Yamamoto

Feb. 9: The Sour Sunday

Ease your Sunday scaries with a tart adult beverage at this year’s Sour Sunday, where you’ll taste more than 60 of the funkiest, wildest, rarest sours and barrel-aged suds. The event takes place at two locations: Jupiter and Triple Rock in downtown Berkeley. Noon, $35 – $100. Jupiter, 2181 Shattuck Ave. (between Allston Way and Center Street); Triple Rock, 1920 Shattuck Ave. (between Hearst Avenue and Berkeley Way), Berkeley

Feb. 10: Valentine’s Day Pairing Dinner & Meet the Brewers

If you and your sweetie are still looking for something a little different this V-Day then consider reserving a spot at this pairing dinner at Elevation 66. The El Cerrito gastropub will offer a four-course tasting menu with beer pairings, and a lively chat with Elevation 66’s brewers. This experience is limited to just 50 guests, so make your reservations ASAP. 6 p.m., $75. Elevation 66, 10082 San Pablo Ave. (at Central Avenue), El Cerrito

The Rare Barrel in Berkeley will host a special Taco Tuesday during SF Beer Week. Photo: Adam Chandler/Flickr

Feb. 11: Taco Tuesday at The Rare Barrel

Just because it’s Beer Week doesn’t mean you should miss out on Taco Tuesday. Head to The Rare Barrel to try any number of delicious tacos off the kitchen’s special Beer Week menu, all of which go well with the brewery’s unique barrel-aged sours. No reservations required, but be sure to come hungry. 4 p.m., pay as you go. The Rare Barrel, 940 Parker St. (at Carlton Street), Berkeley

Feb. 12: Beer Week Bingo Night

Get over the mid-week hump with a round of bingo at Oakland’s Original Pattern Brewing Company. Grab your friends and your friends’ friends for a rousing evening of pint sipping and number calling in the hopes of winning some pretty sweet OPBC swag and bingo bragging rights. It’s free to play, and if you get hungry grab a bite from Good to Eat Dumplings’ pop-up kitchen. 7 p.m., free admission, pay as you go. Original Pattern Brewing Company, 292 Fourth St. (at Harrison Street), Oakland


Taste some of Drake’s Advanced Oak barrel-aged brews.
Taste some of Drake’s Advanced Oak barrel-aged brews, including some archived fan favorites. Photo: Drake’s Brewing Co.

Feb. 13: Drake’s Advanced Oak Cellar Release

Drake’s ‘89 Club is the brewery’s membership program focused on oak barrel-aged brews, but non-members will be able to get a taste at SF Beer Week’s Advanced Oak Cellar release event, when Drake’s will bring out some of its most special just-corked brews and archived fan favorites. Guests are invited to check out the cellar at Drake’s Barrel House and chat with Barrel Program Manager Travis Camacho. 5 p.m., pay as you go. Drake’s Barrel House, 1933 Davis St., Bldg, 177 (near Westgate Parkway), San Leandro

Feb. 14: Almanac & Friends Night Market

At this special Valentine’s edition of Almanac & Friends, the Alameda-based brewery is pulling out all the stops and spreading the love by inviting 16 of its closest brewing buddies and 20 maker friends for one hella fun evening. The night market-style gathering will offer guests the opportunity to sip on rare brews, nosh on tasty bites and peruse amazing art and locally made goods. 5 p.m., pay as you go. Almanac Beer Co., 651B W Tower Ave. (at Pan Am Way), Alameda

Pacific Standard Tap Room in Berkeley will host the third annual Battle of the State IPA Challenge for SF Beer Week.
Pacific Standard Tap Room in Berkeley will host the third annual Battle of the State IPA Challenge for SF Beer Week. Photo: Pacific Standard Tap Room

Feb. 15: Battle of the State IPA Challenge

Who will take the crown in the third annual Battle of the State IPA Challenge? Attendees will taste from a selection of California IPAs from Northern and Southern California breweries to help name the winner. Participating breweries include Half Moon Bay Brewing Co., South Lake Brewing Company, Modern Times Beer, Pizza Port Brewing Company and others. Will your favorite win? 5 p.m., pay as you go. Pacific Standard Tap Room, 2055 Center St. (between Milvia Street and Shattuck Avenue), Berkeley

Feb. 16: Chilaquiles and Chill

Nurse that SF Beer Week hangover with a hearty brunch and refreshing micheladas at San Leandro’s Cleophus Quealy Beer Co. The brewery will open an hour early so you can have your fill of Canasta Kitchen’s chilaquiles before quenching your thirst with a house-made beer-and-tomato-juice concoction to neatly wrap up an event-filled week. Dogs, children and “well-behaved adults” are welcome. 11 a.m., pay as you go. Cleophus Quealy Beer Co., 448 Hester St. (near Adams Avenue), San Leandro