Anticipation is rising for beer lovers as S.F. Beer Week prepares to kick off again. The number of events has grown again this year and deciding which of the nearly 400 events to attend can seem daunting. Lucky for Peninsula residents, you won’t have to leave San Mateo County to find some fantastic beer and entertainment during the next 10 days.
In its fifth year, S.F. Beer Week has some new faces and old favorites in the county and here are a few you shouldn’t miss.
Food and fun
From Feb. 9 to Feb. 17, Redwood City’s Martin’s West is offering a special beer-inspired menu.
"What we are doing for the week is Green Flash is taking over our taps and each beer will be paired with a dish, created with that beer in mind,” said Michael Dotson.
These dishes include pairing such as Saison Diego-Unfiltered Farmhouse Ale with sea scallop ceviche to the Double Stout with malted chocolate brownies.
Similarly, there are more beer pairing menus on the coast. New to Beer Week is Surf Spot in Pacifica. Owner Derek Burns said the restaurant is hosting their Hops and Gnarly event from Feb. 9 to Feb. 16. There will be live music on Saturdays and guests can try foods like Dungeness crab cakes and bacon wrapped beef filet paired with local breweries such as Lagunitas, 21st Amendment, Devil’s Canyon and the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company.
Speaking of the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company, they will be hosting a beer and dessert paring from Feb. 9 to Feb. 17. These include delicious sounding options like mini blue cheesecake with berry compote, paired with Moonglow Barleywine; Beeramisu, their version of tiramisu, paired with chocolate porter; and poached pear with cinnamon, paired with witbier.
Also beginning on Saturday, The Refuge, in San Carlos, will be offering a new barrel-aged beer all week. These will include selections from Almanac, North Coast, Hitachino, Allagash Birrifico and the limited edition Zymatore Project from B. Refuge describes the beers as "extraordinary ales aged in barrels from multiple distilleries and wineries across the globe, [and] offers a palatial experience that blurs the line between beer, wine and spirits.”
On Feb. 10, The StandBy, in South San Francisco, is hosting We Plead The 21st! Tap Takeover with 21st Amendment Brewery to kick off their S.F. Beer Week debut. There will be live music and owner Joe Marquez said The Missing Link food cart "will be serving up some exotic sausages like, bison, pheasant and other big game varieties. And the first 50 patrons will get a free sausage.”
You’ll also want to check out its Sierra Nevada Tap Takeover.
"We will have eight rare or limited release beers on tap, including Bigfoot Barleywine,” said Marquez, and there will be live jazz, free jambalaya and live karaoke with Roger Niner later in the evening.
One event not to miss Feb. 10 is Devil’s Canyon’s free open house. The Belmont company will be open to the public from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. to give visitors the opportunity to sample beers, ask questions and take a tour of the brewery.
Devil’s Canyon describes the open house as "a family-friendly event” and "well-behaved children and pets are welcomed.”
Best of all, they will have special releases only available at the brewery.
Serpents and snow
Ale Arsenal, in San Carlos, will also have some Devil’s Canyon special releases at their Un-Masked-Fat Tuesday with Devil’s Canyon night. The Feb. 12 event will feature the release of the brewer’s bourbon barrel-aged barley wine, Barrel of Monkey’s.
Arsenal is hosting six events and they were truly thinking outside the box when they dreamed these up. They have an Arts and Crafts with Lost Coast Brewing Co. event on Feb. 10 that will feature unique beers, such as the Apricot Wheat and Bourbon Barrel-Aged Stout, available along with Lost Coast representative Jack Van Stone and local artists to show off their handmade craft art.
They will also have peanut butter and banana panini sandwiches for the All Shook Up night featuring Ale Industires on Feb. 13 and An Off-Centered Evening with Dogfish Head on Valentine’s Day.
However, it’s Thursday and Friday you can’t miss. Feb. 14 is Snow Day with Knee Deep Brewing Co. Dominique Childers, Ale Arsenal’s head of marketing, describes the night as a retro ski party. The bar encourages attendees to come in ’80s snow gear because a snow machine will literally be making snow inside while six taps will be dedicated to Knee Deep, according to Childers.
Snow not enough? On Feb. 15 Arsenal is hosting Serpents and Stouts.
"There will be five different species of snakes, a Mexican rosy boa constrictor, corn snake, ball python, red tailed boa constrictor and albino burmese python,” Childers said.
Even if reptiles aren’t your thing, you have to go for the amazing beers that will be there including: The Abyss, Drake’s Barrel aged Drakonic, Lost Abbey Serpent Stout, Lost Coast Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout, Youngs Double Chocolate Stout, 101 North Imperial Stout, Rasputin XV Anniversary Ale and Miles Davis Bitches Brew. I haven’t had Serpent Stout in a few years and it’s one to which I’m looking forward.
"At this event, people can expect to get an array of great stouts, and we offer beer flights so people can choose what they would like to try. They can also expect to see some really cool, completely tame reptiles, so this event is really geared toward the adventurous beer seeker,” said Childers.
A case of rare beers
Harry’s Hofbrau, in Redwood City, is also new to S.F. Beer Week but they enter with their "A” game. Kevin Olcese has pulled out all the stops to make Hofbrau’s events a definite must. The first event, on Feb. 9, is all about the Palo Alto Brewing Co.
Palo Alto’s typical beers are great but this event will mix it up with new takes on their "flagship brews like a Chai Tea DIPA, Barleywine with Maker’s Mark soaked French oak chips, Local Coffee porter and a Calypso hopped rye IPA.” There will also be free appetizers and draft specials.
On Feb. 15, Harry’s Hofbrau is searching for Bigfoot. Sierra Nevada’s Bigfoot, that is. They will have on hand Bigfoot 2011, Bigfoot 2012, Bigfoot 2013 and Barrel-Aged Bigfoot along with Two Headed Ruthless Rye, Hop Harmony, Cabin Fever, Super Rocket V8, Burleywine, Ovilia quad with Plums, Narwhal, Snowcone IPA, Sleigh of Hand, Draught Pale Ale and Kellerweiss. Need more? They will also be playing "Harry and the Hendersons” to get you in the Bigfoot mood.
Sierra Nevada is great but on Feb. 16, Harry’s will roll out Pliny the Younger, Boneyard brews and more. Olcese said, "the highlight of the week will be that Russian River does not distribute to San Mateo therefore this is the first time that Younger has ever been poured in this county. But that’s not the only perk of that event. I drove to Oregon last weekend … to pick up some rare stuff that doesn’t make it down here.” One of the rare beers is Hop Venom that Olcese says is in his top 10.
Rumors and surprises
Gormet Haus Staudt, in Redwood City, has a number of events that sound intriguing.
On Feb. 11, Kern River Brewing Company is in the Haus.
"Kern River Brewing is bringing some of their regulars and a couple of surprise brews to our guest taps,” according to Haus.
Piquing my interest is the Fifty Fifty Brewing Company night on Feb. 12. Fifty Fifty recently released this year’s Eclipse series which is the brewers stout aged in a variety of bourbon barrels. Gourmet Haus Staudt says they will be pouring their own GHS Eclipse Staudt plus other Fifty Fifty brews. That I want. Bourbon barrels will be the night’s theme.
Feb. 14 is Heretic night featuring yet to be announced specials and Feb. 15 is Weissbier Night featuring German wheat beers including the limited and possibly last Tap X Mein Nelson Sauvin.
On Feb. 13, Ballast Point comes back to the Haus. The lineup is interesting with "rumors of barrel-aged beer, Habanero Sculpin and a few surprises,” according to Gourmet Haus Staudt.
Trains and women
Husband and wife Joey and Jen McDaniel have created a Caltrain pub crawl they call Wet Your Whistles.
"In years past we have had a wide range of craft beer drinkers join us, from young to old, male and female, even entire families,” McDaniel said. The event takes place on Feb. 17 and attendees can catch up at any of the stops. This year’s crawl includes Rose and Crown, in Palo Alto; Marvin Gardens, in Belmont; and Barrelhouse in Burlingame.
They have space for up to 40 pub crawlers this year, so RSVP at http://wetyourwhistles.com/sfbeerweek.html soon.
On Feb. 13, Devil’s Canyon is hosting their fourth annual Women Only Blind Beer Tasting and Appreciation Night. My wife went to last year’s event and had a great time. Devil’s Canyon says: "With the marketing messages and Y chromosome removed, you can explore a variety of styles, learn something new and maybe even surprise yourself.” There will be a tasting on more than eight beers led by Kristiann Garret, the brewery owner. It said, "the tasting will help you discover new beers, flavors, complexities and styles.”
For a full list of all S.F. Beer Week events visit http://www.sfbeerweek.org/schedule/.
Have a favorite brew or want to talk beer? Contact Erik at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you go:
971 Laurel St., San Carlos
The Barrel Un-Masked- Fat Tuesday w/ Devil’s Canyon Brewing Co.
Feb. 12, 6 p.m.-11:30 p.m.
An evening with Devil’s Canyon, our local brewing company. Featuring the release of the "Barrel of Monkey’s” Bourbon Barrel Aged Barley Wine. Purchase a DCBC draft beer and take home a commemorative glass!
"All Shook Up” Beer Tasting Featuring Ale Industries and "This is the Shit That Killed Elvis”
Feb. 13, 6 p.m.-11:30 p.m.
The Ale Arsenal has teamed up with Bay Area brewery, Ale Industries, for a night of craft beer celebrating the king of rock ‘n’ roll. Ale Industries "This is the Shit That Killed Elvis” Strong Ale on draft & Ale Industries "Peche,” soured with Lactobacillus and Brett in an Olin Wines zinfandel barrel.
"Snow Day” with Knee Deep Brewing Co.
Feb. 14, 6 p.m.-11:30 p.m.
Take a snow day with us! A night in polar nostalgia featuring "Knee Deep Brewing Company”! Six of the 24 taps will be dedicated to Knee Deep brews.
Serpents & Stouts: Exotic, Dark, & Delicious
Feb. 15, 6 p.m.-12:30 a.m.
Live snakes with your stout? No problem! Jungle James Animal Adventures will be joining us from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. with a few of his friendly companions for this exotic beer tasting event.
Feelin Randy? An Off-Centered Evening with Dogfish Head!
Feb. 16, 6 p.m.-midnight
Did Valentine’s Day leave you wanting something more? Join us for an off-centered evening with Dogfish Head Brewing Co. We will be pouring fresh hop infused 120 Minute IPA through our state of the art Randall 3.0. We will also be pouring Raison D’etre, Miles Davis Bitches Brew, Noble Rot, Immort Ale, & Olde School Barleywine.
Devil’s Canyon Brewing Company
111 Industrial Road No. 7, Belmont
Devil’s Canyon Free Open House: Music, Pints and Growlers
Feb. 10, 1:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m.
In honor of S.F. Beer Week we are opening our facility to the public for a casual two-hour opportunity to sample flavors, ask questions, socialize, and see the brewery.
Being a production brewery and not a brewpub, Devil’s Canyon normally opens to the public only once a month but its Beer Week — and who doesn’t enjoy listening to some live music outside on a Sunday afternoon while exploring handcrafted beers?
No cover charge and we will have some special releases that are only available on premise. Best of all, you can take home growlers of your favorites.
Fourth Annual Women Only Blind Beer Tasting and Appreciation Night
Feb. 13, 6 p.m.-9 p.m.
Women don’t need men to select and appreciate craft beer, leave them at home! Enjoy sampling beers in a casual setting among other like-minded women and embrace the joy that is craft beer.
Brewery owner Kristiann Garrett will lead a blind tasting of eight beers. The tasting will help you discover new beers, flavors, complexities and styles.
Gordon Biersch Palo Alto
640 Emerson St., Palo Alto
Strong German Beer Night
Feb. 13, 5 p.m.-11 p.m.
Come enjoy two limited release beers at Gordon Biersch Palo Alto.
We will have two special kegs this evening featuring Weizeneisbock and the Imperial Pilsner Brau. These strong beers are perfect offerings for the winter season. Come down and enjoy a winter warmer.
Gourmet Haus Staudt
2615 Broadway, Redwood City
Kern River Brewing Company is in the Haus
Feb. 11, 6 p.m.-10 p.m.
Kern River Brewing is bringing some of their regulars and a couple of surprise brews to our guest taps. They still hold the record in our Haus for a 15-gallon continuous pour.
Fifty Fifty Brewing Company
Feb. 12, 6 p.m.-10 p.m.
Fifty Fifty is coming back to Gourmet Haus Staudt. We will be pouring our very own GHS Eclipse Staudt plus other Fifty Fifty brews. Bourbon barrels will be the night’s theme.
Heretic Brewing Company Comes to Germany
Feb. 14, 6 p.m.-10 p.m.
Heretic will be bringing some yet to be announced special brews to the Haus Thursday night. We had a full house last time, so be sure to get here early for this one.
Weissbier Night at GHS
Feb. 15, 6 p.m.-midnight
Schneider & Sohn will be taking over the taps this Friday night. If you’re a fan of German Wheat Beer, this event is for you. We also will have a few kegs of their limited and possibly last Tap X Mein Nelson Sauvin on.
K&Ls Bryan Brick Dream Tap Line Up
Feb. 16, 6 p.m.-10 p.m.
Beer buyer Bryan Brick from K&L will be manning the guest taps. Last year’s lineup was fantastic and we are looking forward to finding out what he’s got for us this year. Join us for a fun night with a Bierfreund to the Peninsula.
Ballast Point at the Haus
Feb. 13, 6 p.m.-10 p.m.
The Ballast Point crew is coming back to the Haus, bringing some fantastic brews. Rumors of barrel aged beer, Habanero Sculpin and a few surprises. Come by try some of the South Land finest.
Half Moon Bay Brewing Company
390 Capistrano Road, Half Moon Bay
Beer and Dessert Pairing:
Feb. 9-17, 11:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m.
In honor of S.F. Beer Week the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company presents Mavericks Beers and Ales and Dessert Pairing Flight.
Harry’s Hofbrau Redwood City
1909 El Camino Real, Redwood City
Local Brewer Day with Palo Alto Brewing
Feb. 9, 6 p.m.-11 p.m.
For S.F. Beer Week we like to embrace the hometown boys in this event with Palo Alto Brewing Co. We will have some new takes on some of their flagship brews like a Chai Tea DIPA, Barleywine with Maker’s mark soaked French oak chips, Local Coffee porter and a Calypso hopped rye IPA. We will have free appetizers, and draft specials.
Sierra Bigfoot Vertical, Barrel-aged Bigfoot tapping and other rare beers
Feb. 15, 6 p.m.-midnight
It’s a night all about bigfoot! We will have a vertical of bigfoot on draft as well as one of few kegs available of the Whiskey Barrel aged Bigfoot. Members from the brewery will be here and are bringing quite a few other rare kegs from the brewery to pour as well. And because it’s all about big foot, we’ll be playing Harry and the Hendersons...craft beer and 80’s John Lithgow does it get any better?!
All IPA all day with Pliny the Younger, Boneyard, and more
Feb. 16, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
Calling all Hop heads! We will be dedicating all 28 taps in the house to the almighty hop. Boneyard brews will be in the house from Oregon as well! Others include Hopocalypse, some surprises from Green Flash. Stay tuned for details on when we will be tapping Younger, our website is posted below.
831 Main Street, Redwood City
Green Flash Food Pairing
Feb. 9-17, 5 p.m.-10 p.m.
Nightly we will be pairing Green Flash Limited release beers with special food items in addition to our regular dinner menu.
963 Laurel st., San Carlos
Barrel Aged Beer Tasting, Zymatore and More.
Feb. 9-17, 5 p.m.-10 p.m.
All week we will be tapping new, extremely rare, and interesting barrel aged beers. We will be featuring barrel aged offerings from Almanac, North Coast, Allagash and the Zymatore Project from B.
Allagash Barrel Aged Beer Tasting
Feb. 16, noon-10 p.m.
This Maine grown Belgian style brewery is known best for their stellar Allagash White. The quality and creativity of Brewmaster Rob Todd and his team is second to none. We at the Refuge have been long time supporters of their work and would like to showcase a few of their incredible barrel aged beers. All on draught, served as a full pour or in a tasting.
Rose & Crown Pub
547 Emerson St., Palo Alto
Vintage Beer Event
Feb. 9, 11:30 a.m.-1 a.m.
Come by and try some beers that you enjoyed years ago and see how they have changed. We will have aged beers from the Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary series, Lost Abbey Angel’s Share, Firestone Parabola or maybe an old Anniversary, Black Butte X. Plus many vintage bottles like Thomas Hardy, Abyss, Bigfoot and too much other stuff to list.
Sour Sunday in PA
Feb. 10, 11:30 a.m.-1 a.m.
Come get pucker faced with us yet again. We will be pouring a bunch of sours from Russian River Brewing, Bear Republic and Palo Alto Brewing plus many more on tap and in bottles that you will have to come in and see for yourself.
East Bay on the Peninsula with Triple Rock
Feb. 11, 11:30 a.m.-1 a.m.
For all of you who don’t like to drive to Berkeley and dink the fabulous beers from Triple Rock because of the skyrocketing prices of DUI’s … Just come to Palo Alto and enjoy the 8-10 beers we will be featuring from Triple Rock. Then take the train home.
Anchor Our Barrel Ale Peninsula Release and Trivia Night
Feb. 12, 11:30 a.m.-1 a.m.
Come by and try Anchor Our Barrel Ale. This beer was only released once before, years ago, and we will be pouring it in tap. Along with that we will have some new seasonal beer and a new addition to the year-round line up. Plus we will have some vintage Magnums of Our Christmas Ale that we will be pouring by the glass. Beers will be flowing all day, but trivia starts at 8 p.m. Brush up on you Anchor Brewer history and you may win a pint.
Pliny the Younger
Feb. 13, 11:30 a.m.-1 a.m.
Pliny the Younger, Pliny the Elder and other tasty beers.
A Night of Off Centered Beers with Dogfish Head
Feb. 14, 11:30 a.m.-1 a.m.
Like crazy [stuff] it your beer? No, not real [stuff], at least not yet. Come try lots of loco things in liquid from those weirdos on the East Coast.
Palo Alto Brewing Co. Swig-a-thon
Feb. 15, noon-midnight
Come get swigged on the local beverage ... Palo Alto Brewing. We will be pouring your usual favorites like Hoppy Ending, Barley Legal and Atlas, but we will alto have new stuff like Cool Beanz Coffee, Onoskelis Barleywine, Onoskelis Barleywine on Makers Oak, Calypso Rye IPA, Two Barrel Aged Sour Porter, Young Sour Porter, last years surprise favorite Atlas Chai IPA and maybe some other treats.
935 Airport Blvd., South San Francisco
We Plead The 21st! Tap Takeover with 21st Amendment Brewery
Feb. 10, 5 p.m -9 p.m.
Join us and enjoy some great brews from The 21st Amendment Brewery. Talk beer with representatives from the brewery, and listen to some great music from The Charles Wheal Band. There will be free sausages from The Missing Link sausage. We are located minutes from S.F., and have plenty of non-metered parking.
Fat Tuesday Celebration with Sierra Nevada Tap Takeover
Feb. 12, 4 p.m.-2 a.m.
What better way to be held hostage then by a tap takeover from the Sierra Nevada Brewery. Rare and one-off beers will be on tap from the legendary brewery. Free jambalaya and brats will be the appropriate food on the menu.
4627 Coast Highway, Pacifica
Hops and Gnarly
Feb. 9-16, 2 p.m.-midnight
Surf Spot will host top Nor Cal brewers and live music in addition to a tasting menu paired with beer and beer driven Market Menu items.
We are chefs and we love beer. We can’t possibly express the depth of our gratitude that craft brewing has achieved the respect it has long been owed.
Wet Your Whistles Caltrain Pub Crawl
Feb.17, 1 p.m.-7 p.m.
The Rose & Crown, Marvin Gardens, Barrelhouse
For the fifth year in a row Wet Your Whistles is proud to host a S.F.Beer Week Pub Crawl:
1. The Rose & Crown in Palo Alto;
2. Marvin Gardens in Belmont; and
3. Barrelhouse in Burlingame.
We have space for up to 40 pub crawlers this year, so RSVP before we fill up.