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SF Beer Week Kicks Off Tonight

Submitted by on February 5, 2010 – 2:10 PMNo Comment
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The San Francisco Brewers Guild will be hosting the second annual SF Beer Week from Feb. 5 to Feb. 12. For a full seven days, SF Beer Week will transform the city into one giant watering hole for beer drinkers near and far. More than 200 events will be taking place in about 100 venues throughout the city, including beer festivals, beer dinners, food pairings, homebrew demonstrations, tasting seminars and pub crawls by foot, bike and train.

The opening gala will take place tonight from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. The opening ceremony will have a variety of beers from 30 Northern California brewers available for tasting. The group will also tap the first batch of the SF Beer Week collaborative brew; a barrel aged Imperial that the guild brewed exclusively for the week of festivities.

This year’s beer week boasts over 50 more events than the inaugural year. Two of the most popular events that promise the biggest all out blowout include the 10th annual Double IPA Festival, whose party will shut down an entire city street at The Bistro on Feb. 6, and the free-of -charge 17th annual Barleywine Festival at Toronado on Feb. 18.

Jay Brooks, co-founder of SF Beer Week, said SF Beer Week came about as an amalgamation of several former bay area beer events. Inspired by the success of Philly Beer Week in Philadelphia, Brooks and his partner, “Celebrator” magazine editor Tom Dalldorf, got together with local breweries, Magnolia and 21st Amendment, and started working on building a better beer week. “We had been doing Beerapalooza for several years and it was kind of a similar idea although we didn’t pour a lot of energy into it…,” Dalldorf said. “[We] sort of had the idea of opening it up and making it this bigger multi-event sort of idea… so we got together and launched SF Beer Week.”

Out of all of the events for SF Beer Week, Brooks says his favorite one is the Cheese-Off taking place on Feb. 10 at The Bistro. “Instead of the normal sort of cheese and beer event where [it’s] ‘Here’s your cheese, here’s your beer. Don’t those go nice together?’” Brooks said wryly, “…they take five cheeses and they send them out to participating breweries, and each brewery picks one beer that they think goes best with each one of the five cheeses. Then at the event you get a big slab of one cheese and five beers, one from each brewery. So you’re trying five beers with one cheese and your task is try and figure out which you think goes best and then everybody sort of votes.”