San Francisco Beer Week has come and gone, leaving our palates quenched and our livers hurting. There was so much to do throughout the week that it somehow lasted a whole ten days as opposed to the normal seven. Not to say that this was a bad thing. Next year, I hope that the week will last 14 days, because, why not?
I was able to hit a few events including the initial celebration, the Opening Gala, where I was apparently one of 2500 other happy people in a desperate race to sample as many of the 300 beers by 82 breweries on site as they could. Well, maybe not all of them, but I was certainly on the prowl for a select number of breweries and brews. While a good number were queued for the Russian River or The Rare Barrel booth, I chose to wander around, enjoying a variety of so many different breweries. Standouts in the crowd include Baeltane, Drake’s, Thirsty Bear, Knee Deep, and Highwater Brewing. So much great beer everywhere though!
Beer was had, followed by more, and then a little more. Then there was lots of water and reminiscing with more water. It was a night of festivity and free flowing beer.
My first thought the next day was, of course, where are we going next? The Rare Barrel! Capitalizing on the Rare Barrel and Cellarmaker collaborations, I was able to fill up my growler with Tangarang and enjoy the other offerings – Breakfast Time and What Hop Pun? This house of sour is amazing. There is no other way to say it. Sign me up… again.
I also had to get Weisse Guise, you know, for posterity. It was delicious.
Flash forward to the next set of events that I was able to get to: a tour of the North Bay.
We started the day at the venerable Bear Republic to try out what I had heard was a very tasty IIIPA among other new releases. After some great beer and excellent food, we headed back south to find Woodfour Brewing Company in Sebastopol where our next event, the collaboration between Beercraft Bottle Shop and Woodfour would be held. This stout has been aging in rum barrels since 2013 and contained coconut, cacao nibs, and vanilla beans. Naturally, I could not resist.
After the festivities, we capped the night off, and the “Week,” with a short 90 minute line to get into Russian River and obtain some Pliny the Younger! Yes, we closed the place down and yes, the drive back to the central valley was grueling. Worth it? Of course.
The car loaded with growlers a plenty and a respectable RR haul was the perfect way to end the week. Not to mention trying this year’s PtY.
Until next year, San Francisco, my liver awaits!