SF Beer Week is back for its 15th year, Feb. 9—18, when more than 300 local beer events sweep SF and Bay Area venues. If there was ever a special occasion to get out there and drink beer, this is it.
But you see, in 2024, things are a bit different. The local beer landscape has changed dramatically, mirroring the same situation we see in cities across the country. The caricature of the bearded beer geek bro standing in line for hours, desperately waiting to buy a couple of four packs of a new Hazy IPA, doesn’t dominate beer culture like it once did. In fact, craft beer culture has settled into something far more pleasant and routine, and it’s what makes a 10-day affair like SF Beer Week a time worth celebrating the fantastic and always growing collection of breweries we’ve had here all along.
Kicking off with the return of the SF Beer Week Gala, Fri/9, after a four year layoff (it’s the greatest local beer night of the year, tbh), events range from new releases, beer and food pairings, mini-fests, arts and crafts, collaboration nights with well-known out-of-town breweries, beer-centric entertainment, and more. I encourage you to scroll through the events list on the SFBW site and throw a dart at an event near you. Regardless, we’ve gone through the list of 300+ functions multiple times and have curated a list of your best bets.Check ’em out, and stumble into a beer-dedicated establishment in the Bay during beer week to treat yourself to a memorable pour or evening with friends. Keep it simple, or go big. SF Beer Week has it all.
With 101 breweries under one roof on the Embarcadero, the SF Beer Week Opening Gala could standalone as the best beer festival in the Bay. Get tickets and peep the insane list of breweries here, who will all be pouring unlimited tastings of faves and specials at glorious Pier 35. This year also features a “premium experience” with a 4pm entry and access to the double super special ‘Astro Lounge.’ There’s even wine and cider offerings for something different, fundraiser collab brews, an official SFBW NA brew (by Barrel Brothers and Humble Sea) and more cool shit guaranteed. Given that it’s been a four year pandemic-fueled hiatus for the gala, the ‘Lost In Space’ theme feels very appropriate.
One of the city’s newest breweries, Enterprise, has done a really nice job putting together its SF Beer Week programming slate. The brewery is located in the old Cellarmaker space at 1150 Howard Street and a Rize Up Bakery collaboration release event for a new Stout and an accompanying Stout loaf—both using upcycled ingredients from the brewing and baking process—is a well thought out partnership with their paradigm-shifting bakery neighbor from a couple doors down. I’d also be remiss if I didn’t mention that I’ll be at Enterprise on The/15 spinning Golden Age hip-hop records from 6pm-9pm. Let’s raise a glass together!
This is hands down the best way to drink SF’s famed KSA Kölsch and it’s back for a night during beer week. In true Cologne style, fresh pours of KSA are served in .2L glasses that are prodigiously refilled by staff as soon as you finish, so you always have cold beer. Tally up your total at the end to see how many you had, but it’s quite frankly better if you lose count. $15 gets you a seat, a take-home glass, and your first pour to sip over Fort Point’s sneaky good seafood-centric menu with the homies.
What better way to kick off Super Bowl Sunday in SF, then post up at Standard Deviant’s roomy and vivacious 14th Street taproom in the Mission for a chili cook-off?! There’s a new Czech pilsner release on tap, perfect for drinking many throughout the day if you stick around for the big game. The Chili cook off starts at 11:30am, and If you want to enter, DM the brewery via their Instagram—chili boots optional.
For all the beer romantics out there, you bet your hearts there’ll be Valentine’s Day themed nights during beer week. Peep the full slate at the link above, but you’d be wise to check out Liquid Gold’s “Sours, Stouts & Sweets” featuring Cantillon, Sweetheart Night with barrel-aged stouts and barleywines at Barebottle, or the Coaster Coloring Contest at Laughing Monk.
Gotta hand it to SOMA’s Black Hammer Brewing on this very comprehensive theme night. Five different West Coast IPA’s on tap, West Coast hip-hop from 2pm to close and crafty West-Coast burritos by SF’s Food Network-approved “D.O.P.E. Chef” Yaku Moton-Spruil. Feels like a great event to drink beer, turn up and argue over the finer points of San Francisco vs San Diego burritos. LA’s Highland Park
There was an inexplicable time when the Mission’s Crafty Fox wasn’t officially affiliated with SFBW, but still put on the best guest brewery events of the week. Now you can enjoy certifiable SFBW functions at Crafty Fox like a Sante Aidarius and Russian River tap takeover on Wed/15 (including Pliny the Younger, if you’re still into that sorta thing) among their full slate of events.
One of those “fests within the fest,” Oakland’s Ghost Town Brewing is merely the canvas for over 30 breweries showcasing their finest West Coast IPA offerings. Beyond Ghost Town’s excellent Westy offerings and Cellarmaker’s hoppy nectar, Rocklin’s Moksa, Oregon faves Breakside and Fort George and Livermore’s Altamont breweries are all on tap for this pay as you go event.
Ready for a dumpling and beer-themed cooking class on Saturday morning?? Jack London’s Korean-owned Dokkaebier is putting this special limited function on for only 16 people. Chef Kim promises both a history lesson and cooking class on Korean Mandoo dumplings, paired with Dokkae’s Asian-inspired brews like their Rice Kolsch and Kimchi Sour (now THAT’S fermentation!)
I can’t say enough about how sweet and opportunistic these final day of beer week “Kick The Keg” type events are (here’s one where you can kick kegs and cuddle kittens; seriously.) Considering Bernal’s Holy Water is hosting tap takeovers throughout the week with Monterey’s Alvarado St, San Diego’s Goal & Seek, and Orange’s Green Cheek, this is a perfect catch-all to try a lot of bomb out-of-towners along with other local staples too.