Oh SF Beer Week….we had a fun time. Normally I pop into a few events, but this year we went “all the way”. We stayed for the whole weekend and tried so many great beers.
We took Friday off of work so we could meander our way into San Francisco. First, we headed to the East Bay to finally check out Drakes Brewing in San Leandro. I really love Drakes and am sad to say it took us so long to get there. As much as I wanted a fresh Hopocalypse (released the week before) we decided on some session beers to kick of SF Beer Week. We had a long way to go before the Opening Gala. We tried their Something Mild 3.9% with Mosaic hops & Quarter Century of Issues (collaboration with Stone) 4.5% with El Dorado and Centennial hops which were both very tasty. Drakes is really leading the way with “drinkable” and “flavorful” session beers that won’t bowl you over with alcohol. Their Alpha Session is one of my favorite beers and is much needed during baseball season where games can stretch 3-4 hours.
It was finally time for the Opening Gala. With a line around the building we knew we had arrived. I love beer fest lines chatting away with other beer lovers and planning which breweries to hit first. Always devise a plan first otherwise you will end up just walking around and missing a lot of great beer that goes fast. (aka: Pliny the Younger & Hopocalypse Black Label) Our plan was to hit Drakes first to see if they brought their Hopocalypse Black Label a Triple IPA, which had been sold out for a week. Ohhhh…yes they did and it was great to do a side by side with the Double IPA. Surprisingly loved the Double IPA more.
Next we made our way to the San Francisco Brewers Guild who always release a collaboration beer during SF Beer Week. This year’s was Green Death a “craft beer” version of a malt liquor that was popular before and after prohibition. A tribute to San Francisco beer history. It was very smooth and creamy for 7.75% with a bready characteristic. My husband feel in love with this beer and searched for it around town after the event. More info here.
The highlights of the night:
Ale Industries – Unity, as in Edward
High Water Brewing – Aphotic Baltic Porter
Bison Brewing – My Funky Valentine
Almanac – Barrel Noir
Almanac – Farmer’s Reserve No 1
Almanac – Farmer’s Reserve No 2
Heretic – Shallow Grave
Drakes Brewing – Tree Beer
For our first time at the Opening Gala this event was completely overwhelming even with my print out of breweries. I never expected all the breweries to bring seasonals, limited and rare breweries in addition to their standard lineup. I was a kid on Christmas running from one brewery to the next. This was also the event to catch up with beer friends. This is THE beer event to go to during SF Beer Week!