Getting in Training for SF Beer Week

The big week is about to start, and there are ridiculous numbers of awesome events in the works. SF Beer Week extends far beyond San Francisco, and some of what we’ll have to miss is based on sheer geography.

We’re filling out a spreadsheet with our top picks. Warning: several events – especially dinners – have already sold out. In fact, the beer judging seminar we’re helping with is close to full, too. So don’t procrastinate. Time to pick and choose, and in some cases, sign up or prepay to be sure you’ll get in.

SAN FRANCISCO BEER WEEK Feb 6-15, 2009
SAN FRANCISCO BEER WEEK Feb 6-15, 2009

Meanwhile, Strong Beer Month, an earlier tradition that overlaps San Francisco Beer Week, has already kicked off. We went to Magnolia’s last night and we shared three of their special strong brews.

These guys like to mess around with obscure styles, so they did an imperial Gose. (The Gose to Heaven is a very esoteric undertaking. It’s an imperial version of an old and not very strong historic German ale that may be both very slightly sour, spiced like a Belgian wit and also slightly salty. We have never tasted an authentic one. Maybe Kolsch meets a mildly sour Berlinerweise with a touch of Mexican beer saltshaker, and a trace of Corriander? )

Their strong version has a lot of alcohol sweetness, with a touch of salt and smokiness. It’s curious, and drinkable, but not my cup of brew. Worth a try just to get a grasp of the salty ale concept, though.

The Antwerp and the Smokestack Lightening were both spectacular. A strong Belgian souped-up-dubble with pepper, and a very slightly smokey monster stout, these were complex and satisfying.

How many amazing tastes of new and rare flavors will we have this week?
We hope to see a lot of friends at events. Please say hello! And if you are out with a camera, consider putting your best shots into the sfbeerweek Flickr group to make a nice populist history of the week.

Next year, we will have tradition on our side!

-Gail

Explore Beer By BART – see our main list of Bay Area good beer places with detailed transit info, and get out there to enjoy without driving.

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