Roll out the festivals

The number of great beer events in the Bay Area really seems to be growing. This November weekend there are festivals on Saturday and on Sunday.

Turns out that this Saturday is the 4th annual incarnation of the incredible Barrel Aged Beer festival at The Bistro, a short walk from Hayward BART. at the Bistro's barrel fest Can this Saturday, the 14th, already be the Bistro’s 6th Annual Barrel Aged Beer festival? For some reason on a past year’s writeup we had reported that this amazing local event started in 2006… Misinformation corrected. Yes, it begin in 2006. Yes, we were there! (Just a four-year-old! So very young.) Anyway, now we can’t miss it, and the Bistro Barrel-Aged fest goes on our calendar as soon as the date is set each year.

We both love trying one-off local sour brews, then tasting rich smooth beers that have picked up the flavor from whiskey or brandy barrels, and circling around to beers that have been conditioning in a brand new wooden barrel, picking up the vanilla notes from the oak the way a wine does. The variety of flavors is the best part of it. We just looked at our friend Peter’s Better Beer Blog, and he says he expects it to cost $35 (cash) per person for a limited number of tastes. The Bistro’s own page says to expect about 70 beers. Wow. Why drive? Transit info is on our Beer By BART profile of the Bistro.

On Sunday, BevMo! is putting on a Holiday Beerfest at Fort Mason in the immense Herbst Pavilion. BevMo! is chain of liquor stores with big wine and beer selections. Good move for them. Friends have bought the holiday beers they sell and redistributed them around to the group of pals in mixed sixpacks, and so a winter warmer festival seems like a great project for BevMo! to take on. Sadly it is not near BART, though you can patch a no-driving trip together with MUNI lines or cabs, using the essential local tool, and Fort Mason is right on the Bay.

They are charging $35 in advance, $45 at the door (cash only, while tickets last.) A portion of the proceeds will go to the non-profit Culinary Arts Foundation. This is their first year, and we wish them luck.

In addition, there are other beer events. Friday night tastings at The Jug Shop, on the Van Ness Muni bus corridor, the BRU-SFO American Belgian beer experiment at 21A and at Magnolia, and probably a lot more we don’t know about. More holiday events are coming to our favorite places in the weeks ahead. We’ll be pacing ourselves!

What a great time this is for beer. Enjoy, and be careful out there!

Explore Beer By BART; see our list of the San Francisco Bay Area’s best beer places with detailed transit info, so you can get out there to enjoy without driving.


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