Hop Harvests, Brews on the Bay and other craft Beer delights

Hop harvest at the Abbey de St Humulus
Beer and the end of summer, what a pairing! It’s the heart of hop harvest time, and it’s a grand traditional beer celebration month in the Northern Hemisphere, from Munich to North Beach.

Tomorrow we’ll be at Brews on the Bay, the San Francisco Brewers Guild’s seventh annual local brew festival aboard the Jeremiah O’Brien, moored at Pier 45 in the City. This September tradition is a benefit for the historic WWII Liberty Ship. Today, Saturday, is sold out on-line though there may be some tix at the “door.” If you are thinking about tomorrow afternoon, grab those tickets: http://sfbrewersguild.com/ To get there, you can take BART to the Embarcadero Station, then take the historic “F” line (two dollar fare) street car along the odd-numbered piers towards Pier 45. (It’s probably simplest to catch it in front of the Ferry Building, with the old clock tower you will see when you get out of BART. You could also take the time for a two mile walk, much of it along the Embarcadero sidewalk. Here’s the direct route that Google maps suggests, though you may prefer to walk directly to the Ferry Building at the foot of Market Street and do the whole promenade along the Embarcadero.

Next weekend we will be rooting for our local brewers in the competition at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, and we expect to see many Bay Area friends there. Meanwhile, the legendary and also sold-out Northern California Homebrewer’s Festival unaccountably takes place at the same time this year. These two festivals are outside the SF regional transit footprint, but worth your attention. If you’re not planning to be at one of these landmark events this year, you might want to keep them on the radar as excellent choices for meeting craft beer community folks and trying exceptional beers in September of 2011.

Last weekend we were happy to be able to participate in the picking of the hops at Brian Hunt’s Moonlight Brewing, one of North America’s craft beer treasures that we are lucky to have in our local area. Hops are usually dried before use, but in recent years brewers have come to treasure the batches they can make once a year when the hops are still moist and fresh from the hop bine. Fresh hopped beer will be available locally from many brewers in small batches. Taste some great examples at the annual Wet Hop Festival at the Bistro, in Hayward on Saturday, October 2nd this year. http://www.the-bistro.com/events.htm (Yes, the Bistro is an easy walking distance from BART.)

There are more photos of the hop picking moonlight madness. pickingEnjoy this slide show of the harvest.hops to go to Toronado

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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