The San Francisco Bay Area beer landscape looks particularly lovely in January. There are several treats leading up to the best time of the year, the Greater Bay Area’s February treasure, SF Beer Week, starting on February 10th. Time to mark up your calendar, arrange some time off work, and plan carefully for the second weekend when the westbound deck of the Bay Bridge will be closed for ongoing repairs, but BART (and the other local bridges) will be open in both directions. If you have never taken BART, why not prep for Beer Week? You may want to get a multi-transit system Clipper card that you can use on buses and ferries too, and then do a trial pub-run before hand.
Leave some time for reading through the growing list of activities, scouting out the best beer week events and getting reservations for those that require them. All ready? Then check out these events in the run-up to SF Beer Week.
Next weekend, on Saturday, January 28, starting at noon, the Brewing Network’s enthusiastic army of homebrewers will seek out Todos Santos square in Concord for their third Winter Brews Festival event, with a solid lineup of craft breweries and a repeat of their unusual and impressive homebrew sampling program where you get a chance to taste top amateur brews. (For walking directions from Concord BART station, use our description of how to get from BART to the original E.J. Phair brewpub, which is on the plaza. It’s a easy, flat walk from the station.) Winter Brews Festival tickets are on sale in advance, so you can plan ahead.
Then on the first, Magnolia and 21st Amendment brewpubs in SF start their traditional month of making and serving special strong brews, from Barleywines and other fine styles of strong ales, to their own inventive winter “Imperial” versions of usually more modest beers. (It doesn’t even snow around here, but we don’t seem to mind those strong, warming brews.)
Last year’s SF Beer Week kickoff festival was at the Yerba Buena center. This year the opening event moves to a larger venue (though not as short a walk from BART). In this photo, beer bloggers Peter Estaniel and David Jensen enjoyed the opening of SF Beer Week 2011, almost a year ago.
P.S.: To our out-of-town beer community friends and readers: you don’t have to just have to dream about all the great Northern California beers poured during SF Beer Week 2012. There’s still time to book that trip.
Explore Beer By BART; use our list of some of the San Francisco Bay Area’s best beer places with detailed transit info, so you can get out there to enjoy without driving.