Some of the best events of SF Beer Week are not in San Francisco. While the annual SF Beer Week (Feb. 10-19, 2017) has “SF” in its title, many of the best gala beer openings, curated beer connoisseur events, beer tastings and beer competitions are being held in the greater San Francisco Bay Area—most notably in the diverse and scenic work-hard, play-hard region of San Mateo County/Silicon Valley.
Our area offers all the cosmopolitan culture of San Francisco, but with miles of coastal beauty for hiking and outdoor activities, modern high-speed rapid transit and more affordable hotel accommodations. Our Pacific coast region also serves up seafood that’s As Fresh as It Gets. which is important this year because Dungeness crab season is back after crab fishing was canceled last year.
If you’re thirsting for a tall, cool list of events and activities to celebrate SF Beer Week, some of the biggest openings and galas are scheduled at the microbreweries and gastropubs of San Mateo County/Silicon Valley.
Armstrong Brewing Co.
No one celebrates SF Beer Week quite like South San Francisco’s Armstrong Brewing Co., which holds special events nearly every night of the festival. Whether you crave pairings of small-batch gourmet chocolates with beer (Feb. 11), donuts and beer (Feb. 12), Bay Area beer trivia (Feb. 15) or a Beers, Blues and BBQ food truck rally (Feb. 17), Armstrong Brewing Co. has all that and plenty more on tap. Check the full Armstrong Brewing Co. SF Beer Week schedule for dates, times and details.
Devil’s Canyon Brewing Company
San Carlos is one of the most up-and-coming regions in the San Mateo County/Silicon Valley tech boom, and Devil’s Canyon Brewing Company is one of its top microbreweries. Its spacious event center will be hopping for the fourth annual West Coast Craft Can Invitational (aka CanFest) the afternoon of Saturday, Feb. 11, and the extremely popular signature Devil’s Canyon Women Only Beer Tasting & Appreciation always sells out, so advance tickets are recommended. Devil’s Canyon Brewing Company is also holding its Beer Garden Friday events both Fridays of SF Beer Week (Feb. 10 and Feb. 17), with beer specials and food trucks provided by the renowned Off the Grid collective.
Freewheel Brewing Company
Known for its cask-conditioned ale using traditional ingredients, great food and friendly, neighborhood vibe, Redwood City’s Freewheel Brewing Company will host SF Beer Week’s 2nd Annual Battle of the Brew Clubs on Sunday, Feb. 12. Brewing begins on the patio at 11 a.m., and novices should come by, rain or shine, just to experience how beer is made. On Feb. 13, Freewheel’s popular Monday Night Pub Quiz will get a very special SF Beer Week edition that will be fun, fast and brew-related.
Half Moon Bay Brewing Co.
Half Moon Bay Brewing Co. is often named as having the best Dungeness crab in the Bay Area, in no small part because the crab is fresh-caught right in Half Moon Bay. While the Bay Area is known for its Dungeness crab, most of this crab is actually caught off the Pacific coasts of San Mateo County/Silicon Valley — it’s illegal to catch Dungeness crab in the San Francisco Bay. Half Moon Bay Brewing Co. prepares four different versions of its Dungeness crab dish, and its home-brewed beers are the perfect pairing. Then wash down your SF Beer Week with the world-famous Mavericks Surfing Competition, held within view of this renowned restaurant.
These top four are our key selections for SF Beer week. Here are some additional San Mateo County/Silicon Valley breweries with fun events…
Blue Oak Brewing Company
The big grand-opening event for SF Beer Week is that of San Carlos’ Blue Oak Brewing Company. The popular microbrew has been a Bay Area favorite for years, but now it’s come of age with the grand opening of its own taproom that — thanks to its unique California alcohol license — it also shares with Redwood Coast Cider.
Alpha Acid Brewing Company
Alpha Acid Brewing Company has several bottle release parties and taste-profile theme nights at its Belmont taproom and beyond. The bottle release parties include the aged imperial stout Barrel Constrictor (Feb. 11) and the persimmon beer Slim Pickin’ (Feb. 18), plus individual taste profiles are featured at the event Hoppy, Hazy & Danky (Feb. 12). Alpha Acid will also have a Tap Takeover night at San Carlos’ Ale Arsenal (Feb. 13).
Ale Arsenal in San Carlos has Tap Takeover events practically every night of SF Beer Week, hooking up kegs from some of the Bay Area’s most accomplished microbrewers. That includes Alpha Acid (Feb. 13), plus the wide-ranging Serpents & Stouts night (Feb. 19). Check the Ale Arsenal Beer Week calendar for dates and details.
One of the best reasons to enjoy SF Beer Week in San Mateo County/Silicon Valley is the region’s high-tech public transit system that leaves the driving to someone else. The BART and CalTrain systems cover much of San Mateo County/Silicon Valley, and allow you to cruise quickly in comfort and safety. Since Silicon Valley is the birthplace of rideshare apps, a clean ride is just a smartphone away. So tap another one and make plans to spend SF Beer Week in San Mateo County/Silicon Valley.
See all that San Mateo County/Silicon Valley has to offer and plan your trip now.