Pliny the Younger. Photo: Suni Sudhi/SF Beer Week

Attention beer lovers, SF Beer Week starts this week! Perhaps you’ve already mapped out the spots you want to hit, but with 800 events happening over 10 days, it’s more than likely you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed. So, we’ve done the hard work for you and have chosen our top 20 Beer Week events happening in the East Bay. For even more events, including ones happening across the bay, check out the full Beer Week schedule.

San Francisco Beer Week 2018 Kick-Off Party in the East Bay

The East Bay’s independently owned and operated craft brewers have a posse. The Self Distribution Alliance (SDA) is a newly formed collective of 10 breweries that have come together to support and collaborate with each other. Participating breweries include Ale Industries, Altamont, Alameda Island Brewing Company, Gilman Brewing, Old Kan Beer & Co., Federation Brewing, Crooked City Cider, Oakland United Beer Works, Shadow Puppet Brewing Company and Ghost Town Brewing. During Beer Week, the SDA will host tap takeovers and beer-fueled games (competitions with fun names like Dust-Cap Frisbee Golf, Sack ‘n’ Stack and EinSteiner Math Round) at various bars and venues in the East Bay. The fun starts with a Kick-Off party from 6-10 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 8. There’ll be 20 taps pouring beer and cider from SDA breweries and catered Mexican food. Free admission. The Doolittle, 20394 Lake Chabot Rd. (between Castro Valley and Somerset), Castro Valley

Beer Geek Brunch with Tartine Manufactory

Mikkeller is teaming up with San Francisco’s Tartine Manufactory for a very beery brunch event. There’ll be four unique food-themed 18cl pours of Mikkeller one-off beers, including BA Cocoa Shake with Roasted Banana, Caramel and Almond and Beer Geek Breakfast with Black Tea & Lemon. Don’t worry, there will also be non-liquid eats! Tartine will offer an assortment of their famous breads, baked goods, smørrebrød, dips and pickles. Leave the babes at home, as this event is 21+ only. $70. There are two seatings, at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10. Mikkeller Tasting Room and Bottle Shop, 6309 College Ave. (at 63rd), Oakland

SF Beer Week festivities at the Bistro in Hayward. Photo: SF Beer Week

17th Double IPA Festival

If you love hoppy beers, you’ll want to make it down to the Bistro in Hayward, where there’ll be about 100 IPAs on tap. At 3 p.m., there’ll be a competition for professional beermakers to duke it out. There’ll also be live music, cheese tastings, grilled sausages and more. Tickets get you a 5.5 ounce glass and five tastes. $55 at the door. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 10. The Bistro, 1001 B St. (at Main), Hayward

Smokey Soirée – SFBW East Bay Collaboration Beer Release Party

Ten official San Francisco Brewers Guild collaboration beers were created for SF Beer Week. The East Bay Collaboration Beer is called Smoke & Coffee Break, a coffee-smoked porter brewed at Livermore’s Shadow Puppet Brewing Co. Come sample this smokey, chocolatey brew with tasty eats from South Smokin’ BBQ, including grub made with the Smoke & Coffee Break beer. Free admission. Noon-9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10. Shadow Puppet Brewing Company, 4771 Arroyo Vista (at Bennett), Ste. B, Livermore

Ale Industries Tap Takeover and Texas BBQ Brisket Party

Head over to West Oakland’s Stay Gold Deli for an afternoon of BBQ and beers. Stay Gold will be cooking up Central Texas slow smoked BBQ brisket that will pair up oh-so-nicely with special releases from Ale Industries and Gilman Brewing. Free admission. 3-8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 10. Stay Gold Delicatessen, 2365 San Pablo Ave. (at Chaucer), Oakland

The Rake at Admiral Maltings. Photo: Admiral Maltings

Open Malthouse Day

If you love tours, you’ll want to get on this event. Alameda’s new malthouse, Admiral Maltings, will be giving free tours of their facilities, where maltsters, farmers and brewers will explain the process of making malt for beer. After the tour, guests will head over to Admiral Malting’s pub, The Rake, for a complimentary malt and beer tasting, plus food and more beer (including eight limited release SF Beer Week collab brews) to order. Free, but RSVP required. Tours take place 2:30, 2:45 and 3 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 10. Admiral Maltings, 651 West Tower Ave. (at Pan Am Way), Alameda

Cultivar Beer Tasting and Hop Farmer Conversation

San Francisco’s Cultivar Beer takes enormous pride in growing their own hops at its own 5-acre farm on the Sacramento River, so it’s no surprise that the craft brewer would want to talk about it. Cultivar’s Mark Cabrera will be on hand for a tap takeover and hop farming discussion at The Periodic Table in Emeryville. Get a little beer-making education while enjoying brews and a house-made sausage special. Free. 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10. The Periodic Table, Emeryville Public Market, 5959 Shellmound St., Emeryville (Also 6-8 p.m., Feb. 15 at Bobby G’s, 2072 University Ave. (near Shattuck), Berkeley).

Craft Mexican Beer Fest

Get to know craft beers from Mexico at the second annual Craft Mexican Beer Fest at the Trappist, where you’ll find 20 beers from five breweries, like AguaMala’s Mantarraya Oatmeal Stout, Border Psycho’s Preversa DIPA, Fauna’s Rauchweizen, Insurgente’s Xocoveza Imperial Stout and Wendlandt’s Hann Zomer Saison. Free admission. 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., Sunday, Feb. 11. The Trappist, 460 Eighth St. (between Broadway and Washington), Oakland

The Sour Sunday at Jupiter in Berkeley. Photo: Alex Lexson/SF Beer Week

The Sour Sunday

The Sour Sunday is a day-long event at two venues in Berkeley celebrating sour and barrel-aged beers. Try new and old-school lip-puckering brews from 60 brewers. Jupiter will be serving California sours, while Triple Rock will pour sour beers from around the world. Hop between the two spots to get the best of all worlds. $35-$100. Noon-5 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 11, Jupiter, 2181 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley and Triple Rock, 1920 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. 

Pinball & Pints

Hey pinball wizards, this is the SF Beer Week event made just for you. At Pinball & Pints, you’ll have the chance to play unlimited games on more than 100 vintage and new pinball machines, while quaffing more than 20 beers from local brewers, like Ale Industries, Cleophus Quealy, Dr. Hops Kombucha Beer, Holy Craft Brewery and Federation Brewing. The $40 includes a tasting glass and unlimited tastings. 21+ over only. 3-7 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 11. Pacific Pinball Museum, 1510 Webster St. (between Haight and Santa Clara), Alameda.

The beer garden at Arthur Mac’s Tap + Snack’s in Longfellow. Photo: Sarah Han
The beer garden at Arthur Mac’s Tap + Snack’s in Longfellow. Photo: Sarah Han

Firefly Rebellion – North Oakland Beer Crawl

Arthur Mac’s Tap & Snack in Longfellow is joining forces with North Oakland beer spots, Temescal Brewing, Roses’ Taproom and Hog’s Apothecary for a neighborhood beer crawl. The crawl starts at 1:30 p.m. at Roses’ Taproom for Lorale, a hibiscus dry hopped blonde. Next up at 2:30 p.m. is Temescal Brewing for a taste of Big New DIPA, and then to Hog’s Apothecary at 3:30 p.m. for Triple Rock’s Hip Breaker. Finally, the crawl’s last stop at 4:30 p.m. is Arthur Mac’s, where guests will taste the debut of the Henhouse Brewing and Ol Republic collaborative triple dry-hopped pale bock beer, Neon Rise. Free, but registration recommended. 1:30 p.m. (Guests can join or leave the crawl at any point), Sunday, Feb. 11. Roses’ Taproom, 4930 Telegraph Ave. (between 49th and 51st), Oakland

Swill + Swell Beer Pairing

Over in Richmond, Armistice Brewing is hosting “Swill + Swell” Beer Pairing, an evening event at Richmond’s Craneway Pavilion that’s sure to be pretty magical at sunset. Enjoy the beautiful views that surround you as you partake in all-you-can drink beer paired with all-you-can-eat food expertly prepared by chef Sharon Li (executive chef at Napa Valley’s Press). Brewers Alex and Gregory Zobel will be on hand to explain the beers chosen for the food pairings. Live jazz will provide the soundtrack for the night. $75. Tickets include a tasting glass. 5-8 p.m., Feb. 12. Craneway Pavilion, 1414 Harbour Way S, Richmond

Martes Grandote

Newly reopened cafe/bar Underwood in Temescal is hosting an unusual Beer Week event — a Mexican Mardi Gras (“Martes Grandote” roughly translates to Fat Tuesday in Spanish) celebration with Pine Street Brewery. There’ll be tacos, tequila and beer pairings, mezcal micheladas and molé and orange stout cocktails. Free admission. 6-9 p.m., Feb. 13. Underwood, 308 41st St. (between Emerald and Broadway), Oakland

Drake’s Sau & Brau

Celebrate your shared love for beer and pork* with your valentine at Drake’s for its 8th annual Sau & Brau pig roast. Tickets include plenty of slow-roasted pig, sides, desserts and beer, as well as a tasting glass and four tasting tickets for any beer on tap. *If you don’t dig on swine, there will be vegetarian and vegan options available. $50 ($30 designated driver ticket). 6-9 p.m., Feb. 14. Drake’s Barrel House, 1933 Davis St., San Leandro

All Oakland Brewery Tap Takeover

All 24 taps at Paulista in Glenview will be pouring beers from Oakland breweries. Participating breweries include Ale Industries, Crooked City Cider, Federation Brewing, Ghost Town Brewing, Independent Brewing Company, Novel Brewing Company, Oakland United Beerworks, Old Kan Beer & Co., Temescal Brewing and Woods Beer Co. Free admission. Noon, Feb. 15. Paulista Brazilian Kitchen and Taproom, 4239 Park Blvd. (at Wellington), Oakland

Southern barbecue at Smoke in Berkeley will go perfectly with some East Brother Beer. Photo: Gail Tyler

East Brother Beer Tap Takeover

Richmond’s one-year-old brewery East Brother Beer is bringing a portable draft system to Smoke Berkeley, where there’ll be serving Southern barbeque made with East Brother Beer to enjoy with all those suds. A match made in heaven. Free admission. 4-8 p.m., Feb. 16. Smoke Berkeley, 2434 San Pablo Ave. (between Channing and Dwight), Berkeley

Russian River at the Hop

Up until yesterday, it was just a “rumor” that Pliny the Younger would make an appearance at Russian River at the Hop. Well, the Good Hop got enough calls from eager customers that it finally admitted yes, young Pliny will be poured at this event! Here’s the deal: Pliny the Younger pours will be ticketed — two tickets per person. Tickets will go on sale at 3 p.m., but the keg will not be tapped until 6 p.m., which gives you plenty of time to try the nine other Russian River on tap while you’re there. There’ll be tacos from Tacos el Precioso from 5-10 p.m. Free admission. 3-11 p.m., Feb. 16. The Good Hop, 2421 Telegraph Ave. (at 24th), Oakland

Yes, Pliny the Younger will be at Bobby G’s in Berkeley. Photo: Bobby G’s Pizzeria/Instagram
Yes, Pliny the Younger will be at Bobby G’s in Berkeley. Photo: Bobby G’s Pizzeria/Instagram

Strong Beer Day with Pliny the Younger

Another spot that’s pouring Pliny the Younger is not even listed on the SF Beer Week schedule. Bobby G’s in Berkeley posted on Instagram that they’ll once again be tapping a keg of the ever-popular Russian River beer. Tickets went on sale yesterday, so get on over to Bobby G’s and get yours before they sell out. Aside from PTY, there’ll be lots more strong beers to taste, including several double and triple IPAs on tap. The keg will be tapped at 2 p.m. Feb. 16. Bobby G’s Pizzeria, 2072 University Ave. (near Shattuck), Berkeley

Umami Mart and The Trappist’s annual Japan Beer Fest. Photo: Umami Mart
Umami Mart and The Trappist’s annual Japan Beer Fest. Photo: Umami Mart

Japan Beer Fest

For the fifth year, neighbors Umami Mart and The Trappist in Old Oakland are collaborating for the ever-popular Japan Beer Fest. As usual, there’ll be more than 25 Japanese craft beers on tap at the Trappist, including Hitachino, Coedo and Baird. This year, there’ll be a special focus on beers flavored with the Japanese citrus, yuzu. That means Yuzu Beer Slushies! Aburaya will be on site selling their Japanese fried chicken, and DJ Hair Thing will be spinning J-pop tunes. Free admission. 2-6 p.m., Feb. 17. The Trappist, 460 Eighth St. (between Broadway and Washington), Oakland

Celebrating Women In Beer

This event at the Rare Barrel in Berkeley will raise a glass to women who make beer. There’ll be beers from 14 breweries that were founded by or have head brewers that are women, including Armistice Brewing Company, Faction Brewing, Freewheel Brewing Company and Sante Adairius Rustic Ales. Rare Barrel will donate $2 for every guest beer sold to the Pink Boots Society, a non-profit supporting women in the beer industry. Free admission. 1-10 p.m., Feb. 17. The Rare Barrel, 940 Parker St. (between Ninth and Eighth), Berkeley

Sarah Han was the editor of Nosh from 2017 to 2021. Previously, she worked as an editor at The Bold Italic, the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Francisco Bay Guardian. In 2020, Sarah won SPJ NorCal's...