Independent craft breweries throughout the greater San Franciso and Monterey Bay areas are joining forces to create ten special beers, in the spirit of local community and co-operation, and to celebrate the 10th SF Beer Week, which runs from February 9 to 18.
The beers will debut at the SF Beer Week Opening Gala, on Friday, February 9, at Pier 35 in San Francisco — one of the few places all ten will be poured.
The annual collaboration tradition, initiated by the San Francisco Brewers Guild and a hallmark of SF Beer Week, returns with a radical spin: five brews from areas across the region — SF, East Bay, North Bay, South Bay and Monterey Bay — and five hyper-local SF neighbourhood beers — Bayview, Dogpatch, Haight, Mission and SoMa — providing a nod to a remarkable ten-year milestone and honouring the guild’s past and future.
Dozens of breweries have been contributing ideas, ingredients, muscle and know-how to make these beers possible. For each group of brewers in each distinct location, the challenge was straightforward: come up with a beer that reflects the personalities and characters of their communities — and they did so with keenly playful results.
The Bay Area collaborations
The introduction of the five regional collaboration beers symbolises a more unified craft beer landscape, as the SF Brewers Guild evolves into a regional trade association. At the same time, these beers showcase flavours and approaches that express the identities and creative impulses of their individual brewing communities.
North Bay — Instant Classic IPA: a West Coast IPA, brewed at Henhouse Brewing Co (Santa Rosa)
Brimming with Cascade and using local craft malt, this beer is a home-grown West Coast IPA at its most classic — a fitting homage to an area known for reintroducing the IPA to the world, American style. Grain: Admiral two-row, white wheat, light crystal malt, Admiral Red Seven. Hops: Cascade, Chinook, Centennial and Simcoe.
Monterey Bay — A Bay of Our Own: a salted caramel stout, brewed at Discretion Brewing Co (Soquel)
Brewed with Monterey Bay sea salt, California-grown craft malt and rich, dark caramel enhance this stout, brewed with local sustainable ingredients, and the efforts, ideas and camaraderie of Monterey Bay breweries. Available in cans as well as draft. Grain: Admiral Maiden Voyage malt, caramel malt, Carafa, roasted barley. Hops: Golding. Other: caramel, made by Uncommon Brewers, Monterey sea salt. This dark treat will come in at 7% ABV, 33 IBU.
South Bay — Locally Grown: India pale lager with citrus, brewed at Hermitage Brewing Co (San Jose)
Loaded with crowd-sourced fruit, and hops that heighten those natural aromas, this crushable India pale lager showcases the local citrus that abounds in South Bay. Malt: Admiral base and specialty malts. Hops: Mandarina, Citra, Mosaic and El Dorado. Other: local oranges, tangerines and grapefruits.
San Francisco — #10 Foggy IPA: Hazy IPA, brewed at Speakeasy Ales and Lagers (San Francisco)
Bursting with pine, floral and citrus aromas, with local craft malt lending honey and fresh baked bread notes, and wheat, oats, rye and rice flakes for added depth and a juicy mouthfeel, this SF fog is one you’ll love tripping through. Available in cans as well as draft. Grain: Admiral Pilsner, wheat, oats, rye, flaked rice. Hops: Columbus, Cascade, Centennial, Chinook. This hop-hazed brew will finish at 6.5% ABV, 63 IBU.
East Bay — Smoke & Coffee Break: a coffee smoked porter, brewed at Shadow Puppet Brewing Co (Livermore)
Some of the malt was carefully hand-smoked using whiskey barrel chips. Select local cold-brewed coffee put an indisputable East Bay stamp on this smokey, robust, chocolate-tinged coffee porter. Malt: Rahr two-row, German smoked malt, hand-smoked Pilsner malt, Munich malt, English chocolate malt, Crystal 40 & 120 malts. Hops: Bravo. Other: cold-brewed coffee. Coming in at 8.4% ABV.
San Francisco district collaboration
A nod to the origins of the San Francisco Brewers Guild, these next five district collaborations draw from the guild’s roots as a city-based association and from some of the culturally rich San Francisco neighbourhoods that are not only part of the city’s collective history, but the world’s.
Bayview Haze — hazy IPA with pomegranate
By Barebottle Brewing Co plus Ferment.Drink.Repeat, HolyCraft Brewery, Laughing Monk Brewing Co, San Francisco Brewing Co and Seven Stills Brewery and Distillery
Dogpatch Saison — saison with derpenes (disclaimer: not psychoactive)
Brewed in three versions at Harmonic Brewing, Magnolia Brewing Co (Smokestack) and Triple Voodoo Brewery, with participation from Headlands Brewing Co, Speakeasy Ales and Lagers and Sufferfest Beer Co.
SoMa Sparkler — (experimental Sacc Trois beer)
By Local Brewing Co plus 21st Amendment Brewery, Bartlett Hall, Black Hammer Brewing, Cellarmaker Brewing Co, Pine Street Brewery and ThirstyBear Organic Brewery.
Because California law prohibits certain breweries from purchasing beer from other breweries, many of those participating in these collaborations are also brewing their own variations of the same recipes to tap in their own tasting rooms. This will provide exciting chances to experience how the same beer differs when executed by different brewers. Events featuring official SF Beer Week collabs — including these simultaneous re-interpretations — will be posted on the SF Beer Week website in the run-up to the event.
These ten beers provide only one of the highlights at this year’s opening gala on February 9, where 120 independent craft breweries will present more than 300 special, rare, one-off and seasonal releases, showcasing both traditional and experimental beer making.
Patrons will also be able to enjoy conversations and stories from some of the Bay Area leaders who put craft beer on the map, led by San Francisco Chronicle journalists, or peruse the SF Beer Week design gallery. The brewery participation list is available at the ticket page — tickets for the gala are available in advance only.
SF Beer Week comes together each year via the schedules at sfbeerweek.org. After the Opening Gala on Feb. 9, hundreds of events will follow daily until Sunday, February 18.
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