Every year, the Bay Area Brewers Guild hosts San Francisco Beer Week, ten days of various events around the Bay Area celebrating one of the most popular beverages in the world – beer. This, of course, is not just a celebration of a fermented drink but also a celebration of camaraderie between brewers and small business owners. A great example of this relationship is the Opening Gala, SF Beer Week’s official kick off party.
The Opening Gala is one of the most diverse and popular beer festivals with people coming from all over the nation to taste selections from just about every brewery in the Bay Area! In an interview with Executive Director of the Brewers Guild, Joanne Marino, this year is going to be even more special than years past. Taking inspiration from Woodstock, there will be more events that feature the synergy of beer with art and music – some even taking place at the Opening Gala. One special feature will be the unveiling of the Five Chapter collaboration beers; a collaboration from members of the SF, North Bay, East Bay, Silicon Valley, and Coast Chapters.
These chapter collaborations bring together brewers with different visions and styles to come up with a unique limited brew specifically for San Francisco Beer week. These beers are only available at the Opening Gala or at The Rake at Admiral Maltings in Alameda, a sponsor for the event. What’s great is you can really see the different styles in each of these beers:
- The San Francisco Chapter brewed Common Dreams, a California Common, a nod to one of the original SF beers at 5.3% ABV.
- The North Bay Chapter brewed North Bay Nexus, a contemporary Pale Ale, balanced with subtle spice notes from the grain bill combined with the citrus and tropical notes from the hops at 6% ABV.
- The Coast Chapter brewed Surf ‘N Burps, a classic West Coast Double IPA featuring new hop varieties at a whopping 9% ABV. I’m very excited about the last two beers because they are super unique and sound delicious.
- The Silicon Valley Chapter brewed Cloud Based which is an Oat Cream Pale Ale delivering big hop flavors at a reasonable 5.8% ABV.
- And finally, the East Bay Chapter produced Rice Stratosphere, which is a Rice IPA delivering an aromatic explosion with the use of Strata hops and an ABV of 7%.
What’s great about this year is that there are four BONE-A-Fide Brew alums who participated, including Hop Dogma, Clandestine, Alpha Acid, and Freewheel Brewing!
Without the Bay Area Brewers Guild, San Francisco Beer Week would not be possible. The Guild is a non-profit trade association whose members are small, independent brewers. Originally called the San Francisco Brewers Guild, which started in 2004, the BABG has expanded its reach and influence from only a handful of members to over 150. It is all thanks to the Opening Gala, which is the Guild’s only ticketed event that helps them keep going. As of right now, the Guild does not require members to pay a due because they understand that a majority of the members are small business owners and trying to run a business in California, as a lot of us know, is very expensive.
Come February 7th, the Bay Area will come together at the Opening Gala and raise a glass. If you want to check out all of the events for the San Francisco Beer Week or get your tickets to the Opening Gala, head over to www.sfbeerweek.org. For more info on the Brewers Guild, check out drinkbaybeer.com. If you would like to hear more about the history of the Guild, take a listen to the chat I had with Joanne Marino at the bottom of the page. Hope to see all my Bonehead Beerhounds at the Gala!
Joe Hawk \m/,