2/05/2013 12:32:00 PM

7 Not-To-Be-Missed Food-Centric Beer Events at SF Beer Week

Yesterday gave you Master Cicerone Nicole Erny’s extensive day-to-day guide to SF Beer Week. But today, we tap into the advice of another local beer evangelist, certified cicerone Sayre Piotrkowski, for his recommendations on the best SF Beer Week events for foodies. Piotrkowski’s is the beer director of St. Vincent Tavern (prior to that he was at Monk's Kettle) and has done consultation, education and pairings at countless fine-dining restaurants. Out of all the food-centric beer happenings taking place during the festival, here are the seven he's most excited about and why. Be sure to act fast: these events are filling up quickly. His top choice - the Sau & Brau Part Trois at Drakes Brewing Company is also already sold out.


The Inside Scoop: Unity, as in Edward is a 6% ABV barrel fermented sour ale with has peaches, plums, and cherries added mid-ferment, which were all grown locally at Arata Ranch in Byron, CA. We were honored to pour a preview keg of this beer at St. Vincent a few months back.  Even at that point it was drinking as nicely as any Bay Area brewed sour beer I have ever tasted.  The release party will feature Fist Of Flour's mobile pizza oven and desserts by The Punky Chef and a host of local musicians.  Still, I am certain that a chance to taste one of the most ambitious and impressive brews the Bay Area has produced will be the main attraction (food and drink priced individually, 12-9 PM, 975 Detroit Ave Unit E, Concord).

The Inside Scoop: I have hosted over 50 beer pairing dinners in my career thus far and I can honestly say that the two we have planned this year for St. Vincent have me as excited as I have ever been.  Each dinner will match an established brewery with one that has opened in the past twelve months.  Part 1 will see us pouring the beers from Craftsman in Pasadena, CA and Sante Adairius, Capitola, CA.  Eight selections will be being paired with a crazy ambitious six course menu prepared by Chef Bill Niles and his whole squad.  Brewmasters Mark Jilg of Craftsman and Tim Clifford of Sante will be in attendance.  Menus, beer descriptions and more can be found here ($85/person, open seating from 5:30-10PM; 1270 Valencia St; 415-285-1200).

The Inside Scoop: I do not know of a partnership between a restaurant and a brewery taking place anywhere in the world that has proven to be more fruitful than the special relationship between Bar Tartine and Oakland's Linden St. Brewing Company. Going back a couple of years now Linden's brewers and Tartine's bakers/chefs have shared yeasts, ingredients and ideas that have lead to revelatory results. This particular dinner will celebrate the release of two Linden brews "Little Boh" a bohemian style pils and the latest in their series of sour ales produced using the Tartine Bakery sourdough starter ($80/person inclusive of food, wine and tip, 7PM, 561 Valencia St, purchase event tickets online).

The Inside Scoop: Belgian style beer and BBQ go together remarkably well. Who better to illustrate this point than Dan Frengs, the pit boss behind SlowHand BBQ. SlowHand was pop-up hobby of Dan's throughout his career as sales rep for some of the best beer importers in the country.  This year he made his hobby his career when he left the beer sales business to open SlowHand's brick and mortar location to rave reviews. This dinner will feature the 150 year-anniversary Chimay Cent Cinquant and some vintage bottles of Chimay Grand Reserve (food and beer priced individually, 1941 Oak Park Blvd #5, Pleasant Hill).

Friday, February 15
Butcher's and Beers with 4505 Meats and Almananc Brewing
The Inside Scoop: A celebration of pork and beer put on by the boys from Almanac Brewing Company. The event will feature beer tasting from seven Bay Area breweries and the talents of Ryan Farr (4505 Meats) who will be serving from three stalls—one specializing in burgers and sausages one serving whole beast dishes and one focused on BBQ ($60/person, 6- 9M, St Gregory's, 500 De Haro St).

The Inside Scoop: If there is one place in San Francisco I would send someone who wanted to start drinking and learning about the best beers in the world it would be City Beer Store.  Craig Wathen who owns CBS with his wife Beth is like Yoda to any of us seeking to be Bay Area beer Jedis.  On the 16th, Craig and crew will welcome one of CA's legendary craft-breweries Alesmith from San Diego and one of the city's most beer-friendly innovative chef's Greg Dunmoore from Nojo ($24/person, City Beer Store, 1168 Folsom St). 

Sunday, February 17
"From The Seed To The Kernel Part 2 Points North" at St. Vincent
The Inside Scoop: Part 2 of our dinner series at St. Vincent.  This time we will feature beers from Marin Brewing in Larkspur, CA and HenHouse, in Petaluma, CA.  Marin's Brewmaster Arne Johnson has gone deep in the vault to pull out a slew of his most sought after brews.  St. Vincent remains the only place in San Francisco that has ever poured HenHouse beers on tap. Arne and the boys from HenHouse will of course be in attendance.  Menus, beer descriptions and more can be found here  ($85/person, open seating from 5:30-10PM; 1270 Valencia St; 415-285-1200).

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