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SF Beer Week returns in person with events around the South Bay.

The celebration of local craft brewing known as SF Beer Week is returning this year, Friday through Feb. 20.

During the pandemic in 2021, all of the regional brewers’ guilds throughout the state united for California Craft Beer Week festivities, much of which was done remotely. With the omicron wave of COVID-19, this year’s SF Beer Week events are likely to remain smaller scale, but many more in-person options will be available. And the California Craft Brewers Guild has decided to keep California Craft Beer Week going, with an additional event July 15-24.

SF Beer Week used to kick off with a massive opening gala held at Pier 35 in San Francisco, with well over 100 breweries in attendance. After taking a year off in 2021, the kickoff has been reimagined with five separate but concurrent regional kickoffs set for Friday in San Francisco (Harmonic Brewing Thrive City), Silicon Valley (Off The Rails Brewing Co. in Sunnyvale), East Bay (21st Amendment Brewery in San Leandro), North Bay (Pond Farm Brewing Co. in San Rafael) and Coast (Other Brother Beer Co. in Seaside).

Read on for my recommendations for other anticipated highlights of 2022 SF Beer Week. These events focus on the Silicon Valley region, which includes Santa Clara, San Mateo and San Francisco counties, but I will also include selected events happening elsewhere in the Bay Area. For more details on any event, including mask and/or vaccination requirements, visit sfbeerweek.org.

Sadly, with the closing of Hermitage Brewing Co. last month after 13 years, it seems the 11th annual SF Beer Week Meet the Brewers festival in San Jose in 2020 may have been the last one. I also want to pay my respects here to Marin Brewing Co., which also served its last pint last month after 33 years in business.

Saturday

• 22nd Double IPA Festival at The Bistro in Hayward, with more than 100 double and triple IPAs on tap (ticketed event).

• Clandestine Brewing Fourth Anniversary (Strong Beers). Located in San Jose, Clandestine will have a special tapping of its 2020 Great American Beer Festival gold medal-winning Agent Provocateur doppelbock, the 26% alcohol by volume Old Espionage barrel-aged barleywine, and more. (Hapa’s Brewing Co. in San Jose and Blue Oak Brewing Co. in San Carlos also have anniversary events this day.)

• Barrel Constrictor Release Day at Alpha Acid Brewing Co. in Belmont, with eight different variants of its barrel-aged imperial stout.

Sunday

• Morning yoga and craft beer at San Francisco Brewing Co.

• Beer Week Bombshell Buns and Bingo drag bingo featuring Carnie Asada at Willkommen by Black Hammer Brewing in San Francisco. (Black Hammer also gets a shout-out for other super-creative events all week, including Beer Cupcakes, Disco Night, Sparkle Can Treasure Hunt, and more.)

Tuesday

• Drink While You Think: Beer-themed trivia at Local Brewing Co. in San Francisco ($7 admission fee includes one free beer).

Feb. 17

• Sixth Annual Firkin Friends Fest – Redwood City’s Freewheel Brewing Co. invites several other local breweries to join it in serving cask-conditioned ales.

• Legacy of the Mare Island Original 21ers, at Mare Island Brewing Co.’s Coal Shed Brewery in Vallejo. Hear from activist and author Jake Sloan about the 21ers’ pioneering civil rights activities in the early 1960s, while enjoying The 21ers Black Lager brewed to commemorate their accomplishments.

• Five-course beer-pairing dinner and tour at Seven Stills Brewery & Distillery in San Francisco (ticketed event).

Feb. 18

• Singing with the Sisters at Laughing Monk Brewing in San Francisco, featuring karaoke and the release of a Zinfandel wine/Holy Ghost Pilsner hybrid.

Feb. 19

• Locals Only Tap Takeover at Taplands in Santa Clara, with 25 beers from Peninsula and South Bay breweries.

• Eighth annual West Coast Craft Can Invitational at Devil’s Canyon Brewing Co. in San Carlos (ticketed event). Featuring live music, food trucks, canned beer and many brewers and industry professionals available to chat.

Derek Wolfgram is a Certified Beer Judge through the Beer Judge Certification Program and an officer of the Silicon Valley Sudzers homebrew club. For more information, visit sudzers.org.

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