Since 2010, the Opening Gala in San Francisco has been the traditional kickoff to SF Beer Week, featuring hundreds of beers crafted in the Bay Area. The event typically brings beer lovers from around the Bay Area, sometimes generating long lines to enter, then more lines inside for particular breweries with special releases.
At the other end of SF Beer Week is the annual Meet the Brewers festival in San Jose, which also started in 2010. Meet the Brewers is much more laid back, but it often features up-and-coming brewers before they are well known (such as Alvarado Street Brewery back in 2015).
We don’t know how long it will be until events on either scale can occur again in the Bay Area. While we’re all stuck sipping at home, here are some of the outstanding brews featured at this year’s events – and a memorial to waiting in line, tasting together and other pleasures that must be deferred for now.