Food & Wine

Silicon Valley Beer Week is on tap

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Over the past few years, San Francisco’s February Beer Week events have spread beyond the city into a number of venues on the Peninsula and in the South Bay.

Chris Esparza, co-owner of San Jose’s Naglee Park Garage and founder of the community development firm Giant Creative, recognized that Silicon Valley had developed enough of a craft beer culture to support its own event, and Silicon Valley Beer Week was born.

“With the emerging and vibrant beer ecosystem in the South Bay, many people approached us with ideas about things not happening in other Beer Week celebrations, things that would be unique to Silicon Valley,” Esparza said.

The inaugural Silicon Valley Beer Week – scheduled July 28 through Aug. 3 – will feature craft beer tastings and tap takeovers, food and beer pairing events with local chefs and brewers, seminars, demonstrations about beer and brewing, and more.

The week will launch July 28 with a kick-off party at Gordon Biersch in downtown San Jose to “showcase innovative food and craft beer pairings by hand-picked Silicon Valley restaurateurs, brewers and culinary entrepreneurs,” according to the SV Beer Week website (

The final event of the week will be the Summer KraftBrew Fest Aug. 3, also in downtown San Jose, which will include hard-to-find beer tastings, live music, presentations on beer and brewing topics and homebrewing demonstrations (including one by the Silicon Valley Sudzers Homebrew Club, of which I am a member).

SV Beer Week will offer multiple events each evening during the week. There are currently more than 80 events scheduled, with more added each day.

Esparza said SV Beer Week events are “not just for people who love drinking beer, but people who thirst for knowledge and understanding.” He added that Beer Week “appeals to folks who are passionate about beer, and involves a lot about learning and having fun simultaneously.”

Silicon Valley Beer Week is a great opportunity to explore all the beers and breweries the region has to offer, and to appreciate the fact that the South Bay is no longer the “beer desert” lamented by the late, great Bay Area beer writer Bill Brand.

Derek Wolfgram is chief communications officer for the Silicon Valley Sudzers Homebrew Club, which meets the first Friday of each month at a home in Los Altos Hills and welcomes both new and experienced brewers and beer enthusiasts. For more information, visit

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