beer tasting flights
A sudsy lineup.
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Food & Drink

Suds ahoy: The Santa Cruz County guide to SF Beer Week

Whether you’re a hophead, big on Belgians, serious about sours or a lover of lagers, let Lily Belli give you the local roadmap as a Bay Area institution kicks off 10 days of brewerific festivities Friday.

Dry January is officially in the rearview mirror, and San Francisco Beer Week is on the horizon. The largest beer event in Northern California expands throughout the Bay Area and down the Central Coast for 10 days of themed parties, special releases and wild tap lists. Beginning Friday, local breweries and taprooms will host some of the year’s most exciting events celebrating beer in all its delicious forms and styles. Here’s a complete guide to SF Beer Week events in Santa Cruz County.

Lily

Friday, Feb. 11

SF Beer Week Kickoff Party for the Bay Area Brewers Guild Coast Chapter at Other Brother Beer Co. Seaside’s Other Brother Beer Co. hosts breweries from the Central Coast for a party to kick off SF Beer Week. Guests can enjoy unlimited tastes of exclusive beers from at least 15 Central Coast breweries, including 10 from Santa Cruz County, all five collaboration IPAs produced by Bay Area Brewers Guild members, food from Ad Astra Bread Co, DJ sets and more. Purchase your ticket to one of four tasting sessions through Eventbrite.com. 2-10 p.m., depending on session. $50-75.

Beer Week Kickoff at Lúpulo Craft Beer House. The downtown taphouse is pouring a lineup of exclusive IPAs, including Russian River’s Pliny the Younger triple IPA, HenHouse Brewing Co.’s Big Chicken imperial IPA and Capitola brewery Sante Adairius Rustic Ale’s Of This World triple IPA, as well as more offerings from Russian River, Side Project, Jester King, Sante Adairius and more. 2:30 p.m. to close. No entry fee.

Triple IPA Release at New Bohemia Brewing. Triple the IPA, triple the fun. NuBo will release three IPAs — The Flow IPA, Double Flow double IPA and Small Axe triple IPA — on draft and in cans. No entry fee.

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Scrumptious Fish & Chips and BanjerDan at Steel Bonnet Brewing. Everyone’s favorite classic English “chippy” will serve up at Steel Bonnet, with live music by BanjerDan, Steel Bonnet’s special SF Beer Week release Hibiscus Cream Ale, and special discounts on in-house pours, crowlers and apparel. Food at 4 p.m., music at 5:30 p.m. No entry fee.

Soul King IPA Release at the Slough Brewing Collective. The Slough will release their most popular IPA on draft and in cans, with food truck The Real Taco on site. Food 1-8p.m. No entry fee.

Saturday, Feb. 12

PilsGNAR fest at Humble Sea Brewing Co. A festival for lovers of pilsners and lagers. Soak in the Santa Cruz sunshine at the Westside taproom while sipping on crispy brews from Humble Sea, around the Bay Area and beyond. Participating breweries include Bierstadt Lagerhaus, Wayfinger, Alvarado Street Brewing and many more. 11 a.m. to close. No entry fee.

Pliny the Younger at Beer Thirty Bottle Shop & Pour House and Beer Mule Bottle Shop & Pour House. Kegs of Russian River Brewing’s limited-annual-release triple IPA, Pliny the Younger, will be available on draft and will be joined by other popular beers from the esteemed Santa Rosa brewery, including Pliny the Elder, Happy Hops IPA, STS Pils and Shadow of a Doubt. Preorder your 10-ounce pours at beerthirtysantacruz.com and kickassbeer.com. 11 a.m. to close. $10 per 10-ounce pour, limit two per person.

A Night with Jester King at Lúpulo Craft Beer House. Austin-based farmhouse brewery Jester King reigns on this night. Lúpulo will pour three beers from SPON, Jester King’s famed spontaneous fermentation series, and SPON Rye, SPON Tulle and SPON Blueberry & Pitaya will be available by the bottle. Other beers from Texas will also be highlighted on the draft menu. 2:30 p.m. to close. No entry fee.

Good Dogs and Vintage Point at Steel Bonnet Brewing. Hot dogs with all the fixins and live music by Vintage Point, plus Steel Bonnet’s special SF Beer Week release Hibiscus Cream Ale and discounts on in-house pours, crowlers and apparel. Food at 2 p.m., music at 5:30 p.m. No entry fee.

Smile Now Cry Later Drag Show & Fundraiser at the Slough Brewing Collective. This broken hearts-themed art and drag show is a fundraiser for members of Pajaro Valley Pride, which supports LGBTQI+ teens pursuing higher education. Browse the art market filled with LGBTQI+ and BIPOC vendors organized by Arte Del Corazón in the afternoon, and stay through the evening for the drag show, which will feature at least five performers. Also on the schedule: a costume pageant, burlesque dancer, live music by Sen Miles, a DJ set and a photobooth. SF Beer Week specials Soul King IPA and Doom Scroll Imperial Stout will be on draft. Art show at 3 p.m. Drag show at 6 p.m. $10 at the door.

Sunday, Feb. 13

Valentine’s Brunch at Shanty Shack Brewing. Enjoy brunch-inspired beer creations featuring Shanty Shack’s fruit-forward sour beers, like the Shanty Sunrise, an olallieberry kettle sour layered with pilsner, and Return of the Ginger Sun, a saison with ginger beer, as well as live music and delicious eats from the Shanty Shack kitchen. The event is free, but sign up ahead of time and receive half off a pitcher of beermosas. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. No entry fee.

Side Project Sunday at Lúpulo Craft Beer House. Four beers from St. Louis-area brewery Side Project Brewing, one of Lúpulo’s favorite breweries, will be featured on the draft list. 2:30 p.m. to close. No entry fee.

Monday, Feb. 14

Valentine Release at New Bohemia Brewing. Fall in love with NuBo’s Hellesexy Chocolate Lager, a helles lager aged on African cacao nibs, and Whiskey Business, a velvety, barrel-aged imperial stout aged on dark cherries and cacao nibs. No entry fee.

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Lovers Showcase with Mutari at Steel Bonnet Brewing. The first 25 guests after 5 p.m. can enjoy a complimentary chocolate truffle tasting by Santa Cruz chocolate makers Mutari. Everyone can enjoy Steel Bonnet’s special SF Beer Week release Hibiscus Cream Ale, live music all day from members of San Lorenzo Valley favorites Big Trees, Sugar By The Pound, Coffee Zombie Collective, Coast Ridge Rambles and Stone Circle, plus special discounts on in-house pours, crowlers and apparel. Music at 6 p.m. No entry fee.

Tuesday, Feb. 15

Taco Tuesday with Bobby on Trivia at New Bohemia Brewing. Tacos, trivia, and a special keg of SF Beer Week’s Coastal Collaboration West Coast IPA, Juxtapose. It’s dry-hopped with all the heavy hitters: Galaxy, Citra, Strata, Mosaic, Cashmere, Simcoe and Cascade. No entry fee.

Thursday, Feb. 17

Trivia on Tap at Steel Bonnet Brewing. The Santa Cruz Public Library will host trivia at Steel Bonnet, which will be pouring its special SF Beer Week release Hibiscus Cream Ale, plus special discounts on in-house pours, crowlers and apparel. 6:30 p.m. No entry fee.

Friday, Feb. 18

A Celebration of Santa Cruz at Lúpulo Craft Beer House. Lupulo will highlight some of its favorite beers from Capitola brewery Sante Adairius Rustic Ales and Santa Cruz’s Private Press, a local brewery that focuses on imperial stouts and barleywines. Double Barrel Almond Suite, a collaboration beer between Private Press and Missouri brewery Side Project, will be on the menu, as well as 2015 Cellarman from Sante Adairius and in-house bottles from all three breweries. Private Press brewer Brad Clark will be in attendance. 2:30 p.m. to close. No entry fee.

Adobo To Go and Gary Blackburn at Steel Bonnet Brewing. Delicious adobo and live music by Gary Blackburn, Steel Bonnet’s special SF Beer Week release Hibiscus Cream Ale, plus special discounts on in-house pours, crowlers and apparel. Food at 2 p.m., music at 5:30 p.m. No entry fee.

Saturday, Feb. 19

Saturday Funk Fever at Lúpulo Craft Beer House. The tap list is gettin’ real funky, with a slew of spontaneously fermented beers on the menu. Expect to see lambics from Belgium’s Tilquin, brews from Oregon’s de Garde Brewing, and at gueuze-style cider. Vintage bottles from Cantillon, Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen and other Belgian lambics will be released. 2:30 p.m. to close. No entry fee.

Waves Sterling Scott
(Via Sterling Scott)

New artist reception at Steel Bonnet Brewing. Celebrate photographer Sterling Scott’s new series, “Waves,” with live music by Rory Lynch, food from Scrumptious Fish & Chips, Steel Bonnet’s special SF Beer Week release Hibiscus Cream Ale, and special discounts on in-house pours, crowlers and apparel. Music at 3 p.m., food at 4 p.m. No entry fee.

Sunday, Feb. 20

Snack Attack at Fruition Brewing. Fruition is curating a lineup of Snacks, its beloved session sour beer, featuring additions of special, rare and local fruit from farmers market friends. Producer Knowmadic will play sonic snacks for your ears and in-house Hindsight Kitchen is serving up delicious food. 12 p.m. to close. No entry fee.

Crankin’ the Oldies at Lúpulo Craft Beer House. Lúpulo is pulling out kegs from as far back as 2013. Nogne Ø Dark Horizon 4th Edition (2013), a 16% coffee stout from Norway, is the most-aged offering, and is joined by Lost Abbey Brewery’s 2015 Angel’s Share and 2017 Cuvee de Tomme, The Bruery’s 2014 Tart of Darkness, and many more. 2:30 p.m. to close. No entry fee.

Good Dogs and Leo & The Lion at Steel Bonnet Brewing. Enjoy hot dogs from an Airstream by Good Dogs, live music by Leo & The Lion, Steel Bonnet’s special SF Beer Week release Hibiscus Cream Ale, and special discounts on in-house pours, crowlers and apparel. Food at noon, music at 3 p.m. No entry fee.

More info at sfbeerweek.org.