Escapes: Bottoms up for SF Beer Week

Beers bold, weak, dark, light … hoppy, bitter and the like … will be on tap in San Francisco.
Beers bold, weak, dark, light … hoppy, bitter and the like … will be on tap in San Francisco. Gamma Live


Endless beer at annual San Francisco festival

With more than 400 events to choose from all over the Bay Area, SF Beer Week definitely overwhelms. It kicks off Friday with a sold-out gala, followed by nine more days packed with tap takeovers, mini-festivals, pub crawls, homebrew classes, beer dinners and more. Later at night, get silly at parties that “pair beer and beats,” for example.

If the long events schedule is too much to handle, look to the list of specials that last throughout SF Beer Week. Among them: beer cocktails, beer doughnuts, flights and pairings. It all winds down on Feb. 15, with plenty of events geared toward inevitable hangovers. And, of course, beer brunches. For more information, visit


Book fair

What: Purported to be the world’s largest rare book fair, the 48th California International Antiquarian Book Fair boasts thousands of texts. Seminars include strategies to appraise and sell books, and how to spot a first edition.

When: 3-8 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Feb. 8

Where: Oakland Marriott City Center, 1001 Broadway, Oakland

Cost: $15-$25



Free wildlife displays

What: Explore the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History’s wildlife and habitat displays, cultural and geological exhibits, and more for free on the first Friday of the month.

When: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday

Where: Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History, 1305 East Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz

Cost: Free



Bird festival

What: The eighth annual Winter Bird Festival features educational presentations, wildlife shows, art and hands-on activities. Sign up for tours of the Cosumnes River Preserve and spot waterfowl, shorebirds and other wildlife in their wintering states.

When: 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday

Where: McCaffrey Middle School, 997 Park Terrace Drive, Galt

Cost: Free, $16-$65 for tours

Information: (209) 366-7115;


Trout celebration

What: Celebrate the return of the endangered steelhead trout at the seventh annual Lake Sonoma Steelhead Trout Festival. Watch the fish push upstream and leap out of the water as exhibitors line the lake with educational opportunities, food and local beer.

When: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday

Where: Milt Brandt Visitors Center at Lake Sonoma, 3288 Skaggs Springs Road, Geyserville

Cost: Free



All about white wine

What: Taste pinot gris, riesling and muscat at the 10th annual International Alsace Varietals Festival. There are educational seminars as well as huge, grand tasting events. On Sunday, more than 10 Anderson Valley wineries will open their doors for open houses, tastings and pairings.

When: Times vary, Saturday and Feb. 8

Where: Mendocino County Fairgrounds, 14400 Highway 128, Boonville

Cost: $45-$130 for individual events


Bee staff