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Beer brotherhood brews across the Bay: Craft community comes together for San Francisco Beer Week
February 17, 2017, 05:00 AM By Austin Walsh Daily

Austin Walsh/Daily Journal
Joe Marquez, owner of The StandBy in South City, is hosting a variety of events celebrating San Francisco Beer Week.

From dank bars, garages steeped in hoppy stink and industrial buildings housing huge stainless steel tanks and tube networks, a bubbling Bay Area community of brewers and beer lovers grew to one of the nation’s most substantial society of swiggers.

Emboldened through their passion’s growing popularity, those mavens of malt, ale advocates and brew buffs have dispersed throughout the Peninsula for a series of boozy bashes celebrating San Francisco Beer Week.

The festival coordinated throughout the Bay Area brings together breweries, bars, restaurants, markets and all others in the industry to showcase the independent beer movement’s craftsmanship.

And while the area is soaked with potential stiff competition and rivalry, brewers and bar owners agreed they would rather raise a pint glass to the success of fellow comrades.

“It’s not us against each other. It’s us against the big, faceless mega brewers. We just kind of embrace the community feel,” said Joe Pacini, owner of Sacrilege Brewery in Half Moon Bay. “With all the breweries out there, it could turn into a competitive racket, but instead we just embrace each other.”

Pacini, who opened his brewery three months ago at 730 Main St., hosted a variety of events over the week inviting more established brewers to pair their creations with fresh food from his kitchen.

Representatives from Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, a pioneer in the California independent beer market, visited Pacini’s establishment Thursday, Feb. 16, to offer some of the Chico brewery’s more obscure creations in tandem with light bites. A day earlier, he welcomed Fieldwork Brewing Company from Berkeley to pour some suds complementing seafood fare in a “boat to table” dinner.

Having effectively just launched his company, Pacini said he deeply appreciates the support offered by his more accomplished industry colleagues.

“There is enough business around for everyone and the attitude of ‘if we all stick together then we will be fine’ works well,” he said.

Fieldwork Brewing Company owner Barry Braden opened his company during beer week three years ago and worked quickly to establish a reputation as one of the Bay Area’s premier ale dispensaries.

In short order, the company has expanded beyond its original East Bay headquarters to Sacramento and Napa, while further plans are in place to open more locations in Monterey and San Mateo, at the Bay Meadows development this May or June.

Having spent a few years previously in San Diego, another of the nation’s most vibrant beer scenes, Braden said he believes the community locally is a league ahead of other regions.

“I believe beer week is every week of the year. It’s unbelievable,” he said. “The craft beer culture in the Bay Area is as good as anything in the country.”

Following the event in Half Moon Bay, Braden’s brewery migrated to San Carlos the next day to offer 16 of its own beers at Ale Arsenal, at 871 Laurel St., which he credited as one of the primary Peninsula establishments helping build the reputation of Fieldwork Brewing Company in San Mateo County. The brewery will also host a similar event Sunday, Feb. 19, at The Refuge restaurant in Menlo Park.

Considering the traveling and coordination required to throw events elsewhere, plus hosting beer bashes at the company’s variety of Northern California outlets, Braden said the week can be exhausting.

“I think by next Tuesday when everyone has a bit of a hangover, we’ll be able to take a rest. But until then, we will persevere,” he said.

Joe Marquez, owner of The StandBy club in South San Francisco, echoed a similar sentiment.

“There is a lot going on, we just try to make sure everyone is taken care of and not waiting too long,” he said. “Some people have to be patient, and for the most part everyone is. But come Monday, we are ready for some rest.”

Marquez does not brew, but his bar at 935 Airport Blvd. has established a reputation as a beer drinker’s paradise by offering a wide variety of quality selections, as well as some limited releases potentially difficult to track down elsewhere.

He has also partnered with other South City beer makers such as Armstrong Brewing Company and 47 Hills Brewing Company to offer their crafts, plus established a shuttle line from his lounge to the other locales.

A focus on supporting local business will be a key component of an event held Friday, Feb. 17, at The StandBy when Marquez solely serves beers from Bay Area breweries.

Such an occasion can go far to fortifying the brotherhood of breweries established within a 40-mile radius, he said.

“It allows all these smaller brewers to kind of shine and bring some notoriety and awareness to them,” he said. “Bars like us learn as well and see the trends out there. It’s a great way for everyone to network and get your product out there. And the consumer benefits the most.”

Entering his fifth year of hosting beer week events, Marquez said he is refreshed to see an enthusiasm for craft ales takes hold along the Peninsula.

“It’s nice to see these other places taking on beer week and making it such a big deal in San Mateo County,” he said.

Braden agreed, while noting the series of celebrations can be taxing which requires a hearty thirst to endure.

“This is a great week. It is a lot of fun, but it is rigorous,” he said. “So you got to stay hydrated.”

austin@smdailyjournal.com

(650) 344-5200 ext. 105

A list of the San Francisco Beer Week events occurring locally throughout the weekend:

Friday, Feb. 17:

• “Sour Power”: a showcase of sour beers. The Refuge, 1143 Crane St., Menlo Park.

• Barrel-aged beers. Ale Arsenal, 971 Laurel St., San Carlos.

• “Bay Luv”: showcasing local beers and brewers. The Standby, 935 Airport Blvd., South San Francisco.

• Beers, blues and barbecue. Armstrong Brewing Company, 415 Grand Ave., South San Francisco.

• Stone Brewing tap takeover. Armadillo Willy’s BBQ, 2260 Bridgepointe Parkway, Foster City.

• Barrel House Brewing Company tap takeover. The Refuge, 963 Laurel St., San Carlos.

• Beeriodic bingo. Whole Foods taproom, 1250 Jefferson Ave., Redwood City.

• Avery Brewing tap takeover. Harry’s Hofbrau, 1909 El Camino Real, Redwood City.

• Cellermaker tap takeover. Gourmet Haus Staudt, 2615 Broadway, Redwood City.

Saturday, Feb. 18:

• “Sour Saturday” featuring the release of Sim Pickin. Alpha Acid Brewing Company, 121 Industrial Road, #11, Belmont.

• “Sour ending.” The Refuge, San Carlos, 963 Laurel St., San Carlos.

• The Lost Abbey sours and strong ales. Grape and Grain, 227 S. San Mateo Drive, San Mateo.

• Firestone Walker tap takeover. Ale Arsenal, San Carlos, 971 Laurel St.

• Noelani’s Hawaiian food and beer pairing. Armstrong Brewing Company, 415 Grand Ave., South San Francisco.

• Beeriodic bingo. Whole Foods taproom, 1250 Jefferson Ave., Redwood City.

• Sour Saturday with Friends. Gourmet Haus Staudt, 2615 Broadway, Redwood City.

• “Hazed and confused: Blind hazy IPA tasting.” Harry’s Hofbrau, 1909 El Camino Real, Redwood City.

Sunday, Feb. 19:

• Mystery event. Armstrong Brewing Company, 415 Grand Ave., South San Francisco.

• Beeriodic bingo. Whole Foods taproom, 1250 Jefferson Ave., Redwood City.

• Serpents and Stouts. Ale Arsenal, San Carlos, 971 Laurel St., San Carlos.

• Fieldwork Brewing Company tap takeover. The Refuge, 1143 Crane St., Menlo Park.

 

 

Tags: company, brewing, carlos, francisco, redwood, brewers,


Other stories from today:

Beer brotherhood brews across the Bay: Craft community comes together for San Francisco Beer Week
Man pleads no contest to credit card fraud
Tanforan internment memorial moving ahead: Fundraiser hosted to pay for art project honoring those held in San Bruno
 

 
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