San Francisco Beer Week is just around the corner (February 10 – 19) and with over 400 events, navigating San Francisco as a first timer, or even as a local, can be a bit overwhelming. We asked S.F.’s own 21st Amendment Brewery‘s (best known for their unorthodox can beers like the Hell or High Watermelon Wheat Beer) head brewer Zambo five questions to help you better understand what the beer week is all about. He’s also tipped us on some must-visit locations!
What are you looking forward to at San Francisco Beer Week?
It’s hard to come up with just one event for SFBW I am really looking forward to. I mainly just love to see the entire town and local area, as well as some not so local visitors, come together to celebrate craft beer. Of course, the Opening Celebration is when nearly all of the brewers are in one place and that is very exciting. The Bay Area is one of the great creative centers of the craft brewing industry and it is at large gatherings such as this that I get overwhelmed at how lucky I am to be a part of it.
Any tips for first timers?
Don’t over commit yourself and be safe. If you like to event hop, try to group them together. San Francisco has one of the best mass transit systems in the U.S., and you can’t argue with a $2 ride when your beer hopping. Eat, eat, eat! We’ll burn it off in the Spring.
Favorite restaurants in San Francisco?
I’m afraid to say or I might not get a seat again. Having been in California for 15 years now, I have grown very particular about the quality of my sushi. Tsunami in Mission Bay has an unbelievably fresh sashimi sampler that blows my mind every time. I realize this is not a beer destination, but you should know me better than that by now S.F.! Public House is just a block down King Street! With the Giants in slumber, there is lots of space to go with friends and explore the constantly changing craft beer offerings.
If someone is coming to San Francisco for the first time, where should they go?
I spend every weekend walking around a new part of town and every weekend is like a vacation. There is so much to see, it is hard to sum it up. One place I never went during my various visits to SF before moving here was Coit Tower. The views are astonishing and if you hike up you will appreciate it much more. There are also some cools murals inside with some controversial history. You can stop by Rogue Alehouse in North Beach on your hike down. There is a bus up to Coit that stops right in front of Rogue of you want to have a beer first. Also, don’t forget February is Strong Beer Month for 21st Amendment and Magnolia and this year will blow you away!
If you’re not drinking a delicious craft brew, what would you be drinking?
I drink just about everything, including copious amounts of water. I do like a nice oak-y red wine every now and then, with emphasis on nice. It is a simple love of diversity. Fortunately there is more diversity in beer than in any other beverage (sorry wine lovers), so I rarely stray. The quality and choices of “table beers” blows “table wines” off of the menu. Thanks to the success of the craft beer industry, we can now produce and cellar complex ales with more dimensions than any wine can provide … yeah, I said it! One of the most delicious beverages I have ever imbibed from a wine barrel was an Imperial Red Ale!
Zambo’s must visit S.F. events & destinations
21st Amendment Brewery and Restaurant
563 2nd St., San Francisco, California 94107
San Francisco Beer Week Opening Celebration
Friday, February 10 from 6 PM – 10 PM.
Concourse Exhibition Center
635 8th St., San Francisco, CA 94103
Tsunami Sushi Mission Bay
301 King St., San Francisco, CA 94158
24 Willie Mays Plaza, San Francisco, CA 94017
673 Union St., San Francisco, CA 94133
Magnolia Pub and Brewery
1398 Haight St., San Francisco, CA 94117
1 Telegraph Hill Blvd., San Francisco, CA