An inside look at the plethora of Bay Area breweries at the 'Opening Celebration' of S.F. Beer Week 2012

2012′s beer week, now underway, will have over 300 events spread around the Bay Area. A monumental growth from four years ago when beer week only had a few dozen events. Since last year, “basically everything has doubled in size,” S.F. Beer Week Communications Director, Brian Stechschulte tells us.

Over 68 Bay Area-based breweries flexed their brewing muscles at the “Opening Celebration” of San Francisco Beer Week last weekend, from old school outfits like Anchor Brewing to newcomer, Almanac Beer Company. The festival, presented by the San Francisco Brewers Guild was held at the Concourse Exhibition Center and drew over 2,600 beer lovers to officially welcome ten days of beer celebration.

Rounding it up

Breweries were placed around the exhibition hall by regions, sorted by: East Bay and beyond, North Bay and beyond, South Bay and Beyond, S.F. Brewers Guild, and San Francisco. Limited edition beers were served, such as Santa Rosa-based Russian River Brewing Co.’s Pliny the Younger – which boasted one of the longest lines at the festival.

Local favorite Moonlight Brewing served over four different beers, and San Leandro’s Drakes Brewing came fully loaded with six hop-centric brews. Sierra Nevada Brewing, hailing from Chico, CA showed off their newly canned Torpedo Extra IPA.

Attendees were treated to foods from local restaurants (Rosamunde Sausage Grill, 4505 Meats, Wise Sons Delicatessen, TomKat, Pica Pica Maize Kitchen, Alicia’s Tamales Los Mayas, Peter’s Kettle Corn) and live music from Noise Pop and friends. Even cider from Two Rivers made an appearance.

The interviews

Watch host Jace Milstead at the “Opening Celebration” with interviews from S.F. Beer Week Communications Director Brian Stechschulte, Anchor Brewing Co.’s Mark Carpenter (who has been brewing at Anchor for over 40 years), Drake’s Brewing Company’s head brewer Brian Thorson, and Magnolia Pub and Brewery’s head brewer Ben Spencer.