San Francisco Beer Week burst off the blocks at Friday’sOpening Gala like an Olympic speed skater on the short track. SF Beer Week 2014 was christened by hundreds of beers from scores of breweries from all over the Bay Area and a little beyond. Of course, on top of everyone’s “to taste” list was Russian River’s seasonal Pliny the Younger, which evaporated shortly after the doors opened at the Concourse Exhibition Center in San Francisco. Once again, The Younger did not disappoint, and even seemed a little hoppier than last year’s version.
Disappointed beer lovers who missed out on The Younger wasted no time crying over kegged beer, however, and drowned their bitter sorrows in Drakes Hopocalypse Black Label, Heretic Evil 3, Faction’s Hop Soup and more.
No human could have tried all of the beers on offer, but personal favorites, along with the aforementioned triple IPAs, included all of the sours from Almanac and Rare Barrel,Marin Brewing’s Three Flowers IPA, Auburn Alehouse’s Imperial IPA PU 240, Russian River Beatification, the barrel-aged Cellarman collaboration between Triple Rock and Sante Adairius, and the rich and malty Baltic Porter from Berryessa Brewing.
Although the event gets bigger and better every year, it remains comfortable and well organized, thanks to the intelligent planning by the SF Brewers Guild and Executive Director Brian Stechschulte.