August 30, 2011

August 30, 2011
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Photo by Mathew Sumner.

The brown is back for the fifth annual ~WHISKYFEST SAN FRANCISCO~ on Friday October 7th. Join Malt Advocate magazine in the Grand Ballroom of the San Francisco Marriott Marquis for the country’s largest whisky celebration, featuring 250 of the finest, rarest, and most expensive single malt and blended whiskies from around the world. In addition, feed your brain at any of 11 educational seminars (with tastings), and your stomach at the buffet.

Those 250 whiskies include Scotch, Irish, Bourbon, American, Japanese, Canadian, and others, all available to sample, plus high-end Cognac, rum, beer, and more. Pouring booths will emphasize education with distillery reps and distinguished members of the whisky community explaining how the whiskies are made.

Regular admission is $135 (sorry, VIP tix are sold out), and includes the gourmet buffet with coffee, tea, water, and soda; a commemorative Glencairn crystal nosing glass; entrance to all seminars on a first-come, first-served basis; and all the Grand Ballroom samples. 6:30pm-9:30pm. 55 4th St. at Mission, San Francisco.

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You can never have too much of a good thing, right? Like beer. That’s why you should make plans to attend the San Francisco Brewers Guild’s eighth annual ~BREWS ON THE BAY~ festival on Saturday September 10th, noon-5pm, on the deck of the S.S. Jeremiah O’Brien at Pier 45. Celebrate the creativity and talent behind San Francisco’s craft breweries, and taste from over 50 great beers while discussing each beer’s merits with the brewmasters and cicerones on hand.

With unlimited eight-ounce pours, choose wisely from amongst the 50+ beers, all of which can call SF their hometown. They’ll range from traditional, classic beer styles to cask-conditioned, barrel-aged, sour, and imperial craft styles, and will include some special and limited releases from the eight participating breweries—21st Amendment, Anchor Brewing Co., Beach Chalet, Gordon Biersch, Magnolia, Social Kitchen & Brewery, Speakeasy Ales & Lagers, and ThirstyBear Brewing Co.

The S.S. Jeremiah O’Brien is a historical landmark from the World War II-era Merchant Marine, and the event is a fundraiser for the National Liberty Ship Memorial. Admission includes access to the ship, its crew, and its gorg views of the bay, plus live music. Several Off the Grid food trucks will be onsite to sell innovative, sustainable food. Tickets are $45, and are available only by advance online sales.

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Beerunch 2010 photo from Beer & Nosh.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, and that’s just what the folks at MateVeza and ~PUBLIC HOUSE~ are doing with Beerunch, the beer ‘n’ brunch event they held in February that was such a success that they’re doing it again on Sunday September 18th. You can’t really go wrong with “morning-friendly” beers paired with brunchy fare now, can you?

Featured beers may include MateVeza and Mill Valley Beerworks’ Morpho, Dogfish Head and Sierra Nevada’s Life & Limb, Iron Springs’ Fairfax Coffee Porter, The Bruery’s Autumn Maple, Stillwater Artisanal Ales’ Stateside Saison, Ballast Point’s Sculpin IPA, and MateVeza’s Black Lager. Each beer will be paired with a brunch item from Public House. The menu from the last Beerunch should give an idea of what to expect; it included pairings like MateVeza Organic Yerba Mate IPA with carnitas taco with tomatillo salsa, Moonlight Brewing Co.’s Toast (Slightly Burnt) with savory mushroom and gruyère cheese strata, and Deschutes Brewery’s The Abyss with croissant and bourbon bread pudding.

Presale tickets are $39 at Beerunch.com. 11:30am-2:30pm.

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Randall Grahm; photo from his website.

Be sure to put this wine event on your radar: legendary winemaker Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon Vineyard is coming to the Visiting Vintners program at ~PRESS CLUB~ on Thursday September 8th. Grahm will be leading tastings of Bonny Doon wines, including the limited production Sparkling Riesling as part of the Bonny Doon flight section. Other Bonny Doon wines include the Vin Gris de Cigare, 2010; “Le Pousseur” Syrah, 2008; Ca’del Solo Nebbiolo, 2007; and Riesling To Live, Méthode Traditionelle Sparkling, 2006.

On Thursday evenings from 6pm-9pm, the Visiting Vintners program offers tastings of winery-exclusive flights with luminary winemakers and winery reps. The wines served during these evenings are normally only available to taste and buy at the winery locations, or to wine club members. What’s more, guests can enjoy special flights on the food and wine menu all month, and deals on rare by-the-glass offerings from the featured wineries. 20 Yerba Buena Ln., between Market and Mission, 415-744-5000.