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Where to drink beer in February

Beer and cake pairings, dark beer festivals, San Francisco Beer Week and more events for your February calendar.

There are about a million and one reasons to drink beer this month: Valentine’s Day (love it or hate it), midwinter doldrums, your favorite team making it/not making it to the Super Bowl … but I probably don’t need to remind you of this. “Cut to the chase, Bernot,” you’re thinking, so, without further ado—

The view looking down from the second floor of HUB's new Vancouver brewpub | Courtesy of Hopworks Urban Brewery

The view looking down from the second floor of HUB’s new Vancouver brewpub | Courtesy of Hopworks Urban Brewery

All month: Hopworks Urban Brewery’s new Vancouver brewpub Hopworks opened its third taproom at the very end of 2016 in a 6,000 square foot brewery/restaurant in East Vancouver, Washington, at 17707 SE Mill Plain Boulevard. Swing by for exclusive beers brewed on the 8-barrel system, plus a full restaurant menu and views of Mt. Hood from the second floor windows. Get more info here.

All month: Silva Brewing Former Green Flash brewmaster Chuck Silva departed that company in fall 2015 to start his own brewery; Silva Brewing in Paso Robles, California, finally opened its doors in early December 2016. In the new 1,500 square foot space (which shares a building with bar The Pour House), Silva aims to produce about 20 styles of beer ranging from hop-forward American ales to Belgian-style farmhouse beers to his interpretations of German styles. The taproom is open Wednesday through Friday from 2 to 7 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. Find more info here.

All month: Fort George Stout Month Astoria, Oregon’s Fort George throws down its annual Stout Month celebration beginning Feb. 1, releasing 19 stouts over the course of the month. New stouts from Fort George and guest breweries tap each week; order a full glass or try a blind tasting board. There’s also a Traveling Festival of Stouts series of events, bringing the dark goodness to Pacific Northwesterners who can’t make it to the taproom, and of course, the highly anticipated Festival of Dark Arts on Feb. 18 at the brewery (alas, already sold out). But you can read more about Stout Month’s tappings and activities here.

Fort George's Matryoshka with Cocoa Nibs, limited bottles of which will be available for purchase Feb. 1 | Courtesy of Fort George

Fort George’s Matryoshka with Cocoa Nibs, limited bottles of which will be available for purchase Feb. 1 | Courtesy of Fort George

Feb. 9: Turning Beer into Music: Original Gravity Presents Andy Vores Two months ago, composer Andy Vores sat down with Tyler Fitzpatrick of Lamplighter Brewing in Cambridge, Massachusetts to taste some of the brewery’s beers before they opened. Inspired, Andy composed his latest work, “Lamplighter Reveal.” On Thursday, Feb. 9, a string quartet will debut that work along with the premiere of Vores’ String Quarter #4, alongside an exclusive Lamplighter wild ale brewed for the event. Tickets are $10-$15 and are available online.

Feb. 9-18: Arizona Beer Week The statewide beer week, organized by the Arizona Craft Brewers Guild, packs in plenty of quirky events, from THAT Brewery’s Campfire Beer-Pairing Dinner to OHSO Brewery’s Donut Daze celebration to the Fine Valentine Relay race at Gentle Ben’s to a Valentine’s Beer and Chocolate Pairing at Lumberyard Brewing Company. It all kicks off with the Arizona Strong Beer Fest on Sat., Feb. 11; general admission tickets are still available for $45. See the full schedule of beer week events here.

The 333-square-foot taproom at Silva Brewing

The 333-square-foot taproom at Silva Brewing | Courtesy of Silva Brewing

Feb. 10-19: San Francisco Beer Week All beer weeks should be 10 days long, if you ask us. The Bay Area needed all that time to squeeze in 100-plus area breweries’ worth of events, tappings and beer dinners; check out the full schedule here. Festivities kick off with the Saturday, Feb. 10 Opening Gala at Pier 48, where 125-plus Northern California breweries, especially those from Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano and Sonoma counties, will gather alongside food vendors for a toast to the week’s opening. The Gala will also mark the release of New Frontier, the official SF Brewers Guild collaboration beer of Beer Week 2017. It’s a “new-world interpretation” of a kölsch, brewed with Japanese satsuma citrus and Douglas Fir tips; it will be the first SF Beer Week collaboration beer to be canned and distributed. Tickets for the Gala are $80; $120 for VIP; and can be purchased here.

Feb. 11: Right Brain’s Third Annual Collaboration Day This annual, no-cover-fee shindig celebrates the spirit of teamwork in the beer industry and will feature unique draft beers that Right Brain brewed with other Michigan companies such as Storm Cloud Brewery, Tapistry Brewery, Starving Artist Brewery, Lake Charlevoix Brewery, BeeWell Meadery and Cultured Ferments. (Right Brain will also release barrel-aged brews using barrels from Two-Lads Winery and Grand Traverse Distillery.) In addition to Collaboration Day, Right Brain’s taproom will host the Grand Traverse Art Bomb’s second artist reception also on Saturday, Feb. 11, featuring live music and performance art throughout the day. Both events are family-friendly and there is no cover charge to attend; doors open at 11 a.m. See more info here.

Feb. 11: Modern Times Inaugural Carnival of Caffeination Brewers are getting really next-level about coffee beers, ICYMI. Don’t know what I mean? Taste the rainbow at San Diego-based Modern Times’ first-ever coffee beer festival, taking place Saturday, Feb. 11 at the brewery’s new warehouse/event space, The Fortress of Raditude. Expect dark, barrel-aged and coffee-centric beer from 30+ breweries, as well as actual coffee from at least eight roasters; food trucks will help you lay down a base so you don’t get the jitters. Check out the lineup and purchase $45 general admission tickets (includes unlimited samples) here.

MadTree 2.0

MadTree 2.0 | Courtesy of MadTree Brewing

Feb. 11: MadTree 2.0 Grand Opening Cincinnati brewery MadTree dropped a cool $18 million on its new complex and will celebrate the opening of the new location at 3301 Madison Road in conjunction with their annual Winter Bonanza/4th anniversary party on Saturday, Feb. 11. It should be quite a step up from MadTree’s cozy original taproom space; though if you want to say goodbye to that one, swing by the Last Call party on Feb. 4. At the Winter Bonanza, peep the new space while enjoying MadTree beers, guest pours, live music and food vendors beginning at 11 a.m. Purchase beer tickets in advance or day of. Find more info here.

Feb. 12: Moody Tongue Cake and Beer Pairing Class Oh, it’s the skill you didn’t even know you needed  (but now desperately do): beer-and-cake pairing. Learn the art on Sunday, Feb. 12 at Chicago’s Moody Tongue brewery, a taproom that just happens to serve both, well, beer and cake. Brewmaster Jared Rouben and Pastry Chef Shannon Morrison, both Culinary Institute of America grads, lead guests through pairing a selection of beers with dessert, highlighting the various flavors and aromatics at play. Tickets are $50 and are available here.

Feb. 12: Pike ChocoFest Chocolate plus beer plus oysters … you do the math. This annual pre-Valentine’s Day event takes place on Sunday, Feb. 12 at the brewery and includes Pike and guest beers, live music, wine, spirits and snacks from cheese makers, bakers and chocolatiers. Tickets are $60 and include unlimited food samples, 10 drink tickets and a commemorative glass; proceeds benefit Puget Soundkeeper, which endeavors to keep Puget Sound waters clean. Get more info and purchase tickets here.

Drake's Dealership

Drake’s Dealership | Photo by Megan Bailey

Feb. 14: Brew Gentlemen Black Tie Formal Three cheers for unsucky Valentine’s Day events! Braddock, Pennsylvania’s Brew Gentlemen brewery hosts a Black Tie Formal on Tuesday, Feb. 14; an $80 ticket gets you admission, beer, food, music, classy folks to mingle with, etc. Purchase your ticket at the taproom, then show up in your best. Get more details here.

Feb. 18: World of Beer 10th Anniversary Parties You likely have a World of Beer location somewhat near you; the beer bar chain has 75 outposts around the world. World of Beer turns 10 years old on Saturday, Feb. 18, and all locations will celebrate with special tappings of rare and vintage beers (offerings vary by location). Find your nearest location online and see what they’re pouring.

Feb. 18: East Bay Brewers Festival If you’re looking to get regionally specific during SF Beer Week, check out Saturday, Feb. 18’s East Bay Brewers Festival, where 25 area breweries will pour at least 50 beers (one from each brewery will be a totally new beer) at Drake’s Dealership in Oakland, California. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased online; proceeds benefit West Oakland’s City Slicker Farms.

Asheville Beer Expo | Courtesy of Asheville Beer Expo

Asheville Beer Expo | Courtesy of Asheville Beer Expo

Feb. 18: Asheville Beer Expo Home to some of the best breweries in the country, Asheville, North Carolina’s Brewers Alliance on Saturday, Feb. 18 hosts its second annual AVL Beer Expo at The Venue in downtown Asheville. Expect more than 40 western North Carolina breweries, each pouring a beer style that they feel best represents their brewery; admission to each session is capped at 365 people to keep the vibe intimate. Tickets are $30 and include a commemorative glass and five beer tokens that can be exchanged for 4-ounce samples. Additional tokens will be available for purchase. Get more info and purchase tickets here.

Feb. 18 and Feb. 25: Zwickelmania Good on you, Oregon Brewers Guild, for expanding the annual Zwickelmania celebration of fresh-to-death beer to two weekends. On Saturday, Feb. 18, the Portland metro area has its chance to celebrate, while the rest of Oregon’s festivities will take place the following Saturday, Feb. 25, in areas including Central Oregon, Eastern Oregon, Gorge/Mt. Hood/Columbia, Southern Oregon, the Coast and the Willamette Valley. In 2016, more than 42,500 people toured 120 participating breweries statewide; this year’s numbers should be even more robust. Check out a list of participating breweries and find more info here.

Feb. 19: Philly Love Beers Flannel Animal Now this is the kind of sartorial strutting we can get behind: On Feb. 19, Philly Loves Beer (formerly Philly Beer Week) will host its first official fundraiser, a flannel fashion show at Heritage featuring PLB members and supporters, judged by a panel of local female beer enthusiasts. The event is open to the public and all proceeds will benefit Philly Loves Beer. Get more info here.

Feb. 23-26: WinterWonderGrass Music and Beer Festival The star of this weekend festival might be Steamboat Springs, Colorado’s scenic backdrops, but bluegrass, roots and acoustic acts including Railroad Earth, Leftover Salmon, The Sam Bush Band, Elephant Revival aren’t too shabby, either. The weekend starts early on Thursday, February 23 with a free welcome party featuring the WinterWonderGrass All-Stars at the base of the Gondola, as well as a mountaintop dinner at Thunderhead Lodge. Throughout the weekend, WinterWonderGrass will host “pop-up” bluegrass jams at different locations on the mountain, surrounded by outdoor fire pits and plenty of beer and cider from breweries including Avery, Crazy Mountain, Crooked Stave, Odells, Upslope, Vail and many more. Check out the schedule and buy tickets (still available for many of the evening shows) here.

Feb. 25: Lompoc Black Out Beer Fest becomes an all-day event for Portland, Oregon’s Lompoc this year. It takes place Saturday, Feb. 25 at Sidebar and in the heated & tented parking lot in front of the Fifth Quadrant restaurant. Expect 25 rotating dark beers including porters, stouts, coffee beers and black IPAs from Lompoc and more than 20 guest breweries from around the Northwest. Admission is free; tasting packages are required to taste the beers and cost $20, which includes a souvenir 15.5 oz glass mug and eight beer tickets. Additional beer tickets are available for $1 apiece.  A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Community Transitional School. Find more info here.



Kate Bernot is DRAFT’s beer editor. Reach her at kate.bernot[at]draftmag.com.

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