Growing up in California, I only knew the geography of the New York City boroughs because of what I learned from Hip-Hop music. I knew about Queens because of Nas, Brooklyn because of Jay-Z, the Bronx because of Big Pun, Staten Island because of Wu-Tang and Manhattan/Harlem because of Camron and Mase.
What folks may not know about where I’m from is that it’s akin to a place like NYC — the Bay Area doesn’t just consist of San Francisco and Oakland, and being that so much attention is on the area this week becasue of SF Beer Week, confusion is likely to abound. However, if you think about craft beer geography in the kind of way I thought about 90s East Coast Hip-Hop, then you might be able to visualize what beer lovers are about to embark on for the next week in Northern Cali.
Let me break it down.
The most recognized city in the Bay Area and home to world renown breweries like Cellarmaker, Anchor, 21st Amendment and Barebottle, San Francisco without a doubt is the reason why SF Beer Week is even a thing.
Oakland, Berkeley and Richmond arc together to create one hell of a thriving beer scene with the likes of Fieldwork, Rare Barrel, Temescal and Drakes. This part of the Bay Area deserves acolades all on its own, which is one of the reasons I’m so proud to call it my home.
Petaluma and Santa Rosa in the North Bay are home to several foundational layers of the California and American craft beer revolutions, being the birthplace of both Russian River and Lagunitas.
Being the station of San Jose and Palo Alto, this tech booming area lacks the brewery name recognition compared to other cities in the Bay Area, but similar to how New York adopted Long Island and Yonkers rappers Rakim and Dmx, the South Bay has added to our craft beer family with Central Coast breweries like Sante Adarius and Alvarado Street.
Being that I just laid it out for you the way I did, we’re going to move forward with calling SF Beer Week “Bay Area Beer Week.” If you feel at any point that you shouldn’t concede, I’ll just ask you to remember that there are around 800 craft beer events happening throughout the Bay Area during this glorious time.
There are so many events, bottle and can releases happening that it will be hard to keep up. If you’re like me, you will have to decide between them, as sad as that may be. Bay Area Beer Week events are happening everywhere from San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose to smaller cities with equally amazing plans, such as Alameda, Berkeley and Santa Rosa.
This is your official Allthingsbeer510 guide to an extremely dope week for lovers of all things beer. Enjoy the dankness and drink plenty of water.