HIGH BROW/LOW BROW: Beer has been in a rather unusual place for a few years. While different types of food or drink experience various trends and fashions, patterns and directions tend to be followed (cupcakes are in, then out; donuts and pies soon follow suit). But the libation most associated with bellying up to a bar after a long day has been of two minds for the better part of a decade. On the one hand, and perhaps the major hand, beer has gone posh. Of course, it went posh in certain quarters decades ago, but craft beer as a wider pursuit -- both in the making and in the tasting -- really took off over the past several years. Small batches and small tastings and small demos ruled. But also ruling? A bear-hug embrace of beer's humbler roots. Production of craft cans was and is in vogue again, labels de-fancied themselves, and flatter brews weren't necessarily dismissed at first sip. It says much about the beverage, that it can be of two minds at once, and capture the public's fancy in two distinct ways. Guess that's why SF Beer Week is such a wildly popular annual shindig.
WELL, IT COULD ALSO BE BECAUSE... the week+ San Francisco suds party offers such a cornucopia of beer-trying and beer-talking opportunities. What we're cocking a congenial, we'll-try-that eyebrow at? Beer Bingo in Walnut Creek, a slider-ale pairing at SliderBar (mmm), some Valentine's-brewski events, and various beer brunches. We're about to type the words "a lot" in all caps because there are A LOT of beer-oriented events during the week. If every craft-brewer in the state isn't in the City from Friday, Feb. 8 through Sunday, Feb. 17, well. We get that, because they have to be back at their breweries, making the good stuff. But bet a lot of people who make suds and appreciate 'em will be there, lifting a glass or two.