In any other year this would be a time when we in the San Francisco Bay Area would be prepping for one of the World’s largest series of beer-themed events: San Francisco Beer Week. Normally, SF Beer Week involves, not just the huge Opening Gala, but hundreds of beer events in all nine counties surrounding the bay, and even further afield, such as in Sacramento, Santa Cruz, and Monterey counties.

This year, thanks to the pandemic, all the regional beer weeks are being condensed into one event series, CA Craft Beer Week. And, like so much else in these times, it is going remote.

There are going to be a number of online events in the planning. Interested participants are being encouraged to purchase a tasting kit consisting of “8 or 12 craft brews each, … and exclusive branded goodies not available anywhere else”. Also included are cheese pairing recommendations in consultation with Whole Foods Market.

While having to be mindful of costs and the market situation, Bay Area breweries have not been content to dispense with all the trappings of a normal Beer Week, and several have made sure to produce special beers for this time of year.

Russian River Brewing cancelled brewery releases of its famed Pliny the Younger, but offered if for sale online starting this morning. Unsurprisingly, it sold out inside of 5 minutes.

Heretic Brewing will also be issuing its triple IPA, Evil Three, in February. It offered online pre-orders through the end of January (but I’m told that it has sold out as of today).

Danville Brewing Co., released its TIPA, Tres Diablos, last week. It is available now for take-away sales in cans, and for on-premises (albeit outdoor) consumption.

Drake’s Brewing Co. will be releasing Hopocalypse Imperial IPA, with presale packs available for pick up at its San Leandro brewery on February 10th.

Epidemic Ales, in Concord, will be offering a 3-pack of special releases, including their Cataclysm Triple IPA, which was so well-received when it debuted last year.

Similarly, Shadow Puppet Brewing, in Livermore, will also be offering a special six-pack of their biggest, highest ABV beers.

Keep your eye on the California Craft Beer Week webpage for details on these and other upcoming events!