Craft beer drinking is the new wine tastingminus all the glass swirling and hard to pronounce names from the equation, plus a bit more bearded fellows in the mix. With that said, if you have found yourself enamored by craft beer culture, Saturday’s Brews on the Bay is your event. 

Brews on the Bay, hosted by the San Francisco Brewers Guild (SFBG), will include over 70 locally crafted beers, direct from San Francisco breweries. San Francisco Brewers Guild, who also organizes the SF Beer Week Opening Gala, is taking this beer drinker’s’ delight out to the waterfront, aboard the S.S. Jeremiah O’Brien, at Pier 45, not far from Fisherman’s Wharf.

Tickets include unlimited pours of all types of beer varieties, including IPAs, farmhouse ales, session beers, barrel-aged sours, and imperial stouts. The brewers, many of whom will be there serving up barrel-tons of beer (literally) in person, will also be available to answer your questions.While Brews on the Bay is a sun-filled day of chillaxin’ for the rest of us, a ton of organization and ongoing behind-the-scenes work is put in by the San Francisco Brewers Guild.

While Brews on the Bay is a sun-filled day of chillaxin’ for the rest of us, a ton of organization and ongoing behind-the-scenes work is put in by the San Francisco Brewers Guild.

The San Francisco Brewers Guild members know how to work hard, play hard, and craft some damn good beers.

I was first put in touch with the San Francisco Brewers Guild by Kevin Inglin, co-owner of Ferment. Drink. Repeat, a husband-and-wife-owned independent brewery in Portola that’s one of the guild’s newest members.

Inglin was pouring his craft brews at Eat Drink SF and later introduced me to Joanne Marino, executive director of the San Francisco Brewers Guild. At the risk of being Captain Obvious over here, I’ll start by saying Joanne Marino knows beer events. Prior to moving to San Francisco two years ago, she was the co-founder and organizer of Austin Beer Week for six years, she also worked with the Texas Craft Brewers Guild for five years, and was an event producer for the annual Texas Craft Brewers Festival.

sfbgPhoto: An oldie but goodie. A little lighthearted brewer drama at Meet the Brewers. From left to right: Zambo – 21st Amendment, Greg Kitchen – Triple Voodoo, Kushal Hall – Speakeasy, and Aron Deorsey – Beach Chalet (via SFBG Facebook)

SFBG produces two to three large-scale festivals a year, including Brews on the Bay and the SF Beer Week Opening Gala in February. Aside from major events, they also host micro events like the “Meet the Brewers” nights which happen every third Wednesday of the month. These neighborhood-centric events rotate locations and include a free shuttle between San Francisco Brewers Guild member brewery and restaurant locations. The next event is September 20 and heads to the Portola/Bayview area.

SFBG hosts regular member-only meetings, including quarterly Guild Gatherings specifically for brewers and allied trade members. They donate services and product to local charities and are advocates for local brewers when it comes to any city government-related issues. They also partner with artisan producers in the food, beverage, hospitality and agricultural industries, ensuring that they are conscientious in their approach to craft beer.  

As Marino explains, “The beer industry is highly regulated, so an emphasis on education and compliance is always foremost on our minds. We want to make sure members are informed about what’s required of them but also that they have input in the decision—and rule-making when possible. Topics can vary widely, from permitting to inspections to public safety to community relations, as a few examples.”

While we leave the heavy lifting for SF Brewers Guild, Brews on the Bay will be a chance to meet local brewers, enjoy the fruits of their labor, have some brews, and bask in the views of the Bay.

16825760_10153997881846362_7050705769063936963_oPhoto via SFBG Facebook