Brews on the Bay Festival

San Francisco has been home to breweries since before the Gold Rush and that tradition is very much alive and thriving today. Few events exemplify Bay Area residents’ thirst and passion for fermented grain-based beverages better than the annual Brews on the Bay Festival. Each October, hundreds of beer lovers descend on the historic S.S. Jeremiah O’Brien, berthed at Pier 45, for an evening of drinking, feasting and generally having a great time enjoying some of the best beers brewed in and around the area. Tickets are not inexpensive at $50 and above, but the sting of a credit card charge is quickly assuaged by the first sip of a well-balanced stout, pilsner, ale or one of the many other types of brews available for sampling.

The spectacular views of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Bay, Alcatraz Island and the San Francisco skyline from the decks of the Jeremiah O’Brien also help to remove any reservations festival guests might be feeling about the price of admission, as does the live music provided by Bay Area musicians. Not only can attendees drink to their hearts’ content, they can also speak directly with the people who create these beers. In many cases, brewers are pulling the taps at each booth and are on hand to answer questions about their beers are made.

Sooner or later, the most ardent beer aficionado needs a bite to eat to cleanse the palate and fortify the constitution so that they may drink more. Food is not included in the price of admission but this event draws vendors from throughout the Bay Area, which feature a wide range of different types of cuisines for a modest price. Before you go, here are some things to consider:

  • Tickets are not available at the event. They must be purchased online and in advance.
  • The event usually runs from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on a Saturday.
  • All attendees must be of legal drinking age and all IDs are checked at the gate.
  • While the event is held on the decks of a vessel, it remains docked at Pier 45 for the duration of the event.
  • Designated driver tickets are not available. Attendees are encouraged to drink responsibly and take a cab, limo or public transportation to and from the event.

If this sounds like your idea of a good time and you want to sample the brews and terroir of the Bay Area, then point your browser at, look for the tickets link and get ready to have a great time. Cheers!