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We Love the Nightlife: Events for the Weekend and Beyond

Celebrate national Chardonnay day; outdoor movies and beer; free sherry at an Oakland restaurant; cocktails in a garden; and more nightlife happenings.

Happy almost weekend! The weather is warm, Memorial Day is right around the corner, and plenty of bars are ready to welcome you with open arms. Sadly, this will be my last nightlife column for you, as I’m gearing up to jet across the country for school. Hopefully, someone will arrive shortly to carry the boozy torch in my absence. If you’d care to say goodbye, I’ll be finishing my 100th beer at Pete’s Brass Rail next Friday, May 31. It’s been a pleasure telling you the best places to let loose, throw one back, and learn a little bit more about the excellent nightlife we have in the East Bay. 


National Chardonnay Day

Quick, crack open a bottle of oaky goodness. Today, May 23, is National Chardonnay Day. Wente is hosting a toast as we speak, but there are plenty of other places to indulge. Check out our Livermore Wine Guide for some suggestions.



American Oak Reopens

After a fire destroyed a large chunk of its rare whiskies in December, Alameda’s American Oak reopened on May 16, East Bay Express reports. In addition to a presumably new interior, the restaurant and whiskey bar has a new chef.


Trumer Pils Movie Night

Fancy your action movies with a side of beer and biking? This Friday, Berkeley’s Trumer Pils is screening the adrenaline-pumping Premium Rush for its bike-in movie night. According to Berkeleyside, expect food trucks, popcorn, soda, and Trumer (duh), with proceeds benefiting East Bay Bicycle Coalition. Visitors can also tour the brewery and enter to win a beach cruiser. Friday, May 24, 7:30 p.m., 1404 Fourth St., Berkeley, event website.


First Annual Nor Cal Session Fest

Sure, high A.B.V. brews have their place, but isn’t it time we celebrated the easy sippers? Drake thinks so, and it hosting the first annual Nor Cal Session Fest, fittingly during Session Beer Month. Stop by the San Leandro brewery for tastings from more than 20 breweries (including the East Bay’s Ale Industries and Triple Rock), food from Fiveten Burger and Fists of Flour, and live music courtesy of Clangin’ and Bangin’. $30 presale, $35 at the door, $5 designated drive, Saturday, May 25, 12–4 p.m., (510) 568-2739, event website.


World Sherry Day Celebration

If you’re a sherry fan, this is your week. In honor of World Sherry Day on May 26, Oakland’s Duende has been highlighting sherry cocktails and pairings all week, with free tastings in the Bodega. Every day has featured a different selection, and there’s still time to stop by for a complimentary sample before the big bash on Sunday. Once Sunday rolls around, look for a special tasting of 10 sherries for $10, from 2:30–5:30 p.m. Also, all sherry bottles will be served at the restaurant for 50-percent off. And that’s not all. The night will wrap up with “Noche con Duende Flamenco” session, and every $15 ticket for the show comes with a free sherry taste. Today—Sunday, May 26, 468 19th St., Oakland, (510) 893-0174, event website.


Jamaican Jerk Cook Off

Hopefully, you saved some energy for Monday, when Linden Street will host a Jamaican Jerk Cook-Off at its Oakland brewery. Stop by for a Jamaican jerk showdown between local restaurants including Rumbo Al Sur, Grand Tavern, and more. The family-friendly event will also include a steel pan band, soccer jersey raffle, kids’ zone, and DJs. $25, kids under 12 free, Monday, May 27, 1–5 p.m., 95 Linden St., Oakland, event website.


Pink Drank Release Party

Why am I leaving on June 1? More importantly, why is that the day that Ale Industries is releasing Pink Drank, a delicious sounding sour blonde ale aged in oak barrels and finished with Cascadian raspberries? Can you guys ship it to New York? If you’ve got the good luck of being in town, stop by Ale Industries for the June 1 release party and First Saturday Artist Market, with its typically terrific selection of brews, local artists and artisans, delectable food, and live music. I’ll be there in spirit. Saturday, June 1, 975-E Detroit Ave., Concord, (925) 470-5280, event website.


Oakland A’s Beer Fest

I doubt there’s anything more American than beer and baseball, and you’ll have the opportunity to combine both on June 15, when the Athletics host the annual Beer Fest. From 2:15–4:15 p.m., head to the Eastside Club for tastings from more than 30 microbreweries and live music from Pop Rocks. Entry to the fest is free with a game ticket, and you can score a commemorative mug and two tastings for $10. Additional tastings will be available for purchase. Saturday, June 1, 7000 Coliseum Way, Oakland, event website.


Cocktails in the Garden

Well, this certainly sounds cool. Rohini Moradi of Elevated Spirits will teach an herbal mixology lesson at Heather Farm, using flowers and herbs grown at the Gardens. Over the course of the two-hour class, Moradi will teach you how to craft five original cocktails, and you’ll also learn the benefits of adding herbs to cocktails and how to match them to the proper spirit. The cost for the class includes spirits, mixes, appetizers, shaker set, and recipes. $85 for members, $95 for non-members, Thursday, June 20, 6–8 p.m., The Gardens at Heather Farm Park, 1540 Marchbanks Dr., Walnut Creek, (925) 947-1678, gardenshf.org.

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