Jay Brooks Giving the SF Beer Week Toast at the opening celebration, February 10, 2012, Concourse Exhibition Center in San Francisco.
Jay Brooks Giving the SF Beer Week Toast at the opening celebration, February 10, 2012, Concourse Exhibition Center in San Francisco. (Brian Stechschulte)

For the sixth straight year, SF Beer Week is taking the Bay Area by storm with hundreds of beer-centric events spread out over 10 days. The festivities kick off Friday with an opening gala, followed by the 13th annual Double IPA Festival at The Bistro in Hayward. Choosing from among the 500 remaining events is challenging, to say the least. You can check out the full schedule at www.sfbeerweek.org and search by day, event type -- beer brunch? sour fest? tap takeover? -- and geographic area. But here are a few suggestions to get you started.

East Bay brew fest

One of my favorite events in the East Bay is Sour Sunday at the Triple Rock Alehouse & Brewery in Berkeley, held this Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. If my recent column on sour beers made you curious, this event offers a great chance to sample a variety of sours in one place -- or actually two places. The sour beer tasting is split between the brewpub on Shattuck Avenue and Triple Rock's nearby sister pub, Jupiter, down the street. Find details at triplerock.com under the "buzz" tab.

Triple Rock's former brewer, Rodger Davis, left last year to open his own Faction Brewing in Alameda (factionbrewing.com). Swing by anytime after noon on Feb. 11 for "Gypsies Join a Faction." Davis and brewers from Denmark's Mikkeller and Baltimore's Stillwater Artisanal Ales will brew a collaboration beer that day and you can taste beer from all three breweries. The collaboration beer will be tapped during the 2015 SF Beer Week.

And don't miss Celebrator Beer News' annual Anniversary Party, which closes SF Beer Week on Feb. 16. The festivities, which run from 4 to 8 p.m. at Berkeley's Trumer Brauerei, include appetizers and beer from more than 30 breweries.

South Bay hops events

Pucker up, folks. On Valentine's Day, San Jose's Original Gravity Public House (www.originalgravitypub.com) will hold its biannual Pucker Up! Sour Fest from noon to 11:30 p.m., with more than 15 different sour beers and a few surprises.

One of the more unusual -- but distinctly cool -- events, is the annual Wet Your Whistles Caltrain Pub Crawl on Feb. 15 at 1 p.m. Hosts Joey and Jen McDaniel will lead 40 guests on a pub tour that includes Palo Alto's Rose & Crown and other pubs near Caltrain. Love the idea but can't make the date? Check out the McDaniels' suggestions for other pubs in Caltrain terrain at wetyourwhistles.com.

Bid Beer Week farewell on Feb. 16 at San Jose's Harry's Hofbrau (www.harryshofbrau.com), where the IPA Day festivities include more than two dozen single, double and triple IPAs and the tapping of a keg of Russian River's Pliny the Younger. The doors open at 11 a.m.

More brews

San Francisco's newest brewery taproom is opening in the Dogpatch neighborhood during SF Beer Week, too. Triple Voodoo Brewery (www.triplevoodoobrewing.com) has been contract brewing for several years, but the brewers are hosting a blowout party to christen their new taproom starting at 4 p.m. Feb. 13.

Don't miss the 21st annual Toronado Barleywine Festival, which starts at 11:30 a.m. Feb. 15. With some 60 or barley wines to sample, the weekend-long event at San Francisco's Toronado Pub (www.toronado.com) is one of the best niche festivals in the country.

This last event is one near to my heart, because my son Porter is autistic: Sonoma County's third annual Black and White Beer Ball is a chance to dress up in your finest ball gown, tuxedo or whatever finery you prefer, and enjoy a fancier kind of beer festival that includes local brews, ciders, live music and roving circus acts. The party, which starts at 7 p.m. on Valentine's Day, benefits autism charities in the county. Find details at www.ales4autism.org.

Contact Jay R. Brooks at BrooksOnBeer@gmail.com. Read more at blogs.mercurynews.com/eat-drink-play.