Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. -Benjamin Franklin

For a quart of Ale is meal for a King. -William Shakespeare

He was a wise man who invented beer. -Plato

Wow! Who knew such great thinkers were obsessed with the tasty, ancient brew. History shows us the beverage has been around since 3500 B.C. Today the art of brewing beer is a global industry, one that remains on the up and up. Beer is still the alcoholic beverage of choice.

Maybe that's why San Francisco Beer Week is a big, 7-day plus deal with cool things happening all the way from North Bay down to Santa Cruz. Get ready! SFBW in Santa Cruz kicks off on Friday, February 7th! It's F-U-N, plain and simple. Get your hops on and go!

Feb.7 -12pm-5pm
Seven Bridges Cooperative 325A River St.

Feb.8 -Feb 14 events
515 Kitchen and Cocktails 515 Cedar Street

Feb.8- VIDA Restaurant 1222 Pacific

Feb.13- Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing 402 Ingalls Street, Suite 27

If you love all the experimental beers the world has to give, then you must stop by Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing, again. Their 3rd annual Twisted Tasting night is set for Feb.15 atop the Rittenhouse Building in downtown Santa Cruz. It is a decadent evening in honor of bold and experimental beers served alongside delicious dishes from the best Santa Cruz foodies in town.

This ain't your grandpa's beer. Oh, no. We're talking 40 beers on tap at Twisted Tasting night, all with some curious concoctions. How about sipping a milk-chai stout or a chipotle- and chocolate-infused stout?

These local breweries are all on board for Twisted Tasting night: Sante Adairius, Discretion Brewing, Boulder Creek Brewery, Uncommon Brewers and Highway 1 Brewing Company.

While you're out tasting the high life in Santa Cruz during San Francisco Beer Week, don't worry too much about your kidneys. That's right. Beer is actually good for those two organs. According to the 2011 American Dietetic Association Times, beer can actually reduce your risk of developing kidney stones. It's all in the hops, apparently. Science shows us that the hops help s-l-o-w down the release of calcium from the bones —as we all know, too much calcium can cause kidney stones. Plus beer happens to have a high water content, which helps flush out those kidneys.

Cheers, everyone!