Friday, November 5, 2010

Beering in San Francisco: Haight Ave

Sitting here in the hotel after a great day of beering yesterday, all without taking any notes. Started with lunch where MY OWN DAMN HOTEL has like 10 craft beers on tap that I've never had before. I would say the most interesting one was the Napa Smith Red Ale. One of the more flavorful and fuller Red Ales. It went very well with the Burger and Fries.

So after I chat it up with some folks back in Houston, I get on the cable car like bus thing to make my way over to Magnolia. The guys there were very cool in the Bohemian looking area of San Francisco (Haight Ave). The area reminded me a lot of Frenchman Street in New Orleans, with the shit-ton of flyers, colors, and white guys with dred locks.

I saw that Magnolia Brewpub had an extensive tap list of their brewed beers. I started out with probably the best Kolsch I've had in my life, the Kalifornia Kolsch. Very bready and full bodied, extremely drinkable with a great hop note. This beer had it all. 4 stars. I'm not sure how much this is "to style" of the kolsch's, but people that care about those things outside of competitions are tools. As long as they don't change the name to something like Kalifornia Krazy Kolsch I'm all for it.

I picked up some English style cask conditioned beer next. The dude had to indeed hand pump that sonofabitch, and it was very "authentic". Maybe the heat was getting to me, but this smooth, low carbo, 65 deg beer was not doing it for me. No doubt the Brutal Bitter could be pretty brutal if enjoyed in copious amounts. I had an excellent belgian blonde as well that they brewed with 21st Amendment. The last beer was the Proving Ground IPA. I don't care who your daddy is, you have to try the IPA in the Bay Area every chance you get. Totally knocked the bitter off my palate. Just excellent floral hops all around and very drinkable on a warm day. Just nailed it man. High 4 stars.

So I had a choice to make, my shins feel like they are made of peanut brittle, and the man says I can go west and hit Alembic, which the Magnolia owner also owns for some belgian beering, or I can go east and hit the Toronado and watch Georgia Tech play and try everything else on the planet. So I belly up to the bar at Toronado and man this place is packed. The bartender is pretty cool and looks like the bartender from Fangtasia in the first season of True Blood. I can't help but note that as much open space there was at Magnolia, this place is very small. How they get that much beer in this place is a testament in and of itself. Start talking beer with another patron, and I order a few beers which I'm having trouble remembering at this point. Just plenty of IPA's like Blind Pig and whatnot. I didn't really try to write anything down as I was focused on the game and acting a fool.

I miss the durn bus and have to drag ass all the way back to my hotel to relax the rest of the night. Great night overall and hopefully I'll make it to Oakland and Berkeley today for more reports. Hopefully I'll write something down this time. Holla.

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