Beer in San Francisco

So, recently, I traveled to the cloudy city on the coast that once played host to the Tanners.

As this was a work trip I didn’t get out to explore as much as I would have liked, but I did get in some good stops. Much thanks to the community and various other people I affronted at bars asking about places to go for the recommendations. They were all great.

My job put me up in the Argonaut hotel on the pier. It was like the Nautica display at Dillard’s but with easy to find bathrooms. Luckily, it was neighbors with Jack’s Cannery Bar, a gimmicky multi-tap you might expect to find in a mall or an airport. What Jack’s lacked in credibility it made up for in beer selection. Boasting 110 taps to taste from, there were more than I expected of quality beers. Being in SF, they had a solid row of Anchor Brewing Co taps including the anniversary Humming Ale. I hit this place up my first night and the site of all those Anchor taps was pretty nice. They also had some Alaskan Brewing on and Moylan’s that I’d never tried before.

On my second night in the city I traversed way beyond the neighborhood of the Argonaut. Being on a per diem budget (WTF!?) I took the Muni to City Beer Store on Folsom per recommendation of Certified Cicerone, Rob at Ranger Creek, formerly of Flying Saucer. Unfortunately, they are closed on Mondays… It was pretty sad as I could see those glistening bottles of beautiful beers I could never get in Texas sitting there just on the other side of a pane of glass. I stopped being the creepy-staring-into-the-window guy and hoofed it down to Whole Foods where I dropped more money than I care to mention on bottles. I got a few Pliny’s, a Russian River DamnationAlaskan Smoked Porter, Alaskan Barelywine, Nest Espresso Stout, a Black Wheat from the Bruery, and a few other tasty souvenirs.

From there I walked the few block to 21st Amendment. I’ve had their Brew Free or Die Hard IPA before (via this jerk) but that’s it. In the brewpub it was super crowded (especially for a Monday night!) I had the sampler,

but the double IPA and the Hell or High Water Melon were the only ones that stood out. I had always thought of the water melon wheat as a gimmicky “girl beer” concoction, but I really really enjoyed it and regretted not bringing any back. The food was decent. I can’t even recall what I had, but don’t remember it being terrible. On the whole, I felt like 21st Amendment might have been a bit over hyped in my mind. But it was still nothing to scoff at.

I took a cab back to the hotel.

The pinnacle of the work portion of my trip was this next day, so to say the least I was ready to drink some beer this night. I met up with my cousin who lived in SF at the time and took the Muni to Haight-Ashbury. We stopped first at Magnolia Gastropub and Brewery for some beers and food. They had some great beers, and we landed there on $2 house brew night! Knowing I had other plans for the evening I only partook in one full pint of Sara’s Ruby Brown (an award winning session Bitter). They sold me half pints of the other beers I wanted to try. I especially enjoyed the Saison. The food here is better than average without the place coming off as too nice to throw back one too many on a school night. I liked it. Also, they serve their beers in those awesome wide-mouth imperial pints.

From here we took the short ride to the Tornado. I started with a Russian River Blind Pig IPA. Good, OK. Then I had the Supplication by Russian River. Yeah, better. Hmm. Then my cousin left me and I met a guy who grew up in Round Rock and he and his buddy suggested a slew of local stuff for me to try. The bartenders were very cool with me trying stuff and served me in half pints. I really can’t recall all I had that night, but I remember coming back to the Supplication a few times. I know the Stone Sublimely Self Righteous sat in front of me at some point. I think I had an Imperial Pilsner from either Boulevard or Whidmer (I don’t think they even make one) and then something special from Sierra Nevada, but can’t for the life of me recall. Maybe I posted about it on Twitter.

I also took some photos but can’t recall where they went either. I did get home with my debit card, phone, wallet and ID.

I took a cab back to the hotel wt a stop over at In-N-Out Burger.

SUCCESS!

I can’t finish this write up wt/out giving huge Internet hugs and kisses to JetBlue who have been the coolest and most accommodating airline  I’ve ever experienced in helping me get all my beer home in one piece. They gave me fragile stickers and everything. Not one broken bottle!

So hit up SF for beer, weather, good food, work trips, etc. There are a ton of great places to go that I missed, look them up, or if you have any favorites I left out, leave them in the comments.

Cheers!

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