Thursday, August 20, 2009

Magnolia Pub & Brewery

We went to San Francisco for a quick two-day get away this week. After we arrived and got our bags, I was shocked when the Beer Rovette suggested a late lunch at Magnolia Pub & Brewery. Well, I said that Magnolia sounded like a good idea (but inside I was screaming hell freaking yes!). Magnolia was packed in the middle of the afternoon. It had four bitters on tap and six of its seven beers were less than 5% abv. It had a few cask beers that were the same as its draft beers, and a few guest beers. Here is a picture of its list of beers. (Its tap of Russian River's Damnation was dry.)

I had the Blue Bell Bitter and the Beer Rovette had the New Speedway Bitter. These were solid, if unremarkable, beers. The Blue Bell had mild bitterness, with a nice fruity flavor. Too me, it improved as I worked my way down the glass. I could of easily had another. This would be an excellent session beer, with its attractive flavor and its low alcohol. Both beers were served in "no bullshit" 20 oz pint glasses. In the age of short pints, it is good to see an establishment serving the classic British imperial pint.

Magnolia's one big beer was its Belgian-style Tweezer Tripel. (Magnolia wisely served this beer in a 14 oz glass.) I had this toward the end of the meal. It was a yeasty, spicy tripel. There was no mistaking its 9.9% alcohol. It was an almost overpowering beer and it would have been hard to have more than one. Tweezer was good, but I would prefer a less spicy tripel.

This was my second visit to Magnolia. After the first, I felt that the beers were more than decent, but that the food was better. I came away with the same opinion after this meal. The beers are well-crafted, style-true and drinkable. The food is outstanding, which is why the Beer Rovette wanted to have lunch at Magnolia, not to give me material for a blog post. Magnolia's food is farm fresh and a big step up from the typical brew pub. The cheese plate is a must. San Francisco's Haight Ashbury neighborhood is still full of hippie wannabes and vagrants (which are sometimes the same), but is still worth a visit, and a window table at Magnolia is the perfect place to people watch.

1 comment:

Steve said...

Magnolia barely missed the cut on my couple beer trips to SF but I kinda wish I had planned a lunch there based on your report. Next time I think. That window seat idea of yours sounds pretty good.