Speakeasy Ales & Lagers

For the second stop on the Bay Area brewery weekend, Marcus took us on the scenic route from the Mission District to Hunters Point via Bernal Heights, zig zagging around hilly streets I’d never been on before and would probably never see again. With some assistance from Google Maps, we eventually made it to Speakeasy Ales & Lagers, where we left behind the sunny December afternoon for the dark, cozy Speakeasy Tap Room. It was fairly crowded, but a couple spots opened up at the bar. We snagged those seats, and I soon had a line of tasters in front of me. The note-taking this time was a bit less awkward — the folks sitting next to Marcus took an interest, and soon they were all joking about my beer geekiness. I got my scribbling done, so I’ll consider it a win.

speakeasy and drink hard

Gangster-style tasters at Speakeasy Ales & Lagers — San Francisco, CA

    Rob’s Picks

  • Untouchable IPA – 6.2% – Big tropical fruit and light floral hop flavors with plenty of caramel malt.
  • SF Lager Batch #4 – 5.2% – Light floral hops, crisp, with honey sweetness and a bitter finish.
  • Scarlett Red Rye – 5.5% – Pretty smooth. Some caramel and biscuit malt and light floral hops. Rye is pretty subtle.
  • Double Daddy – 8.5% – Imperial IPA. Floral hops and big caramel maltiness, but still pretty crisp.
  • Payback Porter – 7.5% – Coffee and subtle alcohol flavors. Fairly light on the tongue, and a touch a dryness. Very drinkable.
  • Scarface Imperial Stout – 9.5% – Big alcohol/bourbon flavor that eventually mellows to some chocolate. Not too thick, and fairly dry.
  • Butchertown India Black Ale – 8% – Citrus, piney,  and light roasty aroma. Citrus and piney hop flavors at the start, then moves to roasty caramel maltiness for the finish, with a touch of bitterness. Light on the tongue.
  • Big Daddy IPA Wet Hopped – 6.5% – Big citrus aroma and flavor. Grapefruit and orange peel hop flavors with light maltiness and a fairly bitter finish. Bit of airy, frothy mouthfeel. Subtle hint of grassiness.
  • Blind Tiger – 9.8% – Imperial IPA. Citrus and piney aroma and flavor. Sharp, fairly boozy malty backbone. Good flavor mix on finish with complementary bitterness.
    The Rest

  • The Witness Belgian Wheat – 5.2% – Light banana/clove flavors, fairly bready, with a hint of lemon. Some bitterness on the finish.
  • Prohibition Ale – 6.1% – Very floral start to mellow caramel malt finish. Pretty cool but too floral for me.
  • Big Daddy IPA – 6.5% – Some floral and spicy hop flavors. Light caramel maltiness.
  • Betrayal IRA – 7.5% – Floral biscuity start to strong caramel finish. Very smooth. Like floral candy.

Got a few extra tasting notes here because, a couple months before my trip, Speakeasy had an event at one of my favorite Seattle bars, The Pine Box. I was pretty sure I’d be visiting the brewery, so I surreptitiously tapped notes into my phone while chatting briefly with the head brewer, Kushal. Seemed like a nice guy.

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