Magnolia Pub and Brewery

My second stop on the N-Judah brewery day was Haight-Ashbury’s Magnolia Gastropub and Brewery. I knew I was in The Haight because they were playing The Grateful Dead when I walked inside. Hoping to fit in, I pulled out my emergency bottle of patchouli oil, dabbed a little on my wrists, then on my neck. All the hippies sniffed the air, relaxed into their seats, and resumed their beer drinking. Success! I took a seat at the bar and tried to figure out which six of the twenty available beers (including five casks hooked up to beer engines) I wanted in my sampler triangle. There’d been a recent Belgian fest, and so they had several Belgian-style beers available, as well as a collaboration or two with 21st Amendment. One that I picked was the first beer made in their new brewery in the rapidly gentrifying Dogpatch neighborhood, where there will be lots more brewing capacity and eventually a new pub. I’ll definitely have to check it out next time I visit.

Update! September 28, 2015: Well, I visited SF again in January 2015 and spent some time in Dogpatch at the new Magnolia Smokestack – the bar/taproom and meat-smoking endeavor adjoining their new brewing space. So you can either drink and eat a bunch of meat, or you can drink and breathe in the robust aromas of smoked meats. I went with the latter, being sort of a vegetarian and all. Hard to say whether the ambiance may or may not have affected my tasting experience. I tried to focus on the beers, but it was pretty difficult to ignore all the meat smells. Beautiful space, though. So yeah, if you’re vegetarian, I would highly recommend sticking with their original location in The Haight. If you’re into the meats, you’ll love Magnolia Smokestack.

cut your job and get a beer

Getting in touch with my inner beer-drinking hippy at Magnolia Gastropub and Brewery on Haight St — San Francisco, CA

    Rob’s Picks

  • Cole Porter – 4.9% – Fairly light and dry. Chocolate/coffee flavors with a little bit of a sweet citrus zing.
  • In with the New IPA – 6.1% – Caramel, biscuit, honey malts. Citrus, earthy, and herbal hops with some lingering bitterness.
  • Prescription Pale Ale – 4.7% – Floral aroma. Big caramel, biscuit, and a touch of honey maltiness. Light floral hop flavor and good lingering bitterness.
  • Maiden Voyage Bitter – 4.5% – Caramel, biscuit, and light honey maltiness. Light floral hops. Sound familiar? Light and drinkable. 1st beer from their new Magnolia Dogpatch facility.
  • Proving Ground IPA – 7% – Citrus and tropical fruit hop flavors and caramel maltiness with some bitterness on the finish. Pretty solid.
  • Paint It Black – 5.9% – Chocolate aroma. Fairly thick stout with chocolate/coffee and slight alcohol flavors. Supposedly a Belgian-style stout, but the Belgian aspect was too subtle for me…
  • Winter Warmer – 7.5% – Cloudy dark red color. Plum aroma. Very smooth and thick. Big caramel malts and not too sweet. A good dessert beer.
    The Rest

  • Sarah Hughes Rich Ruby Mild – 3.9% – Berry aroma. Light berry flavor to bready finish. Easy drinking but not too interesting.
  • Dark Star Mild – 3.6% – Light coffee and nuttiness with a bit of a sweet edge. Okay but not too interesting.
  • Branthill ESB – 4.2% – Biscuit and honey malts. Some herbal hops. Light bitter finish. Easy drinking but, again, not too interesting.
  • Bonnie Lee’s Best Bitter – 4.1% – Berry aroma and flavor. Caramel and honey. Subtle herbal hops. Too sweet for me.
  • Tweezer Tripel – 9.9% – Coriander, banana/clove, and some alcohol aroma and flavors. Big caramel malt. Fairly thick for a tripel. Finish a little too sweet for me and builds up to a syrupy quality.

Would’ve been nice to have tried everything on tap, but then I never would have made it to my third stop of the day where I was meeting a couple friends for dinner. Next time in Dogpatch, I suppose (and I’ll be able to leave the patchouli at home).

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