San Fran Recap Part Uno!

1 03 2011

What a week in Cali! It’s official, I want to move there! Left Boston and the temp was 25 degrees and snow, arrived to about 50 degree weather.

Amazing. So after we landed, we grabbed the rental car and drove straight to Sonoma for some wine tastings. I’m not going to go all in to that part of the trip, but in case you’re interested you can check out Lauren’s blog, which I highly recommend. Anyways, you don’t want this guy telling you about wine. Look at me, I’m just winging it, obviously!

There were three breweries in the Sonoma area that we considered visiting: Russian River, Bear Republic, and Lagunitas. Unfortunately, they just didn’t work out. Two partial days and one full day was just not enough for all that we wanted to do, especially with all the driving! So, we forwent the breweries for wine and decided to enjoy the beers in the city instead.

Our first day/night in San Francisco was a wash, more or less, due to trouble with the rental car and hotel. We grabbed a quick bite near the hotel then walked over to a local pub named Lefty O’Doul’s. Not a bad little Irish pub. They offered a decent beer selection, but most importantly they offered local beers. Unfortunately, no pictures were taken this night (click on the links to view the beers). I started with a beer from Oregon called Deschutes Inversion IPA. Since it was out of the tap, the head was not fantastic, but it did appear to have a nice rusty color to the brew. It had a strong grapefruit aroma, even noted by one of my peers from across the table. Overall, this is what I would expect from a West Coast IPA. A little more fruity than, say, Harpoon IPA, but smoother and with little carbonation. Very drinkable. Definitely would try this beer again.

My second beer of the night was by a brewery that everyone should know: Anchor Steam. I decided to try their Porter for “dessert” and was not disappointed. This actually was tapped with a mighty head, and was oil-black in appearance. It definitely smelled of mocha, and maybe a bit nutty. The taste was much the same. It also presented a nice bitter taste from the hops, which was both surprising and welcomed. As with porters, the mouthfeel was thick and creamy. Overall, a solid beer. Might be a while until I come back to this one if there are other options, but I wouldn’t turn one down, for sure!

The second day in the city did not allow for much beer drinking. We ventured to a bar that I had really wanted to visit due to their enormous beer list: Monk’s Kettle. We approached the door with a group size of about 10. I began to sweat as I noticed the pint-sizedness (word? – also no pun intended) of the establishment. As the first of our group was turned away, I realized something: this is not a good place to come with a big group. O well, sometimes there are things that are more important than beer. We instead come upon a shady looking bar (one of my favorite qualities in a bar, by the way), named Elbo Room, that was modeled after a “speakeasy” of the twenties. Pretty cool place, but not a great beer list. I settled for an awful beer named Racer 5. Just kidding, one of my favorites. BUT, not a new beer to me, but at least it was local.

Will be back tomorrow with the exciting finale! See what beers our hero will battle next!




2 responses

9 03 2011

The “bit nutty” part made me think of Austin Powers. So glad we watched that on New Years. I’m also glad you guys had such an amazing trip to San Fran! 🙂


10 03 2011

Haha, yea the trip was GREAT. Not many vacations that I come back from and say that I could have actually stayed longer. But I could have stayed longer in San Fran. Can’t wait to go back again!

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