Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Rogue Ales Public House in San Francisco, CA

It's a small world after all....or so the song goes. It's also a Rogue Nation after all....or so Rogue would have you believe. And, when you step foot into a Rogue Ales Public House like the one in San Francisco, you might just believe it too. The location in San Francisco is one of 6 RAPHs, the remainder all located in the Pacific Northwest of the U.S. Never having been to Oregon, my experience with Rogue beers has consisted of many drafts and bottles at better beer bars and stores across the country. Anyone who keeps their eyes open has to agree that you can find Rogue beers most anywhere in this country. And, with the introduction of the John's Locker Stock, the supply of interesting and creative beers from Rogue continues to proliferate. The SF location is in close proximity to Lombard Street, Fisherman's Wharf, North Beach neighborhood, Chinatown, Washington Square Park, and the Coit Tower monument. This was my last stop in San Francisco before going to the airport for my red-eye flight home to Pennsylvania. (What is it about these overnight flights? Every time I take one of these flights, I swear that it will be my last...though, surely I have yet to learn a permanent lesson from this mistake!) I met my brother-in-law who was also heading to the airport. He enjoys good beer, too, and was anxious like me to check out this Rogue outpost. What makes the RAPH even better is that, in addition to all of the Rogue beers, they also serve up other great beers. There's also good dining options with a menu that provides decent and interesting food to satisfy your other hunger. And, adjacent to the restaurant is a retail area that allows you the opportunity to take home all sorts of Rogue merchandise. While the space is not overwhelmingly large, they do find a way to squeeze a lot under this one roof. Our experience at the bar consisted of Rogue's Oak Stout, Schwartz, Glen, Hop Heaven, and Old Crustacean. From the guest tap side of the list, I could not leave SF without trying the award-winning Firestone Double Barrel Ale. This was a great way to end my trip to RAPH and SF. With the business a bit slow on this early Thursday evening, we had the chance to talk beer and San Francisco with the general manager Rory. He was extremely pleasant and willing to talk with me about my other beer travels in SF. He's been happy to be part of the great beer scene in SF and enjoyed bringing the Rogue Nation and beers to SF. I'm not quite sure if there was a real issue with the bartender or if it was just inexperience. But, he had to be corrected by Rory a couple of times regarding inappropriate glassware and incorrect beer pour for the one actually requested. Not too big a deal from my point-of-view as these things were quickly corrected. I'll just chalk it up to inexperience. I think it will be interesting to check out the other RAPH locations closer to their home in Oregon and see how they measure up to this one in San Francisco. With this at the end of a successful trip to San Francisco, I went home quite the happy fellow. The only thing that would have made it better was if I had some room in my carry-on luggage for some hard-to-find Rogue bottles! p.s. If any of you have been to this RAPH or the other locations, we'd be interested to hear your opinions.


Troll said...

I have visited the Rogue Ale house. Sadly it was just as I was starting to get into craft beers and had never heard of the brand before that. A beer enthusiast in our band of merry adventurers spearheaded the walk up from the Wharf for dinner and drinks there.

I think I had an American Amber and a double IPA or doubler bitter of some kind, I wish I could remember. Both were delicious of course and was thrilled to find them when I got back home to Chicago. I think this experience alone got me interested as much as I am currently. The start of it all. While I may almost always strayed from the macros, this showed me what REALLY was out there. So thanks to Rogue, and the guy that brought us there, especially since he shared Arrogant Bastard and Bigfoot barleywine that weekend too.

San Francisco, where it all began.

Anonymous said...

The RAPH in San Francisco is no doubt a hidden gem in the North Beach district. My Rogue journey started in the Outer Banks of North Carolina at Howard's Pub on Ocracoke Island where I enjoyed a Rogue Mocha Porter. Delicious!!

Then one week later, while on business in the Bay City, I had a day to explore the city and stumbled across the RAPH. I was on my way to Pier 39 and hopped off the streetcar in Chinatown thinking that I was veering away from the bay. I wandered into the RAPH and enjoed a nice Kobe Beef burger with their signature bleu cheese. The Smoke Ale and HazelNut Brown Nectar were excellent compliments. The bartenders are extremely helpful, maybe because it was also slow when I visited.

I also wish that I had some room in my carry-on for some 22 ouncers. Maybe I'll get back to that wonderful city some day. Until then I will be searching the Carolinas for Rogue Nation.

Ben, aka BadBen said...

I've been to the RAPH in Portland. I went back there 3 times, while visiting Portland, if that's any indication of how much I liked it.