Thursday, February 15, 2007

California Dreamin'

This is not necessarily a plug, but rather a notice of what is going on in one of my favorite beer cities and beer joints. For those of you lucky enough to live in or be visiting the area around this time (and you like better beer), how can't you work this into your plans?! ========================================================================= (copied from Magnolia e-mail) GREETINGS FROM MAGNOLIA! Here we are at halftime of the rolling juggernaut known as Strong Beer Month. It's really as big a time as it gets here at Magnolia, to paraphrase the late Ken Kesey. We've put on more strong beers than ever and you have come in to drink it in record-breaking numbers. Thank you so much for the support that makes us do this again and again. Five of the six beers are still flowing. Promised Land is already gone but we saw that coming and have an unprecedented second batch about to come on (most likely tomorrow). In the meantime, you can still drink the cask version, at least for the moment. Still to come in the second half: Old Thuderpussy and Weekapaug Monster casks, vintage Thunderpussy from the library, round two of this year's Promised Land, and more. Though the Saison de Lily isn't technically a "strong beer", this one comes close at 7.7 abv, putting it in the part of the category sometimes known as "super saisions". And it's pretty tasty, too (not to mention the most versatile food pairing beer that we make). Look for it early next week. We've also brought in another round of guest casks, including some strong ones: old favorites from our friends at the Burton Bridge Brewery as well as a few new to us from a small farmhouse brewery in Denmark called Wintercoat. Assuming they all made the 6000-mile journey in good shape, here's the order we'll serve them (beginning today): Burton Bridge Festival Ale (5.5%) Wintercoat Yellow Jacket (5.3%) Burton Bridge Top Dog Stout (5.0%) Wintercoat Double Hop Imperial IPA (8.5%) Burton Bridge Thomas Sykes Old Ale (10.0%) We'll finish big with that Danish double IPA and the legendary Thomas Sykes, right around the time some of our own strong beers might need reinforcements. The kitchen has kept its focus on our strong beers, too. Weekend dinner specials have been designed with pairings possibilities in mind, and the special menu of little bites for each strong beer has been a huge success. Favorites include the classic Stilton cheese-Old Thuderpussy combination and the local Bermuda Triangle cheese and red onion confit paired with Tweezer Tripel. If you haven't tried them, what are you waiting for? Meanwhile, down at the Alembic, we've got a rotating Magnolia strong beer tap plus a couple of guest beers that fit the bill: Iron Springs Pub & Brewery's Barstow Lundy Barleywine and Drakes Brewing's Hop Salad, an imperial IPA brewed with seven different hop varieties. And then, of course, comes the granddaddy of strong beer events: Toronado's annual barleywine fest (this Saturday, 2/17), just down the street at 547 Haight ( Old Thunderpussy will be there, as usual, but so will up to 50 other barleywines from both near and far. Reports from South of Market say that all the Strong Beers still flow at the 21st Amendment, too, so there's still time to chase down that last punch or two on your card. If, for some reason, you're still not sure, 21st Amendment is at 563 2nd Street, between Brannan and Bryant. So the state of the strong beer is great from this perspective, with the rest of the month looking at least as exciting as the first half. We've restocked our t-shirts, glasses, and punch cards, we've remembered to hydrate, we're definitely not drinking and driving, and we're ready for more. See you soon! As always, thanks for reading and please stay in touch. Cheers, Dave McLean Magnolia Pub & Brewery 1398 Haight Street San Francisco, CA 94117 (415) 864-7468 Alembic Bar 1725 Haight Street San Francisco, CA 94117 (415) 666-0822 Past Writings of The Brew Lounge Magnolia (May 2006, December 2006) 21st Amendment (March 2006, December 2006) Iron Springs (September 2006) Toronado (March 2006, December 2006)


LOREN said...

Dave is a classy guy and brews the best Kolsch on the entire West Coast. Saison de Lily is a nice version as well, named for his daughter.

A visit to SF without stopping at this fine place is a travesty.

I think I'm STILL hungover from my visit 2 years ago.


Bryan Kolesar said...

Thanks, Loren, for the tip. In the times I've been there I haven't spotted the Kolsch. But, for anyone not familiar, you really can't go wrong at Magnolia. Even their 9th Anniv. "light beer" was an extremely well-crafted beer.

For as many options for great beer as there are in the Bay Area, it can be really tough to tear one's self away from Magnolia. (the food's good too, eh?!)