Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Road Trip - Toronado and Magnolia In San Francisco

Coming down to San Francisco from Santa Rosa, we did the mandatory tourist stop north of the Golden Gate. It was an atypically beautiful warm sunny day for the area.

After the bridge, we had only one more stop to make in the city on this particular visit -- The Haight.

From what I'd heard, there is only one other beer bar in the country that has a chance as possibly bettering my local (the Liars' Club). That bar is Toronado. We had never been there, but that was about to change...

Toronado is a lot like Liars' -- an unapologetic fuck you exterior with a heart of gold. This is a bar where the customer is not always right...

But the beer selection certainly is. With over 40 beers on tap, Toronado is a powerhouse of Northern California (i.e. not San Diego) craft beer. Unlike Liars', they don't do food and do not have a full bar, which leaves them more room for taps.

I had a pint of Hop Stoopid from Lagunitas. I haven't been a big fan of their beers in the past, but I liked this double IPA just fine. Sherry had a Brother David's Belgian-style Double Ale from Anderson Valley Brewing Company, which we both liked ok (still trying to really get into that Belgian yeast flavor...)

They actually did have one San Diego beer on tap -- a double red from Port Carlsbad called 547 Haight (that's Toronado's address - Port made the beer in their honor). I had a taster of it and really liked it. Very flavorful beer. I also tasted Rodger's Last Stand, a triple IPA from Drake's, but ended up going with a pint of Racer 5. I know, a bit of a cop out since we had been at Bear Republic the day before, but hey, I love that beer. Sherry went with a Big Daddy IPA from Speakeasy.

We then walked up Haight to Magnolia Pub & Brewery for lunch.

I was sobering up to drive, but Sherry got their Proving Ground IPA. I tasted it as well, and neither of us was particularly impressed.

We had some pretty good food, though. I had a cuban sandwich and Sherry had a grilled chicken sandwich that had a really nice mango remoulade on it. We also happened to run into one of the couples we met a few days earlier at Bear Republic. It's a small world when you are on a quest for good beer.

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