Southern Pacific Brewing Brings Beer to 'Fermentation Alley'

Categories: Beer

We have good news and bad news. The good news is that much-anticipated Southern Pacific Brewing will be open this weekend. The bad news is that they aren't named after South Pacific, the romance musical. We were bummed too.

Thankfully, there will be plenty of tasty beer on hand this Friday as you stifle the urge to burst into a tipsy rendition of "Bali Ha'i." For starters, Southern Pacific will have at least 5 house taps ready to go. Proprietor Chris Lawrence, who previously handled national sales at Speakeasy Brewing, told us to expect West Coast-style offerings. Translation: hops. For their pale ale and IPA, expect a dry beverage that showcases a floral and resinous hop punch with a down-played malt sweetness.

Brewer Andy French, who also came from Speakeasy Brewing, has rounded out the opening lineup with a blonde ale, porter and wit. The wit, a Belgian-style white ale, is brewed with traditional additions of coriander and orange peel, but also benefits from the unique inclusion of candied ginger. The ginger creates a lightly herbal, spicy finish. The opening taplist will be rounded out by guest taps from the likes of Speakeasy, Deschutes, Trumer, and others.

Southern Pacific also benefits from its location next to A.P. Vin winery. Lawrence lovingly refers to the block as "fermentation alley," and already has a batch of their wit aging away in a used A.P. vin chardonnay barrel. The beer will hopefully be ready in time for SF Beer Week, alongside a strong Belgian Abbey ale in the works for Strong Beer Month. The brewery also plans to position its brews in other Bay Area watering holes, as the outfit holds two separate licences -- one that allows for brewpub operation, and another for retail production. The licensing allows for a full bar as well, so expect at least 5 house cocktails to start.

The upscale "pub grub" menu was created by Chef Tyler Moorish, previously of Osteria Coppa. Moorish, who has been guest cheffing at the Social Kitchen Brewmaster series dinners, isn't afraid to use beer and brewing ingredients in his dishes. The menu includes beery dishes such as a spent grain lentil burger, banh mi with IPA roasted pork loin, pale ale pork sausage pizza, and yukon gold chips with hop salt.

In addition to the precious liquids housed inside, the building itself is worth a visit. A converted machine shop situated right next to where the Southern Pacific Railroad used to cut through town, the space is both cavernous and cozy. With enormous glass walls and numerous skylights, the bar and dining area have an outdoor beerhall vibe. Trees shooting up from the concrete floor and outdoor heaters accentuate the effect. Meet the new crew and sample the beers.

Southern Pacific Brewing Grand Opening
Where: 620 Treat (at 19th St.), 891-9775
When: Friday, Jan. 27, 7 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Cost: Pay per drink
What: A general lack of showtunes, but an abundance of craft beer.

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Jason Henry
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