Remember those Virginia Slims ads with women frolicking beneath the proclamation, "You've Come a Long Way, Baby!"? That's pretty much how beer geeks feel these days. Once the sovereign domain of wine, the city's finest restaurants now carry fine craft beers, and many SF chefs and beverage program directors are working with local breweries to create unique, proprietary brews:
|Gil Riego, Jr|
Magnolia/Namu Gaji Toasted Rice Beer
Last year, Magnolia collaborated with Public House to create Billy Sunday's Best Bitter. The traditional cask-served English bitter has become a staple for beer geeks out for a day at the ballpark. With Magnolia's current expansion, we can expect to see similar projects in the coming year. By the end of April, newcomer Namu Gaji should have its own Magnolia brew on tap. Collin Casey, Namu's beverage director, expects the beer to fit well with the restaurant's focus on lower-alcohol, sessionable beverages. While the beer is still in the final development phase, the addition of toasted rice will add a level of complexity while paying homage to Korean culinary tradition.
Almanac/Fairmont Honey Saison
If there's one local brewery that has worked to build bridges within the culinary world, it's Almanac Beer Co, which has always had ties with Northern California's sustainable farming community and a focus on beers that pair well with food. Beginning Friday, April 6, Almanac's collaboration with the Fairmont will be available on draft at the hotel's Laurel Court Restaurant and Bar. The Belgian-style saison will be crisp with lightly spiced flavors and a touch of sweetness from honey cultivated from the hotel's rooftop beehives.
Linden Street/Bar Tartine Daily (B)red
A spinoff of Tartine Bakery, Bar Tartine has long demonstrated a healthy affection for yeast and fermentation. For their house brew, Linden Street Brewery isolated the yeast strain from a chunk of Tartine's sourdough starter. The funky yeast goes to work on Linden's red lager, resulting in a clean, easy-drinking beer with a uniquely San Francisco twist. Available on draft now, only at Bar Tartine.
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