Tiny Brewpub Woods Polk Station Muscles in on Russian Hill

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Pete Kane
The Rodenbach Grand Cru Nitro has notes of black cherry and balsamic vinegar.

Even smaller than Cerveceria de MateVeza's original space -- in an absolutely killer location at Dolores Park's NW corner -- comes another beer-and-empanadas offering from the same team, Woods Polk Station. The Marina/Polk Gulch frontier is a neighborhood lined with purveyors of pure inebriation, so it's great that a civilized (yet unpretentious) place to appreciate quality craft beer has muscled its way in.

See Also: Beer of the Week: Cerveceria de MateVeza's Cocktail-Inspired Brews

The beer isn't simple, but the business plan is. A rotating beer list combines house beers with "guest beers," with authentically Argentine empanadas from El PorteƱo. Since flights of anything -- beer, beignets, whiskey, whatever -- automatically make life better, I was a little stymied to see that when I visited, flights were unavailable because Woods Polk Station doesn't serve three-ounce pours of the guest beers, only the house beers, of which only two were on draft that day. (Understandable, sure, but still kind of bureaucratic). Nonetheless, the sublimely balanced yet palate-challenging sourness of a Rodenbach Grand Cru Nitro more than made do.

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Pete Kane

WoodsPolkStaInt.jpg
Pete Kane

For such a tiny bar, it's decidedly lively. Every table was occupied and most of the elbow room, too. Wall-mounted pegboards keep the beer menus handy, and the warm-wood and teal interior is a refreshing change from the endless parade of industrial-chic. Everyone in Russian Hill in possession of a growler should be glad to have this place -- and how nice not to have a television blaring in a comfy, sophisticated setting the size of a living room.

Woods Polk Station, 2255 Polk St.

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