This past weekend, I bought a growler of Magnolia's Blue Bell Bitter at Bi-Rite Market. Once my 64 ounce swing-top glass jug is empty, I'd like to be able to refill it at say, Social Kitchen & Brewery or 21st Amendment Brewery. And although I haven’t been able to do so previously, I now could because California's Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) regulations no longer prohibit beer manufacturers from filling growlers they didn't originally sell.
Snagging a seat at Magnolia Gastropub in the Haight has gotten increasingly difficult over the years. So, back in the winter of 2010 when Brewmaster/Owner Dave McLean announced plans to open a new and larger brewery and BBQ restaurant in Dogpatch, his patrons were both relieved and hopeful.
The largest concentration of beer events ever held in the Bay Area kicks off this Friday at the San Francisco Beer Week Opening Celebration in the Concourse Exhibition Center. The premier event gets the week flowing with beers from 78 brewers, local artisan food vendors and several bands. If you go to only one event for Beer Week, this should be it.
If you're thirsty for more, here are some other choice options:
When was the last time you walked into Magnolia or 21st Amendment and the bar wasn’t crowded? Right. But even though they pour to packed houses, the brewmasters, god bless ‘em, interrupt their already sold-out brewing schedule every February to insert six new beers just because they want to pour more season-appropriate heavies.
Winter warmer beers are often dark, rich and spicy. But if you’re looking for a hoppier alternative that still has a traditional wintery spice bite, rye beers may be a seasonal hybrid that fits the bill.
The new year has begun and we’re all casting around for healthy lifestyle changes. A simple and tasty improvement to the beer portion of your diet can be made by adding an occasional ginger beer. Although we normally think of ginger beer as a soft drink, it was originally an alcoholic beverage consumed as both a refreshment and a tonic.
Although we celebrate holidays throughout the year, we reserve the term "holiday season" for that belt-busting period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day when we channel the time and energy normally given to work into the rewarding pursuits of eating and drinking with family and friends. And with Hanukkah just ending, the next milestone on this year’s calendar is Christmas Eve. For beer lovers, this is a prime opportunity to enjoy the dark and hearty ales that traditionally mark this occasion.
With the winter holidays fast approaching, it’s time to stock up on the really good stuff. Unfortunately, even though we have some well provisioned Bay Area beer retailers, some of the brews you might want to give as a gift or enjoy yourself aren’t available locally. However, there are other options.
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