San Francisco may know a thing or two about good beer and brewing trends, but Wilson Barr and Tommy Hester brought something a little different to the West Coast by way of England, and we have to admit, we're obsessed.
In June of 2013, Wilson and Tommy launched T.W. Pitchers' Snake Bite – a light and refreshing blend of lager and crisp apple cider. Wilson got the idea while studying across the pond, where bartenders frequently mix beer and hard cider at local pubs, but knew that the Bay Area was the perfect place to start a beer business (duh). Nine months later, Snake Bite can be found in more than 200 bars and stores in the city. Plus, they recently expanded to Marin and Sonoma with plans to fill out the rest of Northern California soon. Yes, please.
Similar to a traditional hard cider, but not as sweet, Snake Bite is easy to drink and perfect for summer picnics, a backyard BBQ, or just watching Netflix on your couch.
We asked the cider masters seven essential questions about their lives in SF:
1. What neighborhood do you currently call home? Would you ever move or are you happy in your 'hood?
Tommy: Inner Sunset. I’m certainly happy in my neighborhood. It’s got amazing food, great dive bars, and the park is right here. I wouldn't trade it for anywhere else.
Wilson: I live in the Sunset, too. It's the most underrated neighborhood in the city. It has it's own little small town feel at 9th and Irving, and a huge range of delicious Asian food. Outsiders complain about the fog, but its rarely an issue.
2. What's your hands-down, absolute favorite thing to eat in SF?
Tommy: Little Star Pizza has my vote right now. I’m also a sucker for a good sandwich. Or maybe San Tung chicken wings from right down the street… This is making me hungry.
Wilson: I'd never turn down Chairman Bao. That's up there on my list. The spicy pulled chicken sandwich from Memphis Minnies is a favorite as well.
3. What's your perfect night on the town?
Tommy: Probably bar hopping around the Mission or Lower Haight. The best nights are always the ones where you don’t have a plan anyway. Maybe start at Gestalt or Sycamore and see where the night goes.
Wilson: A few beers (or Snake Bites) with friends at one of the low-key Sunset bars - Durty Nelly's, Little Shamrock, or Mucky Duck - and a post-drinking midnight snack of Angry Korean wings from Wing Wings.
4. When you need a low-key afternoon, where do you go for down time
Tommy: Out to Golden Gate Park or up the stairs to Grand View Park. If it’s a clear day, the view from the top is the best in the city (sorry Twin Peaks).
Wilson: AT&T Park. I'm a big Giants fan, so a sunny Sunday afternoon at the ballpark is pretty fantastic.
5. What's your favorite place to go on a day trip from the city?
Tommy: Well, if we expand it to a weekend it’s definitely the national forests around Tahoe. Some dispersed camping with some buddies out there can’t be beat.
Wilson: There are so many great options in the Bay Area. A drive down the coast towards Big Sur or a trip to Napa.
6. Quick-fire round
Burrito or Burger?
Tommy: Double-double animal style.
Wilson: Carnitas super burrito.
Presidio or Golden Gate Park?
Tommy: Golden Gate Park.
BiRite or Mitchell's?
Tommy: Ice Cream Bar in Cole Valley.
Wilson: Humphrey Slocombe!
Bike or MUNI?
Fort Mason or Dolores Park?
Tommy: Dolores Park.
Wilson: Dolores Park.
The Independent or the Fillmore?
Wilson: Great American Music Hall.
Baker Beach or Ocean Beach?
Tommy: Ocean Beach
Wilson: Ocean Beach, especially for a sunset bonfire and BBQ.
7. Three words that describe your life in SF?
Tommy: Lots of beer.
Wilson: Baseball, Beer, Friends.
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