If you seek a bit of community to go with your small-batch craft brew, head to Laughing Monk Brewing's new Bayview tasting room, ask for Andrew Casteel, and get to know the guy over a pint of his Cal-Belgian beer.
Casteel arrived at making beer the way one often does: An interest in homebrewing during college (at Caltech) gave way to craft brewing obsession while rambling through Belgium and enjoying the breadth of styles and the depth and quality of their beers. Casteel's a guy who wears many hats—the former head of the SF Bike Coalition is also known to throw painting parties and benefits, and he's involved in programs to bolster the arts as well as a community garden in the neighborhood.
But beer is your main reason to stop in at Laughing Monk, where brewmaster Jeff Moakler has four beers on draft: Midnight Coffee, a rich American stout made with cold brewed coffee from Artis Roasters; Laughing Monk Pale Ale, with stone fruit and floral aromas; Evening Vespers, a Belgian Dubbel with soft fruit notes of raisin and dates; and Golden Sunshine, brewed with locally grown Chamomile to give for a mild citrus flavor.
Want to hang out and enjoy the beer and the wall murals a little longer? Have food delivered from Azalina’s Malaysian just next door. Azalina's mamak laksa is on 7x7's Big Eat.
Soon Moakler will add more brews to the room's 16-tap system. You may also taste the brewer's work at local bars including Brass Tacks, Barrel Head Brewhouse, Zeitgeist, and Fly Bar. But Laughing Monk also has a full calendar of events. Check the website for what's upcoming. // Laughing Monk Brewing, 1439 Egbert Ave, Unit A (Bayview), laughingmonkbrewing.com