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Best place in SF/East Bay for Belgian beer?

I've heard that Amnesia on Valencia has a good selection of Belgian beer, but fellow Belgian beer lovers, where would YOU go for a few Belgian ales?

In the San Francisco summer, nothing beats a good Tripel when the fog starts blasting over Twin Peaks, heading east.

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  1. I haven't been recently, but Khana Peena on Oxford St. in Berkeley used to have a decent selection of bottled Belgian beers - nothing on tap I'm afraid.

    1. I think Luka's Taproom in Oakland has the biggest selection in the East Bay. Seven or eight on tap plus a dozen or so in bottle.

      http://www.lukasoakland.com/bar.htm#b...

      Nizza la Bella in Albany now has several Belgian beers on tap to complement the expanded pizza menu.

      1. haven't been in a few years, but is Fritz still around?

        2 Replies
        1. re: kc72

          You must mean Frjtz - yes, see:
          http://www.frjtzfries.com/

          Yes, it has Belgian Beers, but I don't know how many in comparison with others that have been posted here.

          1. re: annalou

            I found the Belgian beers at Frjtz to be not very good in terms of care and freshness. Soggy fries, too. But that was a year ago -- I will return to recalibrate.

        2. Toronado - http://www.toronado.com/

          1 Reply
          1. re: larochelle

            Definitely the largest selection in SF and possibly still the largest on the entire west coast. If you are just looking at what's currently available on the draft board, you are missing the whole bottle list. Most Belgians are only available via bottle, and I believe that is true in Belgium as well as here.

          2. I think that someone on this board said Ledger's Liquors at Acton and University in Berkeley had a large selection. It's across the street from both Fellini and Bread Workshop and Andronico's.

            1 Reply
            1. re: chocolatetartguy

              Try Bo's BBQ in Lafayette. Good selection of Belgian Beer, and, the best BBQ around.

            2. In terms of East Bay restaurants - Luka's is the clear winner. They used to do a Belgian Beer tasting every Tuesday but I'm not sure if they've kept it up. I'd rank A Cote second to Luka's - it has an excellent list of Belgian, German and English bottles and also keep Delerium on tap. Both serve food that is several degrees of magnitude above your standard bar fare.

              Ledgers Liquors has the best selection of bottles of any store in the East Bay.

              1. Here is another in SF: Bar Crudo.

                http://www.barcrudo.com/menu.htm

                1. Crudo looks great, but a quick look at their menu on their site proves that Toronado has a much wider selection. So far, it seems to be Toronado by a wide margin, though they haven't a scrap of Belgian food (or any food, for that matter).

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Tripeler

                    Yes, but you can bring in sausages from Rosamunde (the wild boar goes exceptionally well with some of the Belgian beers, especially saisons) or from any other neighborhood place for that matter.

                    1. re: Joan Kureczka

                      Great tip. One of my favorite Toronado/Haight 500-block pairings is the smoked beef brisket from Memphis Millie's and an Alaskan Smoked Porter at Toronado. I go home happy!

                  2. There is a beer store/sampling environment on the north side
                    of Folsom Street between 7th and 8th [closer to 8th, just
                    before the Rausch alley] which has an interesting selection
                    of boutique beers ... it's sort of stealthy and I dont remember
                    the name, but they have a sandwich board out front usually.

                    Oh here we go, I found some email from them:
                    >From: City Beer [mailto:thecitybeerstore@yahoo.com]
                    >Subject: Chimay Tasting Tonight + New Releases
                    >
                    >Brasserie D'Achouffe- Ardennes
                    >Houblon Chouffee IPA Tripel
                    >
                    >Het Anker
                    >Gouden Carolus Grand Cru of the Emperor
                    >
                    >Browerij Verhaeghe- Vichte
                    >Dushesse De Bourgogne Flemish Red Ale
                    >
                    >Coming next week...
                    >ever heard of a little Belgium brewery called Fantome?
                    >how 'bout a little Belgium classic by the name of Brut des >Flanders?
                    >let's not forget California- Stone Imperial Stout anyone?
                    >

                    The proprietor is usually willing to talk at length about
                    the beers, the beer business etc.

                    It's mostly a store but there is some weird loophole that
                    let's them serve beer as long as you split one with somebody
                    or something like that ... so it is more of a "tasting room"
                    than a bar? anyway, it wasn't clear whether you were just
                    looking for a supplier or a venue to hang out in.

                    ok tnx
                    --psb

                    oh here are some links [on yelp too], including details on the
                    not-a-bar loophole:
                    http://extras.insidebayarea.com/blogs...
                    http://hedonistbeerjive.blogspot.com/...

                    1. Anybody seen Mort Subite Kriek around? I have a dream of finding it on tap.

                      G

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: Gerard

                        Right you lot....

                        You live in the possibly one of the best places for beer in the world, be thankful.

                        then get your asses to one of the following:

                        Toronado, haight st.
                        The Trappist, Oakland.
                        The Monks Kettle, in the SFMission.
                        The Trap SF.

                        The Monks Kettle is great - and your have belgian beers being brewed in Santa Rosa, and San Diego Russian River & Lost Abbey that are great -

                        But, if you want bottles - try Ledgers on Universty in Berkeley or City Beer on Fulsom St, SF. Monument Liquors has some fun stuff too....

                        and, I live in ENGLAND, I work in Belgium.... and work here -> Http://beermerchants.com

                        See you all in February!

                        1. re: Phil_L

                          Phil's right on all accounts.

                          The Trappist and La Trappe have an awesome selection of belgian/belgian style ale, but both bars are on the small side. The Trappist is practically the size of a closet. My vavorite is La Trappe. It's got a cozy, plush, tavern feel, and it never get unreasonably loud. Great environment to enjoy some good brews.

                          The Monk's Kettle has a great selection of beer, but what drives me away is also the unaccomodating size of this pub/restaurant AND the fact that the same beers at La Trappe and The Trappist cost several dollars less. This place is INCREDIBLY PRICEY.

                          The Toronado is simply a great place. Tons of beer, a fun rowdy environment. However, this place of the four Phil mentioned has the smallest selection of belgian ale...but the prices are the best, especially during happy hour!

                          1. re: Phil_L

                            Damn, it took 17 posts to get to this answer. Phill L is totally on point.

                            The only place Id like to add is in San Carlos, on the Peninsula called "The Refuge," which exclusively serves up only Belgians and the best west coast pastrami you can find. They have about 20 taps, and a small bottle selection that features some VERY rare and hard to get bottles.

                            1. re: Adamsimpson

                              Healthy Spirits at 15th and Castro has a ton of Belgian beer. Here is a link to their beer list. http://docs.google.com/View?docid=dct...

                              1. re: Adamsimpson

                                I concur, the Refuge is a diamond in the rough that is the Peninsula. It's 100% a chow destination, to use the parlance. I wouldn't be surprised if Tony Bourdain did a segment on it. The food is as excellent as the beer, and the owner is a master charcutier two trained at 2-star places in Paris.

                          2. Try Plumpjack Wines in Marina. Great selection.

                            -----
                            Plumpjack Wines
                            3201 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94123

                            1. Currently some of the best for Belgian: Monks Kettle in Mission, La Trappe in North Beach, The Trappist in Rockridge. BevMo on Van Ness has a section for Belgian beer with a large selection of bottles and City Beer in SoMa has a good selection of bottles in their fridge. But I still haven't found a place that carries my all time favorite Belgian beer... Val-Dieu Grand Cru.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: bachoinsf

                                The Trappist is in downtown Oakland. Trappist Provisions in Rockridge has a much smaller selection.

                                http://www.thetrappist.com
                                http://www.thetrappist.com/provisions...

                                Bloodhound doesn't have a big selection, but currently have Monk's Café and Petrus Pale on draft.

                                1. re: bachoinsf

                                  Huh, this topic's so old that it didn't mention Beer Revolution. They're not as Belgian-focused as Trappist but they have a big selection of bottles.