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Best place in SF/East Bay for Belgian beer?

Tripeler Jul 21, 2006 04:26 PM

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.

  1. b
    bachoinsf Feb 19, 2013 12:48 PM

    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
      Robert Lauriston Feb 19, 2013 01:09 PM

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


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

      1. re: bachoinsf
        Robert Lauriston Feb 19, 2013 01:43 PM

        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.

      2. EnderWiggin Jan 13, 2009 12:44 PM

        Try Plumpjack Wines in Marina. Great selection.

        Plumpjack Wines
        3201 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94123

        1. g
          Gerard Jul 22, 2006 03:32 PM

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


          5 Replies
          1. re: Gerard
            Phil_L Oct 27, 2008 11:59 AM

            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
              nephilae Jan 8, 2009 11:27 AM

              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
                Adamsimpson Jan 8, 2009 12:46 PM

                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
                  csp1 Jan 12, 2009 02:26 PM

                  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
                    orezscu Jan 12, 2009 05:44 PM

                    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. psb Jul 22, 2006 12:07 PM

                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

                oh here are some links [on yelp too], including details on the
                not-a-bar loophole:

                1. Tripeler Jul 22, 2006 01:09 AM

                  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
                    Joan Kureczka Jul 22, 2006 01:30 AM

                    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
                      Tripeler Jul 22, 2006 04:19 AM

                      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. g
                    Guzgo Jul 21, 2006 08:00 PM

                    Here is another in SF: Bar Crudo.


                    1. Morton the Mousse Jul 21, 2006 06:55 PM

                      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. c
                        chocolatetartguy Jul 21, 2006 06:44 PM

                        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
                          Peterg Jul 21, 2006 06:51 PM

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

                        2. larochelle Jul 21, 2006 04:41 PM

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

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: larochelle
                            Joan Kureczka Jul 21, 2006 06:11 PM

                            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. k
                            kc72 Jul 21, 2006 04:40 PM

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

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: kc72
                              annalou Jul 21, 2006 10:00 PM

                              You must mean Frjtz - yes, see:

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

                              1. re: annalou
                                Tripeler Jul 22, 2006 01:11 AM

                                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. Robert Lauriston Jul 21, 2006 04:38 PM

                              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.


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

                              1. a
                                abtal Jul 21, 2006 04:33 PM

                                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.

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