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english beer on tap in bay?

foodfanUSA Jan 11, 2007 01:45 AM

where can i get a get a few solid English beers on tap in the bay
(at the proper temp)? i am not talking newcastles or bass here either.

  1. u
    unspuncapricorn Feb 6, 2007 07:41 PM

    Jack's in The Cannery has Fullers ESB on tap and dozens of others. The Cheiftain at 5th & Howard has Smithwick's (and some great chow to boot). There is a magazine (free at Jack's) called The Celebrator full of essential info for beer lovers. Current issue is called "19 years of Beers and Cheers".

    1. s
      Smitty150 Feb 6, 2007 07:16 AM

      To the original Poster:

      Please elaborate on your Newscastle and Bass comments. I think they are both awful beers but they are ubiquitous.

      1. grishnackh Feb 4, 2007 09:28 AM

        T Rex BBQ in Berkeley has the lovely Old Spotted Hen on tap. The Hemlock in SF used to have it as well, but recently dropped it. Does anyone know where else I can get a pint of Hen?

        3 Replies
        1. re: grishnackh
          hummy Feb 4, 2007 03:49 PM

          Luka's in Oakland has it on tap.


          1. re: grishnackh
            Joan Kureczka Apr 22, 2007 08:42 PM

            Actually it's Old Speckled Hen. The Elixer Bar on 16th also has it.

            1. re: Joan Kureczka
              grishnackh Apr 22, 2007 09:05 PM

              You are right about that, ma'am, and a fine speckled hen she is. Thanks for the correction.

          2. p
            peterme Jan 12, 2007 04:55 AM

            The Irish Bank, near Union Square in SF, has Smithwicks, a favorite Irish beer that's not always easy to find


            1 Reply
            1. re: peterme
              NoeMan Feb 6, 2007 08:41 PM

              Irish beer and English beer are not interchangeable items.

            2. j
              Joan Kureczka Jan 12, 2007 03:47 AM

              Sadly I don't know of any place that serves the beers at the right temperature -- they are all too cold.

              There are a few places listed above that have Fullers -- ESB is easier to find than London Pride, but Mad Dog in the Fog has LP, as does the Pelican Inn. Best selections are probably at Edinburgh Castle and the Pig and Whistle. A decent selection is really quite hard to find, and most Irish bars in town have few English offerings beyond Bass and maybe Boddingtons.

              The Magnolia beers really aren't that much like the average English bitter, being too strong.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Joan Kureczka
                SteveG Feb 6, 2007 12:10 PM

                Many are too strong, but the London Special Bitter I had a week or two ago brought me straight back to London. I think it was 4.x % alcohol, which I'm pretty sure is right inline for a special bitter. They certainly aren't shy with information, and the beer list provides malt and hop information along with final alcohol content.

                1. re: Joan Kureczka
                  osho Dec 3, 2007 02:35 PM

                  Missing Fullers terribly, just got back from a trip to the old country.

                  Where, pray tell can I find Fullers on tap here in the Bay ? A friend tried Edinburgh Castle, they did not have it.

                2. b
                  brokergal Jan 11, 2007 08:07 PM

                  The Prince of Wales in San Mateo - get there early for lunch on a weekday and also sample their famous house-made chili

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: brokergal
                    Nancy Berry Jan 12, 2007 06:07 PM

                    I heard that Prince of Wales lost their lease and will close on January 20th -- is that true?

                    1. re: Nancy Berry
                      majanson Feb 4, 2007 08:56 AM

                      Yes, POW was evicted by the new owner of their building:


                  2. foodfanUSA Jan 11, 2007 05:24 PM

                    thank you guys for your responses. i have some tasting to do! cheers

                    1. Robert Lauriston Jan 11, 2007 04:58 PM

                      Magnolia Pub's hand-pumped ales are closer to British "real ale" than anything shipped from the UK.

                      Lanesplitter in Berkeley usually has two or three ales on hand pump.

                      I think the above-mentioned Kensington Circus usually has Drake's IPA on hand pump. The fish and chips are good except astonishingly undersalted.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Robert Lauriston
                        bbulkow Jan 12, 2007 04:03 PM

                        Got to agree with Mr Lauriston - look for the pump. Casks on pump will be stored differently, and warmer. Landsplitter will have local beers on the hand pump, which tend hoppy, but will be flat and warm.

                        1. re: Robert Lauriston
                          SteveG Feb 6, 2007 12:02 PM

                          Count me in as a Magnolia proponent too. Every English/Scottish beer I've had elsewhere in California has been from a keg, tasted slightly stale, and was served below the optimal temperature. Magnolia makes a selection of British styles, stores some beer in casks and some in kegs as appropriate, and does an all around wonderful job. I think Magnolia can manage it because the customers know it is a brewery so they can get away with serving "warm" beer when in a normal bar the bartender would just get lip from uninformed customers.

                        2. rworange Jan 11, 2007 05:00 AM

                          The Holy Grail on Polk

                          1. k
                            kcchan Jan 11, 2007 04:17 AM

                            My favorite pub when I was in college in SF was Pig and Whistle -

                            1. w
                              wolverine61 Jan 11, 2007 04:15 AM

                              Call Kensington Circus Pub on the Colusa corcle.Ask what they have on tap.The fish and chips have been reported to be good.

                              1. d
                                DavidT Jan 11, 2007 03:19 AM

                                If you are ever driving out to Stinson Beach in Marin, be sure to stop at the Pelican Inn in Muir Beach.


                                1. b
                                  Bryan Gros Jan 11, 2007 03:07 AM

                                  The Englander in San Leandro has a good selection of English beers on tap.

                                  1. Lori SF Jan 11, 2007 02:28 AM

                                    You would think Toronado would have English beer I know they have Belgium and German.
                                    547 Haight

                                    The Pub in the East Bay- lot's of brits go here
                                    1492 Solano Ave., Albany

                                    or near by

                                    Albatross Pub:
                                    1822 San Pablo Ave

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: Lori SF
                                      Joan Kureczka Jan 12, 2007 03:39 AM

                                      Sadly Dave the owner of Toronado doesn't like English beers, so rarely puts them on.

                                      1. re: Joan Kureczka
                                        NoeMan Feb 6, 2007 08:39 PM

                                        Not so sad. Dave knows his stuff.

                                        1. re: NoeMan
                                          Joan Kureczka Apr 22, 2007 08:47 PM

                                          Dave's a personal friend of ours, but he has a prediliction for extremely strong beers, with the exception of some of the German stuff. I agree he knows his beers, especially when it comes to the Belgians -- but not when it comes to English ales. He just doesn't have a taste for them. Nothing wrong with that, but we wish he'd put at least one or two decent ones on for those of us who do.

                                      2. re: Lori SF
                                        a_and_w Jan 12, 2007 04:05 PM

                                        Pub on Solano is an excellent suggestion.

                                      3. r
                                        Rapini Jan 11, 2007 02:25 AM

                                        Try Edinburgh Castle on Geary in San Francisco's colorful Tenderloin...fish 'n chips available from a waiter who will run down the alley to Chelsea F&C...

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