Anderson Valley Beers
What bar or restaurant in the San Francisco area would have the best selection of Anderson Valley Beers. I live in Boston and only one place in town had their beer. Unfortunately, they no longer carry them. I will be out for the Pats/Niners game on Oct. 5th and would deeply appreciate your advice.
There are a couple places in Boston that have Anderson Valley
Sunset always has Anderson Valley... Red Bones often has it as well... the Brukowski (sp?) in Cambridge sometimes carries it
In fact... they usually save a barrel of the winter solstice for their Christmas in July party
Anderson Valley is widely available. More interesting is to ask the freshest taps within a certain neighborhood.
If you're tailgating, a 5 gal pony keg is only $80 at BevMo, just call 4 days in advance to reserve, www.bevmo.com, many locations. When you compare a keg price to an in-the-park price, you might consider faking injury and having made wheelchair with beer in the frame ... not that I'd really promote such a thing ....
Why not just ask for some of the great SF beer bars? I might opine the freshest taps I know specializing in west coast hoppy beers are at Zeitgeist, and it's certainly an only-in-Sf kind of place. (No beer, no women, stay away)
Toranado is pretty small and gets very loud. Very fine beer, though. Your worst problem will be deciding what to drink
I notice that many of the establishments I've seen on the internet offer a large variety of Belgian beers, which I love. I will probably do the local thing since I've been to Brussels. It will probably be a very small tailgate, so maybe some growlers will do the trick. I might pick up a cheepo Smokey Joe knock off and grill up some grub. Any good meat markets or sausage houses in the vacinity?
Not sure where you're going to get growlers. Typically, one buys them at the brewery, and all the best breweries are out of town (waaaay out of town, ie, about 100 miles away). That's a fine chowhound question in and of itself. C'mon, 5 gal isn't that much!
Regarding meats: SF is not known as a great steak & sausage town. Most of the safeways carry Aidell's and similar in vaccupack, so you can get your turkey & mango fix on, but I wouldn't call them outstanding. There are some CH threads, but no real consensus. You'd have to specify your exact neighborhood possibilities to shake out a possible old school butcher. One often ends up at Whole Foods or Andronicos when looking for a good, thick steak
For my grilling, I'm using lots of mexican meats. My local mexican butcher has insanely good fresh cut meat, but it's mexican cuts (like aracherra) that require a certain technique. This is the second summer of experimentation, and if I grill every weekend, I just might get it right...
Regretably, chorizo, although a sausage, doesn't really grill right. It's made for pan cooking.
Conveniently, Toranado is located right next door to Rosamunde Sausage Grill, which has a great selection of sausages. You can buy them there to cook yourself, or have them grill them up for you, served on a bun with fresh sauerkraut, chili, or grilled onions. Then you take your sausage sandwich next door, plunk down ona stool, order your fave AV brew, and enjoy the good life, Lower-Haight style. MMMMmmmm!
While you're here, you'd probably enjoy the beer selection at the Monk's Kettle, which has an excellent list of both European trappist-style beer and carefully edited west-coast selections.
I'd have a light breakfast and then go to Monk's Kettle after lunch to drink a bunch of beer and snack on a specific few of their menu offerings, like the fresh butter-brushed giant pretzel. I haven't been impressed by the more complicated dishes, and it gets really crowded around traditional meal times, so this isn't a full-throated endorsement but I think in the right circumstances it hits the spot.
The Monk's Kettle
3141 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103
Toronado currently has four on tap:
City Beer has the whole line in bottle (except when they run out):
You could call their SF distributor and ask for other spots: Golden Brands, 415-643-9900.
If you have time for a trip to Boonville (2-1/4 hours with normal traffic):
Boonville discussion on California board:
City Beer Store
1168 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA 94103
547 Haight St, San Francisco, CA
Anderson Valley Brewing Co
17700 Boonville Rd, Boonville, CA
re: Robert Lauriston
Yep, I'd hit Toronado for some of their best all-around beers on tap, and then I'd go to citybeerstore or bevmo to try some of the Brother David's Double & Triple style beers, and the summer solstice if it's still in stock (it's verging on old now, but it's worth a try--I'm sure Anderson Valley Brewing Co uses oxygen absorbing caps to preserve the beer).
re: Robert Lauriston
The Toronado website is extremely outdated. They usually have 1-2 of the AV beers on tap, which right now would be the Summer Solstice and one of the Brother Davids. You should go here anyways because you can sample a wide variety of great beers that are extremely rare on the other coast. I recommend anything by Deschuttes, Russian River, and Moonlight. Bevmo on Van Ness will have the best selection of AV bottles in the city. I recommend City Beer only because they will have a greater selection of beers not widely distributed to your neck of the woods.
Currently Toronado has Russian River Fleurette (very recently released) on tap plus two other RR beers. The Fleurette is supposedly brewed with violets and other flowers but doesn't really taste like it to me. Deschutes is my go-to beer but I've found RR's a bit more exciting lately.
One of the real winners at Toronado is that you can get Anchor's Old Foghorn barleywine on tap for only a few cents more than the Steam or Liberty Ale.