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bars serving hitachino beers in SF?

the other night on a trip to NYC i tried a hitachino red rice ale, from japan. i thought it was really unique and delicious, and i'm curious to try their other products when i get back home. does anyone know of any bars (even restaurant or hotel types) that serve up these beers in SF? a quick search shows that the monk's kettle has it according to their website. any others?

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  1. If you can't find it, check with the Toronado. They ttake requests.

    Might go hunting around Japantown.

    Toronado Pub
    547 Haight St, San Francisco, CA

    1. that's the owl beer? city beer and healthy spirits carry various flavors.
      you can for sure drink at city beer for a $1 surcharge [?].
      i believe you can sit down at healthy spirits and drink there too.

      althought neither of these are bar/resto proper.
      [you can get food at both, but if you are looking for a real resto meal,
      and service and a crowd etc, that's not it].

      i dont really get why "beer people" have taken a liking to these.
      [beers i like include hacker-pschorr hefeweisse,, koningshoeven quadrupel,
      pliny the elder, celebrator, rodenbach, blanche de bruxelles, trappist westvleteren
      12 quadrupel].

      ok tnx.

      1 Reply
      1. re: psb

        Healthy Spirits carries the following from Hitachino as of last Sunday:

        in bombers:
        White Ale
        Red Rice Ale
        Japanese Classic Ale

        In small but expensive bottles:

        XH (aged in sake casks)
        Espresso Stout
        Ginger Brew

        I might be forgetting one but that's most of it.

      2. The LA Times mentioned this in a report on Japanese craft beers a while back. It said BevMo also carried it; though all the local branches were sold out of it for months after the article came out.



        1. It was several months ago, but I had the rice ale at beretta on valencia st.

          1. I had it at Bong Su.

            Bong Su
            311 3rd St, San Francisco, CA 94107

            1. thanks everyone. i was already thinking i might just swing by city beer. oh and psb, i don't consider myself a "beer person," really. but i guess i do get bored with a lot of american craft beer, with bigger-is-better flavors. i thought the red rice ale had good but restrained flavors, so it caught my attention. i'm guessing i might see these more in restaurants than bars for now. when i get back to SF i'll go owl-hunting.

              2 Replies
              1. re: augustiner

                oh hey ... i am not really a "beer person" either, but i could see why people like
                beer like Celebrator or why "beer people' were excitied about the greater availability
                of say Pliny the Elder. I didnt get the excitment over the Owl Beers, but 1. i've only
                tried maybe two 2. it was ok ... decent "hot weather outside beer" and 3. i'm sure this
                says more about my failure-to-model "beer people" than anything about the acutal
                quality of the beer ... it's a fairly pricey beer, so i think it is reasonble to grade pretty
                hard and compare it against high end stuff, not Red Stripe.

                i do like owls tho.

                >american craft beer, with bigger-is-better flavors.
                i know what you mean.

                1. re: psb

                  it is pricey, that's true. these beers would never become my go to standard. it's just been awhile since i've tried a new beer that caught my interest.

              2. Monk's Kettle in the Mission has Hitachino White, which I think is the best of the bunch.

                Inner Mission Tavern also has Hitachino White

                1. Incanto in Noe Valley has the white ale and Whole Foods on 4th Street in SF sells it in large-size bottles.

                  1. Bar Crudo also serves Hitachino... a nice compliment to an oyster!

                    Bar Crudo
                    655 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, CA 94117