English cider in San Francisco?
I just got back from a trip to England, where I rediscovered cider, which I had loved drinking while an exchange student over there years ago. It was even better than I remembered! I tried a long time ago to find it in the US, without success; nothing tasted the same, and gave up. Now I've got my hopes up again. I'd love to find real English cider on tap somewhere, and also would love to buy it to have at home. I live in San Francisco and work in Redwood City. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.
My girl's of the English flavor, and I cannot drink beer anymore. We've been looking for good cider here as well, but nothing is quite like the regional ciders and scrumpies available all over England.
The best we've had are from Sebastopol's Ace Cider (whose pub, the Ace In The Hole, sadly just closed in December) and Red Branch in Santa Clara (who also make some respectable meads under the name of Rabbit's Foot). I recommend Ace's Joker--stronger and drier than the rest of their ciders. I don't remember what we had from Red Branch, but it was tasty, and a visit to their tasting room is an absolute pleasure.
What kinds of cider were you drinking in England? Chances are, if it was cider from a small artisinal (microbrew) type producer, there is little chance you will find the same level of quality in the U.S. There are a few ciders brewed in California. You could be on the lookout for those...
For pubs in SF, I would try Mad Dog in the Fog and Kezar Pub. You can buy Blackthorn and Babycham bottles at BevMo. Magners is Irish cider and also readily available at BevMo.
Mad Dog In the Fog
530 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117
Kezar Pub & Restaurant
770 Stanyan St, San Francisco, CA