Tag: pi bar

SF Beer Week: Pig Hunt

A woman working at his hotel swooned over having a bona fide brewer stay in one of her rooms, but no one at Pi Bar recognized Anderson Valley‘s Fal Allen last night, or if they did they played it cool. We had to eat our pizza standing up.

We had already tried their session beer, Wee Geech, at the opening gala, and loved it, and we had some more last night to chase the harder stuff: strong but smooth Imperial Boont; a puckering sour stout; and the truly awesome Drunkin Horn, a barreled barleywine with notes of sour cherries. We were drinking out of tulip glasses, sure, but there’s something unpretentious about Anderson Valley beer that made us think about chilling cans in a trout stream, or getting Zen on a dirt bike. Drinks were drunk, the pizza vanished, and pretty soon we were talking about pig hunting. That’s what happens in Anderson Valley. Or, as they say, “that’s how we do it in the Boont.”

And so we found ourselves, craving pig, at Rosamunde. They were hosting Green Flash, but all out of what we wanted (a nut brown we’ve never tried). We got the usual: stout, IPA, and a wild boar with the works.

(Stay tuned for a dispatch from our last trip up to the Valley, including: redwoods, burritos, dogs in human coffins, and lots of beer.)

SF Beer Week: Hammered

Pi Bar opens at 3:14 every day. That’s dedication to the name. By the time I arrived at four, People were already in the weeds. The beer app on a new friend’s iPhone was telling him to “take it easy.” These drinkers had started from the bottom of the Deschutes tap list instead of the top. Beer before liquor—fine, but no old saying sings the dangers of imperial stouts before hefeweizens.

We love Deschutes, especially their Black Butte porter. This version, XXI, was partially aged in Stranahan’s whiskey barrels and topped off with Theo’s cocoa nibs. They gave the beer some sharp, roasted flavors and a little bit of oily sweetness. That, mixed with the woody vanilla of the barrels, made the whole thing taste kind of like balsamic vinegar. That’s a lot to say about one beer. The others were not as remarkable, but no one noticed.

Heart is a stuck-up wine bar down the street. They were tapping a half dozen firkins (old-school kegs that dispense beer via gravity, not CO2) and I came in, mid-tap, to a spray of foam and a soaked bartender. He posed with his heavy-looking, firkin-tapping wooden mallet for some cell-phone pictures, taken by the only employee of 6 or 7 there wearing an apron. Apron guy and his camera had avoided the spray.

I tried the Black and Blue, a dark beer from Linden Street brewed with Blue Bottle coffee. We like Blue Bottle, but it’s too expensive. It’s also usually acidic, but in this beer it tasted charred and very old. It was not good. Most people there were drinking the Ballast Point Sculpin, an IPA that one guy told me smelled like apricots. Instead of ordering another, I went back to Pi Bar. Apricot guy did too.