San Francisco

Gregg and I are beer geeks.  It’s true.  Well, I think Gregg is more geeky when it come to beer than me because he is a home brewer, so he is interested in the chemistry and science of the brewing process.  I, on the other hand, prefer just  to enjoy the end result.  We both enjoy the complexities of craft beer much the same way some people enjoy wine.  We enjoy attending beer pairing events and learning how certain styles of beer will compliment certain flavors in food.  When we are on vacation or on even on a day road trip, we seek out the brew pubs in the area.  The local brewpub is part of the unique make up of that community or geographic area.  The pubs are a meeting place of diverse yet like minded people and have their own personality.  They usually reflect the disposition of the brewer or owner.  When you are in a brewpub you can usually tell if the owner has a sense of humor, is a rebel, or maybe is extremely meticulous.  It is always interesting and entertaining.

We enjoy sampling a seasonal beer that is made from local ingredients.  It’s interesting how different the same style beer can taste when made by two different brewers or the combinations of flavors that some brewers experiment with.  And usually the food is just as good and interesting.  Brewers and Brewpub owners care about ingredients, about process, about what it takes to make a quality product, and that carries over into the food they serve.

A few summers ago we embarked on a west coast adventure that included stopping at a series of west coast breweries and pubs.  It was awesome!  During our road trip, we stayed a few days in Sonoma County (sampling a few wines too!), and decided to take a day trip over to San Francisco.  We drove over to the Marin County Ferry service and took the Larkspur over to the Port of San Francisco.  We left early and spent the entire August summer day in the foggy, breezy, and temperate city.  Gregg had our itinerary prepared.  One thing I love about him is his enthusiasm and detailed planning for our vacations.  He studies an area and lays out a fairly ambitious schedule, which we usually have to eliminate several items because I prefer to travel at a more relaxed pace.  But on that day we definitely explored the city at brisk pace and saw most of the San Francisco highlights, such as,

Alcatraz.

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The Golden Gate Bridge.

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Fisherman’s Wharf.

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Ghirardelli Square.

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Pier 39.

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The Cable Cars and Lombard Street.

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And, of course, a couple of San Francisco brewpubs!

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Our first stop, after disembarking from the ferry was to walk and find one of the city’s brewpubs.  It was a bit of a hike, but when we arrived we relaxed, had lunch, and enjoyed a locally brewed beer at the 21st Amendment Brewery.  Their Slogan is Celebrate the Right to be Original with Beer Names like Brew Free! Or Die IPA, which was my choice, and Sneak Attack Spiced Saison, and Fireside Chat Winter Spiced Ale.  The food was also delicious, I tried one of their specialty salads.  The atmosphere was relaxed  and the place was bustling with a lunch time crowd.

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Gregg, of course, had to seek out the brewer and take a short tour of the production area to see what their set up and brewing process is like.

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And after a day of exploring San Francisco which included a satisfying dinner at a restaurant on Fisherman’s Wharf with some world famous Sourdough Bread, we ended our trip, waiting for the evening ferry at the Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant.

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Gorde Biersch beers are traditional German Style beers, Pilsners, Dunkels, Bocks.  The original brewer, Dan Gordon, was the first non German accepted into the German Brewing Institute.  The feeling inside this brewery was more industrial and large scale, but was an enjoyable way to end our adventure in this city.

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It was a day well spent.

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