Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sidebar - Oakland

There are still SF Beer Week events to write about.  I know.  I am sure all my zero readers are dying to know what the Lumberjack and I have been up to.  You will have to wait!  Because I'm lazy.

While you wait, I will tell you about a few other beers that I had with my friend who I have to call "Spitfire" until she comes up with a better pseudonym for herself.  Apparently when I'm tipsy, "spitfire" is the best I can come up with.  So, Spitfire she is.

We went to the grand opening of Heart and Daggers Saloon (yes, I promise I hate the name just as much as, if not more than, you).  It's a fun little bar, but the beer list made me want to cry (the big seller was the extra-large cans of PBR).  So after awhile we headed down to Sidebar, a restaurant near my house that I had a hunch might serve some good beers.

Behold!  A very small photo of their beer list.  Ahem.

First up, Spitfire chose La Fin du Monde (Abbey Triple, 9% ABV).  I had tried it once before, and still like it a lot.  Kind of fruity, with a solid base.  Smells like bananas.  Very tasty!

I had the Sierra Nevada Porter (Porter, 5.6% ABV), which was pretty decent.  In the greater Sierra Nevada context, I give it an A, but compared with my favourite porters and stouts like Speedway, more of a B+.  It was a little too watery, although it had a great light flavour of raisins and coffee.  For a relatively cheap beer, it was great.

I had been to Sidebar once before for dinner, and liked it a lot - it has a very cozy and hip feeling - dark wood, sparse decorations, friendly (and kinda hot) staff.  This time we sat at the bar and the bartender was very kind to give us his beer suggestions.  My favourite bartender is the kind who has an opinion and wants to share it with you...but then follows up afterward to see if he was right.  SOMETIMES THEY'RE NOT.  This time he was.

So, at his suggestion, Spitfire then had Saison du Pont (Saison, 6.5% ABV), which I had also had before, and was not a fan of - it just tastes a little off to me.  The hops are kind of sour, and not in the good way.  But I think she liked it.  I had Hopf Dunkle Weisse (Dunkelweizen, 5% ABV), which the ratebeer people seem to hate.  I thought it was pretty good.  It tasted kind of fruity, slightly of prunes and dried cherries with a syrupy aftertaste.  It also faintly tasted of sour milk, although that wasn't bad (hard to explain, but true).  It was a little too wheaty for me after awhile - I think if I only had a little of it I would like it, but 500ml was too much.  It's a good beer to share with someone else.  Speaking of which...

The best part of the evening was making a new drinking friend!  Oh Spitfire, look how happy she is with her beer and notes.  It's so much more fun to taste beer and compare notes than to...not.


  1. you have at least one reader, miss dk beer. ;)

  2. Thanks for the nice write up! Try Saison DuPont again, devastating beer. See you soon at Sidebar.