Beer Is Good Food

Tour the city's breweries and brewpubs this summer.

Gordon Biersch

Three South of Market brewpubs provide beer and snacks to beleaguered cubicle drones, Giants fans headed to the ballpark, and the just plain thirsty and rambunctious. At Gordon Biersch (2 Harrison at Embarcadero, 243-8246, www.gordonbiersch.com) the remnants of the dot-com generation purse their lips and preen in a noisy ambience of flatscreen TVs, pressed Dockers, and cobalt-colored cocktails, but the crisp house Hefeweizen and the potato chips draped in blue cheese and bacon are worth investigating.

21st Amendment

The 21st Amendment (563 Second St. at Brannan, 369-0900, www.21st-amendment.com) cooks up some of the city's more unusual and tasty brews — the Oyster Point Stout and the Hell or High Watermelon Wheat are two fine examples — and the snack items, particularly the pressed Cuban sandwich and the ice cream float made with house-brewed root beer, are just as delectable.

ThirstyBear

ThirstyBear (661 Howard at Third St., 974-0905, www.thirstybear.com) is famous not only for nine all-organic house-brewed beers — check out the lush, malty Brown Bear Ale — but also an impressive selection of Spanish tapas, from fried garbanzos and stuffed squash blossoms to pork belly with anchovy butter and lamb empanadas with mint mojo.

Magnolia

The quintessential San Francisco brewpub just might be Magnolia (1398 Haight at Masonic, 864-7468, www.magnoliapub.com) in the Haight. Located in a historic Victorian, the place thrums with good vibes, a hip yet welcoming attitude, and the irresistible sound of clinking glasses. Up to 10 highly original beers are produced in the basement brewery — the crisp and summery Weather Report Wheat and the rich and hoppy Blue Bell Bitter are two of our favorites. The menu is impressive, offering bar snacks like duck wings with celery root salad and a fabulous selection of pork, rabbit, and lamb sausages with rainbow chard and cheese grits. What more could the fun-seeking San Franciscan ask for as the summer fog billows through the Golden Gate?

Read more articles from Summer Guide:

Fun Times from Uncle Sugar: Fifteen fabulous ways to stimulate the local economy.

Cheap Musical Thrills: Give your ears — and your wallet — a summer treat.

Reading Highway 1: A literary road trip up the Mendonoma coast.

Hotels, events and books for your trip north on the Highway 1/Shoreline Highway
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