Best San Francisco Beer - 2002
Speakeasy Brewing's Prohibition Ale
For a town that loves its beer and boasts its share of breweries and brewpubs, S.F. has city-brewed suds that are fair to middlin' at best. In fact, despite all the great breweries in Northern California, San Francisco itself has only one: Speakeasy. Five years ago, the company was a small-time outlet with a scattering of taps in the city; today its product is being poured at most local pubs and sold in six-packs at a corner store near you. Speakeasy is on its way into the pantheon of California microbreweries, largely on the reputation of its signature Prohibition Ale, a caramel-toned amber beer that perfectly balances sweet maltiness with a heavy dose of hops. While the company's other offerings, such as Big Daddy Pale Ale and Satchmo Stout, haven't lived up to Prohibition's gold standard, the brewery's most recent offspring, Untouchable Pale Ale, is a fine beer that stands just in the shadow of Prohibition. Despite Speakeasy's tag line -- "Ssshhh" -- Prohibition begs to be talked about. Give your bartender a nod and order one up.