Best Brewpub - 2005
Following a San Francisco tradition of masterful brewing that stretches back to the Gold Rush, the 21st cooks up a distinctive array of beers that range from the light and crisp to the rich and yeasty. The 21A IPA, for instance, employs three hops in the fermenting process to especially lusty effect, while the Oyster Point Stout is made with honest-to-God Hog Island oyster shells for a surprisingly tasty hint of errant sea spray. (For their next trick, the brewmasters plan on aging the stuff in wooden Wild Turkey barrels.) Every bit as unusual and delicious as the beers are the creations that emerge from the open kitchen: sweet potato soup with walnuts and blue cheese; ale-steamed mussels with garlic-jalapeño fries; an exemplary corned beef on rye with Gruyère and sauerkraut. The pub itself is a big old rustic warehouse with an upstairs loft, a beer garden out back, and a happy, welcoming vibe throughout. Ideally located two blocks from the ballpark, it's a great place to head after a game and celebrate the win (or drown your sorrows) over a stein of superlative suds.