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Best Microbrew San Francisco 2008 - Old Foghorn Barleywine Style Ale

If you don't like beer, you most absolutely won't like barley wine. Despite its moniker, it's not only a beer, it's also one of the most intensely beerlike beers available over the counter. We happen to like beer — we love it, in fact — and this ale's bodaciously bittersweet and malty character reminds us why. Anchor has been brewing up small batches of Old Foghorn since 1975, employing three mashes to create an especially high-gravity top-fermenting yeast that gives the beer its honeyed, hoppy flavor and high alcoholic content (up to 10 percent). Sipping it — you don't chug a beer like this — it's rich and creamy on the tongue with lots of warm, complex, full-bodied flavor and a nice, peppery afterbite that tickles the back of your throat. It's available in the bottle at high-end grocery stores and on tap at discerning saloons across the city.

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