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Best Local Beer San Francisco 2012 - Linden Street Brewery's Burning Oak Black Lager

Adam Lamoreaux's black lager isn't just a favorite of bistros like Flour + Water and Cotogna because it is low alcohol and pairs so well with their food. The beer is made in a style native to the Bay Area — which Anchor patented as steam beer and others call California commons — that uses a yeast strain developed by 19th-century European immigrants to ferment perfectly in our cool maritime climate. While the opaque, cola-colored beer looks like a stout, it's much lighter and clearer. Each sip begins with chocolate, but by the time you swallow you'd swear you were drinking a lighter pale ale, hopped just enough to cleanse the palate of the malt's richness. It's a session beer good enough for a $75 meal.

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