Thursday, March 28, 2013

Beers #78-81: San Francisco Day #3

We decided to have breakfast at The Grove again, since it was both enjoyable and convenient. Today we decided that we would take a ferry over to Tiburon, have lunch, and then grab a bus up to Muir Woods to see some Redwoods.

We grabbed a streetcar near the hotel in order to get to Pier 39.  As luck would have it, it took over 30 minutes to get there. We arrived at 11:45 to take the 11:40 ferry (last one until afternoon) ... and found that they had some issues and were still docked!  Waited about 15 minutes and took off for a boat ride over to Sausalido, passing Alcatraz Island.  From there, we rode to Tiburon.  Quaint little town with shops and restaurants, not as touristy as Sausalido.  However, we found out too late that the buses that run up to Muir don't start until May ... no way to get there from here, as it were.

Since we couldn't get a boat back to town for a couple of hours, we had a lazy lunch at Sam's Anchor Cafe, sitting on the dock and enjoying the sunshine (while also keeping an eye out for greedy gulls). They boasted about their New England clam chowder. It was OK but nothing special.

78/365: Firestone Walker Velvet Merlin:
Light chocolate, coffee, licorice, and burnt-roasted malts. Mild hop character and a little tang. Dark brown-black with thin tan head. Medium body with medium carbonation. Starts dry with roasted malt and light burnt character. Carbonic and sugar tang with mealy-meaty soy finish. Nutty mild sweet after.  Stout  64/100

After lunch, we walked around town, then sat by the docks and waited for the ferry.  The ferry ride back first went to Angel Island, then Sausalido, then finally back to the city.  By this time it was pretty cloudy, so I caught a nap inside the boat.

Since the redwoods didn't pan out, we decided to take a GPS-guided tour through the city on a little go-cart ... you look really cheesy driving around with the helmet, etc., but it was really a lot of fun. Found in San Diego, Barcelona, Madrid, and Lisbon, the GoCar allows you to putter along the streets while a GPS-tour guide gives you the low down about the sites you're passing.  We took a two-hour tour and drove up to the Golden Gate Bridge, through the Presidio and various neighborhoods, and down Lombard Street before returning to the shop. It was a little chilly and a few of the hills were almost too much for the little thing, but we had a great time - I'd highly recommend it!

Not wanting to wait for the bus again, we splurged on a cab back to the hotel to get changed.

For our last dinner in town, we went to the Abbot's Cellar in the Mission. Same folks who run the Monk's Kettle have this place, though the Cellar is a bit more upscale. It was a Monday night, so even though we'd made reservations, we didn't really need them.  Small but quality food menu, including a four-course tasting menu paired with beers. Beer menu was eclectic, not huge, but of very high quality.  It was nice that they allowed bottle pours from 750 mL bottles, but a lot of them were overpriced considering the sample size.  Over dinner, I enjoyed:

79/365: Firestone Walker Pivo Pils:
Really aromatic nose, malt and grains, jasmine, soap, and tea. Fruity-herbal hoppy notes. Golden clear with roomy lacing white head. Medium body with medium-high carbonation. Starts with terrific herbal hops and beany mash. Pilsner malt sweetness, but finishes dry with great grassy hop bitterness. Tasty beer. Very drinkable with lasting bitter after.  Pilsener  84/100

80/365: Heretic Shallow Grave Porter:
Roasted toasted coffee, licorice, chocolate, and lactose. Really nice sweet and salty porter aromas. Dark black-brown opaque with lacing tan head. Medium-heavy body with medium carbonation and some warmness. Starts sweet and rich with chocolate, coffee, lactose, and molasses. Chocolate malted milk, sweet finish with nutty sweet bitter after. Nice porter.  Porter  84/100

81/365: Freigeist Abraxxxas:
Nice smoky nose, a bit of tart with a hint of lactic. Airy, fruity, oranges. Cloudy pale amber with thin white lacing head. Medium watery body with medium carbonation. Starts with a little orange sweetness. Nice smoky flavor throughout - more like a lichtenheiner than traditional Berliner, could be tarter, but nice.  Berliner Weisse  76/100
We grabbed a taxi back to the hotel, packed, and got ready to get up at 3:30 for our 6:00 flight home. All in all, a great trip - not really that relaxing compared to sitting on a beach but enjoyable.

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