It’s too late now, but February was Strong Beer Month at historic Magnolia’s Pub and Brewery in the Haight-Asbury district of San Francisco. And brewers Dave McLean and Ben Spencer  didn’t take that name” lightly.”


Magnolia’s is known for their unique cask ales, hand pulled from an impressive set of taps, up from the chilled basement. I imbibed in the Weekapaug Gruit, a Scottish-style ale likely named after the Phish song “Weekapaug Groove” (Magnolia’s has a decidedly Hippie past) and “The Other One,” a dark brew made with Blue Bottle coffee.

Recent visitors to Magnolia’s will hardly recognize the place. The trippy murals have been replaced with a shimmering gold paint and a more modern aesthetic overall. Better? I dunno. But the beer is just as adventurous, and the food still impressive.

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