Now till Dec. 31, SFoodie is counting down the city's top alternative food and restaurant trends of 2009 -- the ones you won't be reading about in the Chron.
It was the year we stopped buying Burgundies and started ordering Brouwerij Van Steenberge ales. In 2009, San Franciscans' 401(k)s might have been flatter than a day-old Coke, but the discovery that beer could be a worthy accompaniment to a fine meal showed impressive fizz. The Republic offered more American craft beers than even we knew existed (20 on tap). Lack of a liquor license didn't stop Starbelly bar manager Lane Ford form devising elegant beer (and wine) cocktails. There was the Incanto-Magnolia tag team back in June. And it was the year we all learned what the hell a cicerone is, and that they could be certified, or that a beer could be tagged with tasting notes like bread, earth, and spice. Chalk it up to what Bacar wine manager Jay Bordeleau told us, in a rather different context: "Bottom line," Bordeleau told SFoodie, "people are looking for drinking lists, not trophy lists." What better bev to quench a thirst with than beer?