The proprietor of Elizabeth Street Brewery, the city's best microbrewery as deemed by SF Weekly in the 2010 Best Ofs, typically makes beers that are under six percent alcohol, including the namesake ESB. It's a mild, British-style ale regarded for its pale color and moderately hoppy bitterness.But Imperial Jack veers more toward brown ale, due to its use of chocolate malts, and the fact that it weighs in at 8.4 percent alcohol by volume. Once it warms up in the glass, the sweetness begins to allow the spicier notes to come through.
This is the second beer Brewer-Hay collaborated on with Shaun O'Sullivan and the team at 21st Amendment and, most likely, will be a regular once he actually closes the gates to his home-based pub and opens the doors to his own brewpub. Until then, try it on tap at 21-A while it lasts.
21st Amendment Brewing 563 Second St. (at De Boom), 369-0900; Imperial Jack, $7 for 13 oz.