SFoodie hates the term "gastropub." Hates it. But this city has more and more restaurants that technically qualify. Some are brewpubs where you can eat something more substantial than potato skins and greasy burgers. Some talk up their "beer program" (SFoodie sees that phrase and looks around for our assigned seats and the popcorn stand) and employ a cicerone, also known as a beer sommelier. Whatever you want to call these beer-focused destinations, here are our five favorites:
Microbrews and Spanish tapas don't seem like the most intuitive pairing, conceptually, but ThirstyBear's owner, Ron Silberstein, has made them work for more than a decade. It helps that Silberstein's wide range of beers are well made, from the lightest of the wheats to the darkest of stouts, and certified organic to boot. The tapas aren't uniformly oustanding, but the tortilla would satisfy a Castilian grandmother, the patatas bravas are always a hit, and the kitchen has a knack for seafood.