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Friday, May 7, 2010

Alembic Rolling Out Barrel-Aged Beer Menu

Posted By on Fri, May 7, 2010 at 12:18 PM

The menu will gradually add all manner of wood-aged and wood-finished beers. - ::NOVOCAINATED::
  • ::novocainated::
  • The menu will gradually add all manner of wood-aged and wood-finished beers.
The Alembic is a respite from Upper Haight's head shops and spare changers with adorable pit bull mutts. But the bar known primarily for distinguished cocktails and tasty vittles will soon be offering up a little change of its own. Next week, owner Dave McLean, who also operates the Magnolia brewpub down the street, is unveiling a barrel-aged beer menu at The Alembic.

"It's been a long time coming, as we've always tried to connect the beer program to the aged spirits program through the wood connection," McLean says. "We have tried, over the years, to seek out as many wood-aged one-offs and special beers [as we could]."

The Alembic's current bottle list is about 30 strong, split between domestic craft and import beers. McLean says the additional list debuting next week will start small and continue to grow, accumulating all manner of wood-aged and wood-finished beers, from hefty imperial stouts matured in bourbon barrels, to sour wild ales (with alternative yeasts such as Brettanomyces) aged in new oak.

Initial offerings will include several vintages of JW Lees Barleywine, Hanssens Oudbetije, Allagash Curieux and Odyssey, and, of course, a few from our own beloved Russian River Brewing. While the real majesty lies in what the list will look like years down the road, a few special treats have already been procured, such as last year's amazing anniversary-blend Firestone-Walker XII, and from the Belgian lambic brewery Cantillon, Bruocsella 1900 Grand Cru.

Adds McLean, "I think we have a case of an older edition of [New Belgium] La Folie, which I hate to part with but will likely add to the list until it is gone."

The Alembic 1725 Haight (at Cole), 666-0822

Follow us on Twitter: @SFoodie. Follow Brian Yaeger at @yaeger.

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