Last night we went to a punk show in the City. But, first, we stopped for dinner at Walzwerk, an East German restaurant on South Van Ness. The food was great and they had several German beers on tap, plus several more in bottles. What was nice was that the beer selection went beyond the usual Franziskaner and Spaten experienced at most other German restaurants here in the U.S. The place was small, so we made sure to get there early and we didn’t have to wait. It felt like we were in the dining room of a friend’s house, complete with a mish-mash of dinner plates and a small child toodling around (which usually bugs us, but not last night).
After dinner, we made our way to City Beer, which is the coolest place ever! Again, we felt like we were in someone’s house, this time the kitchen. They have an amazing selection of bottled beer, plus several beers on tap. Behind the bar, which was kind of like a kegerator x4, was a set of cabinets that truly looked like it could be in your kitchen (complete with a microwave, sink, and dishwasher). Craig and his wife Beth were really nice people and they reminded me a lot of what Chris and I do for our beer tastings at home, except they were getting paid and presumably making money doing it. We were all just hanging out, with Craig and Beth behind the bar serving us up. Actually, it totally could have been Chris and I back there! They even had beers from obscure places that we have visited. I thought it was really cool to see beer from Birra Baladin (Piozzo, Italy, in the heart of wine country) and Schlenkerla (Bamberg, Germany) on the shelves. I felt like a real beer traveler (I’m trying to work on my self-esteem around the fact that I really am a beer traveler) looking at the shelves and thinking “Oh, I’ve been there. Oh, and there. And there, too!) Craig and Beth also seemed to think that it was cool that we had been to some of the places. I would have liked to talk with them more since I have a feeling that we have very similar philosophies on beer drinking. However, there were quite a few people in the small place (the perfect size) and we later learned that it was a busy night for them.
The other neat thing was that we bought an Ayinger Celebrator glass at City Beer. For those of you who don’t know, the little plastic goat that comes on the bottles is our Scrabble mascot. We got our goat from the brewery itself, but we never picked up a glass. I highly encourage anyone and everyone to check out City Beer. It’s a unique concept that is a lot of fun!
Overall, the night was a great time! We were able to experience beer at it’s best. . . in a casual way. A person does not have to get all technical with their beer tasting. In the end, all a person needs is a good variety selected (or brewed) by a well informed person and a fun environment. Environment can make a good beer experience, an excellent one. And for us, casual is best!