So there I was; just outside of Fisherman’s Warf in San Francisco, had a beautiful cigar next to a beautiful day, got in a fight with a gang of MASSIVE seagulls, rocking my Carlos Ruiz Phillies jersey… I needed a beer. I get to the corner of Columbus and Powell and I see a very familiar name and logo on a sign: “Rogue.” I knew this was going to be good.
I walk in, and find it really inviting. It comes off looking like the kind of place that you now is going to have good beer just by it’s looks, even if you’ve never heard of Rogue (but really, you have to have heard of Rogue). I am watching American ninja warrior with the hashtags: #Over50club and #CowboyNinja – so really, the mood was perfect. Joking aside, it felt open with lots of wonderful breeze, which was fantastic on this beautiful S.F summer day. Besides the great ambiance and rustic aesthetic, the kitchen aroma was intoxicating even more than the beer itself. The air was full of scents of basil, fries, and chicken.
Having just eaten (regrettably after experiencing this aroma) a fresh shrimp sandwich, I was not ready for some food, but I knew I wanted to sample as much beer as I could. Knowing I had a long day ahead of me, I decided to try one of their (really well priced) flights of beer. Unfortunately 2 of the beers I tried were tapped, but they had plenty of other choices. I knew I couldn’t do full and fair reviews with the small samples I had ordered, but I did record my immediate reactions. Here is what I thought:
The aroma is near non-existent, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Not sure if I’d really want to smell chili peppers before taking a sip, but that definitely is a bit of missed experience. It is definitely milder than I would have expected for a beer with chipotle in the name. The flavor of the beer itself is not unenjoyably, its just a little uninteresting at first taste. The pepper taste does not hit you until later in the sip, however, when you feel it (in the back of the throat), it’s rather enjoyably understated. Surprisingly fine carbonation.
Morimoto Soba Ale
It is so light! Light on smell, light on taste, and you can feel little carbonation. That being said, this is a perfect summer beer, it is not UNENJOYBLE, its just not too complex, which, at times – has its place. The finish is almost sweet, but it fades quickly. It’s a bit of a nothing beer, but if I were looking for something light and easy during a hot day and amidst a game of corn hole – this is a clear choice of utility beer such as Bud light or Miller.
Dirtoir Black Lager
Strong coffee and chocolate scents, paired with a really enjoyable homey aroma. The back of the tongue gets hit with almost a hoppy feeling, but it dissipates quickly. The aroma reaches far passed the glass – but enjoyable. Very drinkable, yet not devoid of flavor. Drinks thick like a stout, but it is not nearly as filling. The head sticks to glass for so long as if to remind you what the glass looked like full, so you are enticed to get another!
Shakespeare Oatmeal stout
So smooth, plenty of that wonderful oatmeal flavor. Earthy scent, full of oatmeal – smells thick. Not nearly as filling as I expected. It even has a bit of an alcohol taste! I could have more than one of these… In fact I think I will.
And I did… It is worth noting that these were my notes that I made while drinking my flight, so obviously they are not a full beer review (hence the lack of ratings), but any of them very well may find themselves on a First Draft review coming soon!
All in all The Rogue Ales Public House in San Francisco was a great bar and well worth going to if you are ever in the area!