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Amnesia Bar

Not Rated.
Amnesia BarAmnesia Bar
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

15 Ratings
Ratings: 15
Reviews: 15
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 8.65%
Taps: 0
Bottles: 0
Cask:
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar ]

853 Valencia St.
San Francisco, California, 94110
United States
phone: (415) 970-8336

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 15 | Reviews: 15 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of quetzpalin
quetzpalin

California

4.64/5  rDev +11.5%

Perhaps the second best beer bar in the city, with a few things going for it. The first is the selection. Goes from hard to find Belgians in bottles to a robust selection of locals on tap, with standard Belgians and an eclectic mix of ales on tap in between. Second is happy hour. $2 pints until 8pm. I am an IPA man myself, so it's heaven to have to choose between $2 Big Daddy and Racer 5. The third thing it has in it's favor is the mellow atmosphere. Think of it as the anti-Toronado in this regard.

Absent are the attitude, the excessively loud jukebox, the nasty smell eminating from the bathroom, and the scary gender ratio. The service is only slow because the bartenders are busy being overly nice to people, they have had for the last year or so a Django-type acoustic jazz band playing regularly, the place rarely gets overly crowded, and the patrons are very friendly towards each other.

We actually end up here more than Toronado for our weekly happy hours in large part because the vibe is so much better, even if the beer choices aren't. It may be that the wives steer us this way because of that, but it is also true that we are easily led because of the great selection. If some of us are feeling a little light, it's the best place to drink well for really cheap, and the Belgian selection will satisfy the most demanding of us, so it's a great place to make us all happy.

If you are visiting from out of town, make sure to hit Toronado, Magnolia, and 21st Amendment first, but this would be next on my list.

07-03-2004 18:45:43 | More by quetzpalin
Photo of axisjones
axisjones

California

4.64/5  rDev +11.5%

First and foremost, Amnesia is a hip little place to be in a hip neighborhood with hip people. Its a hipster joint. For hipsters. Now that thats out of the way...

The atmosphere is very crimson. Dim with red notes everywhere and chic lights and Balinese puppets. The place is really cool, but too small. It has a bar run on one side with couches and table and a makeshift stage at the end. When I went there was an awesome jazz band playing and its seems like live music is standard here.

The service was quick, spot on, friendly. Really, nothing to knock here.

The selection was west coast killah! Let's see... They had Moonlight, Lost Coast, Kwak, and more on tap with a great bottled list. There selection was diverse, interesting, and mostly quality. They divide their selection into three catergories: Light, Dark, and Belgian, and price accordingly, 4, 5, 6. I know, its a bit generalized but it works.

Amnesia is a cool place to be. It is definitely a bar that is greater than the sum of its parts; the music, beer, service and atmosphere are all top notch and mesh together perfectly. The hipster vibe can be a little off putting. My friend and I didnt feel quite cool enough here so we finished our pints and made our way up the street to the Toronado. Good times all around.

05-12-2005 07:37:45 | More by axisjones
Photo of edchef1850
edchef1850

New York

4.44/5  rDev +6.7%

Out to San Francisco to visit my sister, who happens to live around the corner form this nice little spot. Very dark, red lighting makes for a clubby vibe, good tunes and a cool atmosphere over all. Theyve got a nice selection of beers on tap, good local stuff, I tried The Lagunitas Maximus, top notch, and the Brown ale from Humboldt Brewing was really nice too. They also carry a lot of Belgians on tap and in the Bottle, I am really not into the Trappistes and Abbey ales being on tap, i would rather focus on local stuff on tap because i think it will be in the best shape more often than not. But that being said, the selection is great. If your strolling through the mission, dont forget to check out Amnesia

03-23-2007 14:49:17 | More by edchef1850
Photo of francisweizen
francisweizen

Alaska

4.36/5  rDev +4.8%

This is an awesome dark bar in the mission. The lights are red and dim. Beers are cheap and selection is good. Two moonlights on draught, a few russian river, and some notable imports as well. I had three great conversations here. One with the 'tender/owner, one with a really nice local couple, and one with a guy from Quebec. Including a few minutes of rusty back and forth Quebecois ;-) So this definately scored high on ambiance, and clientele. Quality of the beers was great, and service was fast. I didn't eat, as I had to gorge myself on moonlight pils, since this was my last night in SF. Oh well, there is always next time, and there will be a next time. Just another great bar in San Francisco. I've yet to hit a bad one...

05-04-2005 14:06:09 | More by francisweizen
Photo of ChappyCubsFan
ChappyCubsFan

California

4.34/5  rDev +4.3%

What a great find this turned out to be. The subdued red lighting did take a few minutes to get accustomed to. In fact, I asked the bartender to see the beer list, to which he pointed to the large sign above the bar on the wall. How did I miss that? There must have been 30 taps because the huge sign had three columns on the left side that read, "Light", "Dark" and "Belgian". On the right half were the bottled beers, probably another 30 or so.

Seeing that the Racer 5 was on tap, I made that my first choice. There were two other IPA taps; "Censored", which was no longer available, and Speakeasy's Big Daddy. The Belgian selection was pretty good, including Leffe, Chimay White, Maredsous, and Allagash Grand Cru.

But the atmosphere was terrific. A four-piece band, complete with accordian, guitars and floor base and calling themselves "Goucho", played Peruvian music. After about half a dozen instrumental numbers, they were joined by a young lady who sang with a pleasant voice that reminded you of the old Marlene Dietrich movies. The crowd was great and many seemed like locals just out having a fun time. A young husband and wife even brought their well-behaved bulldog while they enjoyed a few pints.

I would definitely recommend Amnesia. Toronado is my favorite pub while in San Francisco, but a trip to Amnesia in the Mission District is well worth the time.

02-26-2005 17:05:48 | More by ChappyCubsFan
Photo of Clembo1957
Clembo1957

United Kingdom (England)

4.34/5  rDev +4.3%

The Amnesia Bar was on my list (coutesy of BeerAdvocate.com) of bars to visit during my visit to San Francisco but was also highly recommended by a friend who lives in SF. Amnesia is located in the Mission on Valencia St. The beer selection is excellent and the bar very friendly with great staff. It's also probably one of the darkest bars i've ever been in being lit during my visit by very dim red lightbulbs. The jazz band playing at the back were fairly unobtrusive and played some cool django style jazz guitar. I had a pint of Maverick Amber Ale.

The number 12 bus passes nearby. Excellent bar, highly recommended.

02-13-2005 23:05:08 | More by Clembo1957
Photo of kiya
kiya

California

4.3/5  rDev +3.4%

i've been frequenting amnesia for a few years now, and for a bar it's size it's got an amazing selection of beers on tap and more in bottles. no hard liquor, just great beers and a house made sangria which should only be had if you enjoy headaches in the morning.

they normally lean towards bigger beers such as stone, chimay, and allagash... lager choices are slim, but i'm not complaining.

they have a really cool way of arranging their beers on their sign.. divided into three categories: light, medium, dark. strange, but it works to a certain degree. maybe the best thing about amnesia is it's sense for variety. not many bars change our their selection as often as them. you can go in there two weeks apart, and you'll notice half of the tap list is totally different, which is merely another reason to stop in there again.

the atmosphere is nice, maybe a bit dark even for a bar, but still nice nonetheless.. seating consists of about ten bar stools and two couches..

if you're in the neighborhood, amnesia is a sure bet...like they say:
"some drink to remember, some drink to forget"

06-16-2004 04:54:42 | More by kiya
Photo of DaPeculierDane
DaPeculierDane

Wisconsin

4.29/5  rDev +3.1%

I must admit suffering a little amnesia myself after hitting up the Amnesia bar. It was that last stop in a short string of beer bars that I was led to by Brewbacca. We had started our night at Toronado so you can imagine that I wasn’t in the best of shape by the time we made it to Amnesia. What stands out most in my mind about Amnesia is the color red. Second place goes to the funky band. I think they might have been cross dressers, or maybe just emo kids – I can never tell with emo kids these days, so feminine and all... Then the beer. This place has some great brew. They include several top local brews from Bear Republic, Moonlight, and others as well as a few Belgians. Amnesia was beyond hip and really my kind of bar - dark, funky, and with a hot clientele. I’d be a regular if I lived near by. Bar service was fine and a cute girl at the door let me in for a lot less than the cover after I fed her some line of half drunken BS. Many thanks to Brewbacca for guiding me to this fine establishment.

05-12-2006 21:51:49 | More by DaPeculierDane
Photo of mashmstr2
mashmstr2

Oregon

4.2/5  rDev +1%

Amnesia is in the hip part of the Mission District with lots of hip bars and chic trendy, but good restaurants. This is more than a beer joint, it's also a nightclub and on certain nights has music or DJ dancing. Amnesia's interior is Dark and surreal, only lit with the glow of red lamps.Cool and funky. Furnishings are simple and dark. The room has a barrel vaulted ceiling which adds depth to the surrealy forboading atmosphere. The crowd is a mix and depends on the night. Service is quick and friendly. A large chalk board above the bar (also dimly lit in red!) advertises the rotating beer selection. The usual beer selection consists of 10-12 draft taps which pour quality local micro and Belgian beers. The botle selection is a rotation of mostly quality and hard to find Belgian's, as well as, California and Pacific Coast Breweries specialy items.


Amnesia is an whimsical experience in the dark, that changes with every visit. Beer selection will always be Good to Excellent with hard to find Belgians always in the mix. Check it out when in the City!

11-16-2003 20:11:25 | More by mashmstr2
Photo of woodychandler
woodychandler

Pennsylvania

4.13/5  rDev -0.7%

Holy deja vu, hoping for amnesia, Batman! This used to be The Chatterbox, one of my favorite live music venues from 1987 to 1989.

Now, it's straight out of David Lynch-land. Red silk tapestry in the overhead, soft red lighting that would do any madam proud, deep red and amber lighting, a stage with red velvet curtains. The blonde-wood topped, 5/8 octagon -shaped bar was along the left side. Above the back bar were a series of three blackboards detailing their current offerings. Setting: dark. Like when I was taking Film Noir Studies and we were encouraged to bring internally-lit pens. Red dark, like being inside a Red Velvet Cake. Zounds!

I miss the days of The Chatterbox, but this place holds an unquantifiable draw for me like no other. On every visit of mine to SF in the last three years, I have ended up here, including a meet-up with Francisweizen.

11-27-2009 13:24:23 | More by woodychandler
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Amnesia Bar in San Francisco, CA
92 out of 100 based on 15 ratings.