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Magnolia Pub & Brewery

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Beer Stats:
Active Beers: 50
Beer Ratings: 488
Beer Avg: 3.77

Taps: 10 / Bottles: -
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: Y
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

141 Ratings
Ratings: 141
Reviews: 124
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 10.34%
$$ - reasonable


[ Brewery, Eatery ]

1398 Haight Street
San Francisco, California, 94117
United States
phone: (415) 864-PINT

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 141 | Reviews: 124 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Hibernator
Hibernator

Massachusetts

4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$

Our taxi driver let us off in the heart of Haight-Ashbury as light rain was falling down. We dropped by Magnolia this afternoon around 1PM for a quick lunch before heading to Amoeba Music down the street. I was initially surprised at how full the place was for a Tuesday afternoon, but we were able to find a small table by the street.

I liked the décor and atmosphere with plenty of dark wood in the intimate main room. Seating consists of both tables and booths. There is also a bar up front by the kitchen area. Chalkboards advertise the most current offerings and prices. Luckily, today was Tuesday and that meant all beers were only $4, but they are usually $7.

There were about 12 draft options today with selections that included Blue Bell Bitter, Cole Porter, Bonnie Lee’s Best Bitter, Weather Report Wheat, Dark Star Magnolia, Big Cypress Brown. I had the Spud Boy’s IPA that was awesome. The beer was pleasantly hoppy with big punches of citrus fruits.

The quality and attention to detail at Magnolia is what separates it from most brewpubs that I’ve visited. All of the food and beer I had was super fresh and I appreciate the fact that beers are served in 20 oz. imperial pints. The lunch menu was fairly limited, but I ordered the Arugula Grape Salad and Chicken Habanero house sausage, which worked well with each other. The focus here is on quality over quantity.

A few minutes after we requested our check, Fire on the Mountain began to play over the sound system and I was gently reminded where I was and the significance of this location. Also worth mentioning is the awesome picture of JG in the very top corner of the seating area.

03-26-2014 05:33:37 | More by Hibernator
Photo of GraduatedCashew
GraduatedCashew

California

4.59/5  rDev +13.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5 | $$$

Magnolia Pub and Brewery was recommended to me by some friends so I thought it'd be pretty good. I feel that I was right and a little bit more. I was truly impressed by this place for several reason:

The aesthetic was perfect. I thought everything was just different enough from every other brewery. There was an authentic feel about the place which paired with the beer rather well. I liked all the beers because of their quality and unique flavor.

The service was impressive especially considering the busy Saturday that I was there.

The food was incredible. I was able to grab the tail end of brunch and I highly recommend that.

08-28-2013 16:06:52 | More by GraduatedCashew
Photo of SpdKilz
SpdKilz

Illinois

3.96/5  rDev -2.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 3 | $$

Stopped here this past February, before the rush of SF beer week. It still had some great taps on, though the beers I tried were nothing "amazing" but still decent. The food I got was, honestly, not very good. I had some type of chicken dish (what exactly escapes me) but it was very greasy, and just not very good. The prices were on par with SF and I would come here again; however I would hope the next meal I get will be better.

06-15-2013 02:08:05 | More by SpdKilz
Photo of derekrick420
derekrick420

Pennsylvania

4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.75 | selection: 3.75 | $$

Having been to a bunch of trendy brew pubs, I felt I had to check out the one named after a Grateful Dead song. I didn't try any of the food but felt good enough about Magnolia that my brother and I had walked down the hill to Toronado and after Toronado walked all the way back up Haight to have another at Magnolia.

This place has a very hip atmosphere (but very California, opposed to lets say one of my local brew pubs Tired Hands which is 5s across the board btw) but the serving staff was very friendly, attentive and knew alot about the beer and the process of brewing beer. It was very well lit and with no TVs encouraged people to talk to each other, although the layout also allowed privacy if that was your preference.

I thought it was reasonably priced for what it offered and its location.

06-10-2013 16:55:06 | More by derekrick420
Photo of brewandbbq
brewandbbq

New Hampshire

3.4/5  rDev -16.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3 | $$$$

Original review 6/11/05

Took a cab to Magnolia's, skirting the Tenderloin district, passing hookers and pot smokers. Our cabbie treated us to a little "Duke's of Hazzard" driving technique. Ya, front 2 wheels off the ground crossing a street going down a hill, yee haw!
Magnolia's had a better than average amount on tap, with a couple on cask.
Bartender was quick at first, then she became immersed in a conversation a few seats down and never came back.
She was friendly and nice though when we saw her.
Tweezer Triple was delicious, albeit off the mark for a Triple, and the Batch 900 rocked. A big ass beer that belongs in my cellar.
Unusual motif in this place, tiles and chrome with a hand painted mural from wall to wall behind the bar. Couldn't determine if there was any meaning to the mural, other than a big Greatful Dead influence.
The food looked great going by, but we didn't eat.
Stayed till 1:45 AM, wishing there was more hours in the day.
Recommended.

Re-review 5/16/2013

Beer selection is heavy on lighter styles and English beers. One IPA on tap and one pale. The rest a mix of session beers. We ate this time and I felt like vomiting after seeing a 4% health-care tax at the bottom of our bill, on top of the regular meals tax. Apparently a $14.00 hamburger (not cooked to order properly) with a small portion of fries is not expensive enough for the owners. Or a $10 wedge salad for that matter. I pay a lot for my own damn health insurance, why should I cover the owners nut (or line his pockets) as well? This place is scamming their customers with an unconstitutional tax. Avoid.

05-17-2013 02:16:30 | More by brewandbbq
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

4.41/5  rDev +8.6%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.75 | $$

To me, Magnolia is the quintessential example of New American cuisine. I can't think of another brewpub I have been to where I was as interested in the food as much as their beer. Frankly, I probably think of the food here before I think of their beer. And their beer is quite good as it is, keep in mind. Love the bathroom setup as well. This is a must if you are in San Francisco.

01-11-2013 00:55:43 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of MightyCow9
MightyCow9

Texas

4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5 | $$$

Very nice experience in a unique part of a unique city. We sat at the bar and were happy to discuss the beers and even the origin of beer names. Amazing service and the bartender was prompt and knowledgeable. Although we only ate a small sample of snacks and sides, they were great. The cheese was very good and the beers were all excellent. The foods that passed by us from the kitchen made me wish we had not eaten lunch. Burgers looked like magic on a bun, often with gigantic slabs of bacon hanging over the edges of the beef. It was a thing of beauty.

I particularly enjoyed the Oyster Stout. A very neat style of beer and I would say this was the cleanest and most balanced attempt I have ever tasted. The other beers were great and everything was served in the appropriate hardware.

The place is small and was PACKED, but service never suffered and the entire crew working the bar was very happy and made the experience elevate even higher.

The only regret I have is that we did not stay even longer.

11-11-2012 05:12:02 | More by MightyCow9
Photo of excalibur
excalibur

Kentucky

4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$

A very nice pub and brewery. Visited in the late afternoon and was busy but not crowded. You can see part of the brewery through a grate in the floor. The bartender was friendly, helpful and efficient. The beers we tried, Proving Ground IPA 7% and Out With The Old Ale 8.5% were above average and brewed by Magnolia. The pricing was reasonable at around $5 a pint. Comfortable environment with booths and lots of wood. Highly recommended for a relaxing beer in the hip area of Haight. We will revisit the next time we are in town. Also picked up a beautiful card to evaluate our beers.

11-07-2012 01:45:59 | More by excalibur
Photo of Offa
Offa

California

4.6/5  rDev +13.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$

This is a wonderful brewpub, which gets extra points for being, to my knowledge, the only place in the region brewing a strong array of real British-style ales that have a true British character and, even better, real English cask ale.

The brewpub itself is in a neat old building near the heart of Haight-Ashbury, with big windows, lots of old tile, etc. It has some peeling paint which in a way adds to the old, time-worn charm, a good bar, tall wood booths, etc. However, it is a bit stuffy in warm weather and gets bit loud even without any music playing. The location is another plus, an interesting-characterful area with old Victorians, etc., and, unusually for San Francisco, this neighbourhood actually has a lot of trees lining the streets.

Beer that I have had is excellent and gets extra points for including an unusually strong selection of British-style beers, on tap and cask, that wonderfully capture the mellow, easy-drinking, but complex, rich character of good British beer in a way that is almost unheard of here. I really am very, very impressed with how well they captured the wonderfully complex but restrain, subtle character of English ale, but that is in part because I really have seen it done nearly so well anywhere else in California or the west coast.

Service we have experienced is good.

Selection of beers is great, with English bitter, ESB-type, old ale, etc., plus some more American-style beers, a few beers in the German/Czech tradition, etc., and they offer a few guest beers, as well.

Food is excellent. Fried chicken, chicken sandwich, fries, bangers and mash, etc., are all great. The fried chicken is particularly nice and a bit unique.

Value is very good.

10-20-2012 00:55:17 | More by Offa
Photo of slander
slander

New York

4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$

Showed up medium to well done on the heels of ‘let’s go fuck with Brian Strumke at the City Beer event’, and then revisited today. Just as well, as there was too much going on last night to scribble scrabble; We arrived for dinner too late, the place was too packed, I was too hungry to deal, and too little time had passed since that ‘plint’ at that sportslike bar next to my ‘otel (A ‘plint’ is a ‘pint of Pliny’. I made that word up, and you may only use it about town if you properly footnote me). Okay, 45 minutes for a table, and then while waiting to get a beer at the bar, our table came in so we sat and ordered from there. And then today, while Ben worked, Bethy & I laughingly (Ha Ha!) took the mulligan and returned to drink beer...

What scenes Haight & Masonic have seen, I can only imagine. Large windows with smaller horizontal windows tracing them atop over both streets and sprawling awnings on outdoor seating wrapping around the sides with drop mounted lighting. Entranceway in the corner between, with a stained glass address piece sitting above the door. Used to be a pharmacy, they say, and now it’s a brewpub; all Grateful Deaded down from its former show. Well worn, and kind of tired with its stained ceilings cracked and faded yellow wall uppers two sides around, but has its charm just the same.

To the rear of the room, a wide wood straight bar with a slat wood base and piping foot rail, seating 8 on stools. It would reasonably seat more, but the bar is broken up by a center pillar along the way. 15 taps on a blackboard panel on the barback wall, with nondescript handles and chalk drawings above. Four shelves of glassware next to the panels over mirrored backing and subway tilings below a kitchen peekaboo on the end. More barback unit space to the side (barside?), with a center mirror and shelved books, old apothecary bottles, and a growler. A mounted ‘Festival of firkins’ board above describes the goings on, which may explain the 5 handpumps on the bar and 2 more on the end. Great Caesar’s ghost!

Slight bar counter for 4 sits adjacent to the bar, we were fortunate enough to take over. A single long table along the side street windows, with seating for a dozen on raised stools, alongside a center divider with 2 black leather booths on each side. A horizontal board listing tap selections (draught & cask), and strong beer month entries sits above in between pillars, and slides down for easy updating access. A dozen+ square and round 2 seat tables run up front along the windows and around the bend along the far wall on boothed backings below splotched glass panels with corner lamp lighting in a wood unit piece matching the bar. Bathroom tile floorings, filament bulbs along the perimeter over the windows, and drop spinning top glass lamps in 2 rows from above.

Okay, so 15 taps, currently occupied by 12 beers, a root beer, a wine (Sutton Cellars), and a hard cider (Two Rivers Pomegranate). The beer breakdown was 4 house regulars that we sampled (Kalifornia Kolsch, 4.7%, a lovey, lovely Kolsch; Big Cypress Brown, 3.7%, an English style Brown, it was, um, adequate; Dark Star Mild, 3.6%, beautiful, dark, grainy malt goodness; Proving ground IPA, 7%, very nicely balanced, wonderful), another 2 that we didn’t (Oysterhead Stout, Prescription Pale Ale), 5 house Strong Beer Month entries (Pride of Branthill, Tweezer Trippel, Oakstack Lightning Imperial Stout, Promised Land Imperial IPA, Old Thunderpussy Barleywine) ranging from 8.5% to 10.25%, and the San Francisco Brewer’s Guild collaboration Strong Ale (which I had at Thirsty Bear earlier). Plus 2 house firkins (Billy Sunday’s Best Bitter, 5%, which was Thursday’s bust butter; and Gold Top, 4.8%, a Belgian Golden, excellent), and 5 guest firkins for the event (Birrificio Le Baladin Al-Iksir, Birra Del Borgo Re Ale, RCH Brewery Old Slug Porter, Harviestoun Schiehallion and Bitter & Twisted). The Kalifornia Kolsch, Dark Star Mild, Proving ground IPA, and the cask Gold Top were the best of ‘em.

The food menu is paper pasted on backings displaying old set list. Hey! I was at this show (Giant Stadium 6/17/91), and this one, too (Richfield Coliseum 9/4/91). I started with 2 meats (Salametto Piccante & Soppressata) and then the Magnolia pub burger (dry aged organic beef, cheddar, and thick slab mapley bacon). I had help with the fries. They split the beet salad (phenom!), and then Ben had the Louisiana Andouille with cheese grits, and Bethy, the pork chop with duck fat, cannellini beans, caramelized onions, and kale. Food was of the awesome variety.

Pleasant servers, comfortable house, some very nice beerings, and excellent food. Good tunes; lots of Dead (surprise, surprise), Led Zeppelin, Talking Heads, Petty. Not to talk potty but they do have a cool basin sink back there for the washing of one’s mitts. And dig on that great wafting wort steam from the basement brewery below.

05-09-2012 19:04:42 | More by slander
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Magnolia Pub & Brewery in San Francisco, CA
91 out of 100 based on 141 ratings.