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Magnolia Pub & Brewery

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BEER AVG
3.75/5
Based on:
45 Beers
608 Ratings
Place Score: 91
Ratings: 178
Reviews: 127
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.63%
Taps: 10
Bottles: --
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Bar, 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: 178 | Reviews: 127 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Murchmac
3.68/5  rDev -8.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Been going to this place on the haight for years but decided to review it finally.

When you walk in it will probably be packed, there might be open tables, sometimes you can just sit down at them but asking the waitstaff is advisable. Sit at the bar if there's room. The place is very trippy and some sort of hippie music is usually playing. It's a great looking mix between a pharmacy and brewpub.

The beer selection is good, they have a lot of beers on tap and usually interesting ones. You can order imperial pints, tastings, and other assorted shapes and sizes. I ordered the oysterhead stout, and you could taste the oysters they put in the mash.

They serve food, the menu makes it sound good, but when you order it, it's not as good as it reads. I ordered the clam chowder and was not impressed by it.

All in all if youre up on the haight and want to go to a brewpub, this is the one. The toronado usually has there beers on tap, so do other bars like alembic. Its an alright place, make up your mind for yourself, I like 21st amendment better.

Photo of kleffman
4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Doing a little SF beer tour weekend and hit up Magnolia for a lunch and some beers. Quite impressed with their IPA on cask and the Tripel. I wasn't sure what to expect out of the Tripel but they pull the beer off very well. Great food for lunch. Sat at the bar and got great service, beer recommendations, and in general had a fantastic time. Will go back for sure. Cool area too, obviously since it's in the Haight. I recommend going here for some food, and then down to the Toronado for a couple more drinks. Then if you're leaving the area, head over to the 21st Amendment for dinner and a couple finishing beers. Now that's a great day.

Photo of aforbes10
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Decided to head down to the Haight again on our last night in SF to hit up Magnolia for dinner. Its a much smaller place than i had imagined, only about 10-20 tables, but we didnt have a problem finding a table. Tap list af about 10, with 3-4 additional on cask. I had two of the cask offerings, Prescription Pale and an IPA. Both were served at perfect temperature and tasted great. Server knew a lot about the beers, and even more about the food. Food was great (and sustainable!). We had a little block of cheese, served with some bread, walnuts and pomegranete seeds, then i got some hot wings served with delicioius blue cheese, and my wife ate a wild mushroom pizza that she loved. A great place to eat with some nice beers. Two thumbs up.

Photo of kbm
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

When I first heard of Magnolia, I pictured some dirty hippy bar with strawberry beers where patchouli wafted about. As such, I didn't stop to check it out during my last few visits to SF. It's true that the inside of Magnolia is adorn with deadheadesque murals but I think the hippyocity ends there.

If you are looking for real ale while in SF, you must stop at Magnolia. During my visit, there were three firkins tapped. My first choice (and fourth choice) was the Scottish import Harvestoun on cask. Absolutely outstanding. The beer was the correct temperature, fresh, clear and served in a british pint. My second choice was Magnolia's Winter Warmer on cask - dark, malty and not well suited for the cask in my opinion. The lack of CO2 made it seem a little syrupy. My third choice was the Blue Bell Bitter - copper colored and sweet and malty. All and all, a good pint.

My mussels were good and my wife's sweet potato root pie was great. The portions are not large, which, in my opinion, is a plus.

I've been to half a dozen brewpubs in SF and, for my tastes, Magnolia is head and shoulders the most comfortable. There were plenty of tables full with all types of people drinking, talking and having a good time. Great music.

I'm going to go back every time I visit SF.

Photo of t0rin0
3.88/5  rDev -4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Stopped here on my last trip to SF, started here and went to Wunder Beer and then on to Beach Chalet as well as a couple bars in between. This place is your stereotypical blend of SF inhabitants. Partly hippies, partly baby boomer millionares, and part hardcore kids.

The atmosphere was pleasant and inviting to all kinds of people, interesting stuff to look at on the walls. We tried a sampler of everything they had which was something like 12 beers. This included a cask aged version of their brown and their esb. Really enjoyed their tripel. The waitress was real nice and even asked the brewer a couple of questions for me but for the most part she ignored us. I guess she figured a couple of 23 year olds and (at that time) a 20 year old wouldn't be spending much money.

The appetizers that we did get were pretty good. We got an order of fries and some tandori (not sure on spelling) chicken. Really good, just a bit pricey.

Photo of bboven
3.61/5  rDev -10.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 5

Couldn't resist stopping in here as I'm a reformed Deadhead. All the beers brewed by this place are named after or inspired by lyrics of Grateful Dead songs, which is a very cool theme. I did not eat the food, but the beer was wonderful. They have a huge variety of it for such a small space, and all of it (even the English bitter) is so true to style it made me smile on the inside. There were about fifteen varities to choose from as well as two cask-conditioned beers. I had the Blue-Bell from the cask and it was without a doubt one of the best beers I have ever had.

The walls are painted with bright murals and kitschy posters, making it a very festive and hippy-friendly brewpub. The best beers I had in San Fransisco were found here.

Photo of jp11801
4.08/5  rDev +1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

I really like this place and having just come back from having the High Times Simcoe wet hop beer I love a brewpub that takes a chance from time to time.
The atmosphere is haight ashbury ish with paintings in each booth the bar is a nice wood but it has a packed feeling even when it isn't.
The beer here is really good and I love that they offer 3-4 of their beers on cask. The great things is you can go from the regular CO2 beer to the cask of the same brew for comparison. Yes I am a beer geek. The beers run from pretty good to great with none being stinkers and a few are really good.
Service is great the people that work there have great personalities and appear to enjoy their jobs.
The food is very good as well and add a star if you like places that focus on local food sources. The burger is from a local farm where the meat is done organically and grass fed.

I encourage people in the SF area to try this place.

Photo of mtnbiknma
3.48/5  rDev -13.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

Hit this place twice in three days in San Francisco, more so for convenience and the desire to be truly wowed by a brewpub that had come highly recommended.

The place was smaller than i thought it would be, and besides the psychedelic mural and concert posters, the interior was fairly unremarkable. The place was clean and furnished with pub-like booths and some small tables. I would be surprised if there were 20 seats in the no-standing-room bar area. This does actually make the place feel cozy during the chilly San Fran nights.

The food was average pub fair with some flat bread pizza's, burgers, and veggie options. Like the pub itself, the menu was pretty small, perhaps in keeping with their expressed desire to support local sources of food. I had a very tasty pizza that was priced like you think it would be for the big city. My wife had a pretty boring chicken sandwich. The service was prompt, but our table server and bartender didn't appear ready to discuss the beer at length, they seemed to leave that to the literature on the table. This said, the beer list includes highly specified info on malt bills, gravities, and hop choices. The glassware choices were also spot on.

The beers, while tasty, were not exceptional whether they were served on cask or on tap. A friend of mine had remarked about the unique malt-bill (maris-otter) the brewer frequently employs at Magnolia. I'm not sure that I share his excitement over this choice after tasting several of the beers. During our visits, they had something like 10 beers including the several that were on cask. We tried the Proving Ground IPA on cask and tap. The differences were not extreme, the tap version proved to have more a a finishing hop presence than the cask. Like some of the other IPA's i tried on our vacation, this IPA leaned heavily on the English tradition while being described as "bold". "modern" and "west coast". The spud boy IPA tasted every bit the English IPA with slightly more fresh hop flavor than it's counterparts overseas. We also had the cole porter which seemed very good until we tried the stout of circumstance. These beers were remarkably similar in regards to their roasted malt taste, mouthfeel, and color. I hadn't been to a place where the distinction between these two styles had been so muddled. They were very tasty, but i wondered which beer was which? I think i would go ahead and label them both porters were it not for hop choices and some oats in the stout recipe.

This place was a worthy stop for the neighborhood. I think i would return regularly if i lived in the area to see what the brewer could do with some of the other seasonals that are described in their literature.

Photo of koolchas
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

knowing tuesday was an all day happy hour, decided to go in tuesday july 10th with some co-workers for a few brews and dinner.

magnolia was very relaxing and low key. after work on a tuesday, it was not too busy. i started off with actually not their beers but, with moonlight's death by taxes which was actually very tasty. with dinner, i had the higher abv proving ground which was not bad.

service was very good and overall the atmophere was very relaxing. the girls pouring the brew were really friendly and knowlegeable. the place is very clean and inviting.

overall, i'd say that magnolia's brew is not bad but, it also did not "wow" me. the food was just "ok" too. but, overall my co-workers and i had a good time.

but, if i was to go back with brew in mind (not dinner), i'd probably go higher up to the alembic bar which also serves magnolia's brew as well as providing other choices such as belgians.

Photo of msubulldog25
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

Visited Magnolia on July 3, 2007, mid-afternoon.

Walking east-to-west down Haight, I literally walked past this place the first time. I must have been too busy gazing at the shops along this stretch and the pseudo-hippies and tourists. Once I hit Ashbury I realized Magnolia was a block back at the corner of Masonic, so I turned back and went inside.

Magnolia has the feel of a sunny bistro and was only about 1/4 full on this lazy Tuesday afternoon. The place smelled like sweet waffles and the air was thick with 60's guitar riffs. A collection of booths and tables fronts an L-shaped wooden bar, with a strong 'neighborhood pub' vibe. Above that bar is crazy cool mural, painted with all the trippy, Dali-esqueness one could imagine.

Because the place was so close to empty, I grabbed a two-seater near a big window. The server approached quickly enough but more or less evicted me when I said I wasn't planning to eat anything, basically escorting me straight to the bar. Ooo-kay...whatever, dude. So I grabbed a seat mid-bar, near the taps and was greeted by a considerably nicer young woman ('Suzie', I believe). Got a pint of the cask Sara's Mild as a starter and a smaller glass of the cask Proving Ground. In retrospect, I wish I'd have tried both the draught and cask versions side-by-side...oh well, next time.

The beers were generally good, but the selection was all Magnolia and a little thin. I counted 6 on draught (Wheat, Proving Ground, Spud Boy, Prescription, Big Cypress, Stout of Circumstance) and 4 cask (PG, SB, Prescription and Sara's Ruby Mild).

Tuesdays are all-day 'Happy Hour', so I left with two beers in my gut and about $6 less in my pocket.

Photo of cbreitro
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I have not been to Magnolia for a year or so, but looking at some of the other reviews I seemed to like it better than others do.
I do agree that the beers may not be the most exciting, but there are several on tap. I think this is more common now, but when I first went there, several years ago, that was more of an attraction.

I like the food. It is kind of on the healthy/granola side but still quite tasty.

Perhaps the best thing about Magnolia is the atmosphere. With psychadelic murals on the wall, and an old wooden bar and booths, you kind of get the feel of Haight-Ashbury's heyday.

And after having a few brews, it's fun to check out some of the other stores on Haight.

Photo of ndolover
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3

I was very excited to visit this place and was not let down. It was a bit busy, but I found a table within minutes. The space is tight in this place, but for the traffic it was not much of an issue when I arrived around 2PM on Sunday. I had several beers, all above average...but the one that stood out was Weekapaug Gruit that really stood out. With a ABV of 10.2% I left in a nice haze. People in a Bay area have such access to great beer I fear this place might get over looked. Any beer lover in the Haight area NEEDS to stop by. Good buz, Good Vibe...I will visit this place again!

Photo of kdoc8
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

This was my second brewery to hit in San Francisco. It's located on Haight St and has a mix of bar and hippie cafe atmosphere. It was loud and crowded with barely a seat in the house at 9pm on a weekday. Lots of cool paintings and a surprisingly carnivorous menu with few veggie options. Mainly typical brew pub stuff - a great selection of beers though. I sat at the bar and the bartender was quite busy but still willing to chat about the beers and Strong Beer Month with me. Strong Beer Month (February) is when 21st Amendment and Magnolia brew their barleywines, but also brew other beers with higher-than-normal alcohol content to play around and test out other strong recipes. If you drink 6 of these between the two places you get a free tasting snifter.

Photo of barturtle
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3 | food: 5

A nice little brewpub on Haight. The beer is a little uninspired, but not poorly done and makes a fair addition to what is a great restaurant. I was hoping for beers that would show a bit more imagination for a brewpub in a place know for its hippie roots.

Go for the food and you won't be disappointed one bit. The chef has put together a really nice menu, incorporating dishes for carnivores and herbivores alike.

The atmosphere is clean and upscale, and the service is attentive.

Bonus points for being in a cool neighborhood and it's right down the road from Toronado.

Photo of SSGPat
4.46/5  rDev +10.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Thanks to BA I found this place. We went after working in the valley and had the IPA. I had the cask conditioned and my friend had the regular. I believe that we were both happy. I make beer and was impressed with the cask conditioned. It was everything that I had hoped for. The regular seemed to be more carbonated and lighter in color (as expected) and that was what my friend was in search of. Great beer, and I'll be back when in town.

We didn't try the food so I didn't rate it.

It's located about 2 blocks from hippy central (Haight/Ashbury), but the clientele was very eclectic. I would suggest that if you are anywhere near to drop by.

Photo of Jaynuze
4.34/5  rDev +7.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Great place to sit back and sip some well brewed bitters! A great selection to choose from and all beers on tap are brewed right beneath your feet!
If you have time to spare, try a few of the sampler paddles to get a feel for all the beers ... it's inexpensive and you get to sample six or seven (can't remember) beers on tap. The cask ales are GREAT, so make sure to try some of them while you're here.
It's an interesting crowd, both young and old ... you can bring the kiddies too, they've got Orange soda on tap!! It's a nice quiet atmosphere in a quaint setting.
I hear that the place was a pharmacy/malt shop years before, so the whole "neighborhood business" feel is still there. An interesting mural adorns the wall over the bar and kitchen window. There are plenty of seats at the bar and a large number of tables. I was there on a Monday night, so it wasn't too crowded, though I hear it can get pretty tight on a good night.
This is a great place with a great feel to it. My buddy who lives in the bay area said that the food is pretty good (mostly organic ... California, go figure!), but we had already eaten, so I didn't get a chance to see for myself. The food looked good, so I'll definitely try it when I return to SF! I had a blast trying all the beers and will be back on my next trip. Make sure to check this spot out, it's a great place for beer!!

Photo of porter17
4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5

A nice place to sit and have a few beers, I had a sampler of 8 beers, most of which were good to very good. The Porter was a little watery and a disappointment but the IPAs were very good. I enjoyed the fact that they had a few beers in both cask and on tap and a total of about 12 beers. The atmosphere was good and the service was good too. The quality was also good. The food looked and smelled good but I didn't have any. I recommend a stop in for a smpler if you are in the area. You won't be disappointed.

Photo of jreitman
4/5  rDev -1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

This place is only a few blocks from my house and I finally stopped by to have a drink and some food with the wife. The crowd is a bit interesting. Being in the Haight, you get the lifer hippies, the yuppies, and the random people coming and going (tourists,etc.). This review was written after a long Wednesday led to a search for anything that didn't require cooking. The place is a little on the small side so seating can be a challenge. We managed to get a nice booth. The beer selection is mighty impressive with about 15 or so beers on tap. Service and food selection were above average, especially for San Francisco. I could definitely see myself coming back.

Photo of instrumentality
4.2/5  rDev +4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

My girlfriend and I stopped by here on a Saturday mid-afternoon during Labor Day weekend, and somehow managed to snag the last two open seats at the bar. Just a few bus stops away from Toronado (my reason for being in the area), this was an absolute contrast: meticulously clean (probably the cleanest public restroom I saw during my trip); a tripped out, hippy-fied mural (really beautiful work if you're into that sort of thing); an eclectic crowd; and friendly service.

They had about 15-20 of their own beers on tap, including 4 on cask. Considering all of the beer on the menu was their own, this was a pretty impressive spread.

I had a Proving Ground IPA (quite good), she had a Sara's Ruby Mild (mild indeed, but she liked it), and we split a Wit Rabbit (great witbier). We also split a plate of fries, which were nothing amazing but served their purpose.

The most popular beer seemed to be the cask conditioned "Cole Porter," but I wasn't in the mood for a porter so I passed.

I enjoyed the experience enough to shell out 22 bucks on a t-shirt.

Photo of blgianbeer
3.88/5  rDev -4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I recently hit Magnolia after a long walk from the Pacific Ocean to the Haight-Ashbury district. Overall, the beer was mighty tasty. Very balanced and drinkable. Nice selection of hand pumped ales as well. We had an ESB and an IPA. The food was also great. We had the local artisanal cheese plate and the fried spicy calamari. No complaints there. Service was good, if not on the slow side. Seems like a really great place to hang out for an afternoon snack and knock back some brews with friends. The tables near the window are great for people watching.

Photo of flexabull
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

One of my favorite places to visit when I am in San Francisco. Easy to find on Haight Street.

The atmosphere has been low key when I have been there, people tend to keep to themselves, their beers, or their company. Nothing wrong with that.

The quality of beers is top notch. Especially the Proving Ground IPA, and the Cole Porter. I really don't think I have ever had a bad beer here. And they always seem to have a beer or two on cask which is great for a little change up. I also like how they serve their beers in imperial pints, so you get a little more bang for your buck.

The service is slightly above average. Nothing great, but I have never had bad service here either.

I have only really tasted a couple of food items here, and they were tasty too.

Photo of RedBeerchetta
3.94/5  rDev -2.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

This place is definitely worth checking out if you're in the neighborhood, but it's not the best brewpub in SF. The room itself is quite cool, reminiscent of an old pharmacy, and the big windows looking out onto Ashbury make for good people watching, but it's often loud and filled with tourists. This is probably a better place to spend some time when the tourists aren't around. Beer quality and selection is good, and food isn't bad. If you're stopping by alone, they have a great selection of books to read while you're enjoying the brews.

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

I stopped here for some beers and dinner while in San Francisco on business. It's in the heart of the Haight (on Haight St, 1 block east of Ashbury) so it's got a bohemian quality which worked for me. The place is kind of small and crowded but it didn't take long to get a table.

The beer selection is all brewed on site, and most are pretty good. The crown jewel of their regular selections is the Kalifornia Kolsch but the Summit IPA seasonal (maybe a one-time project) was even better. There were 2 casks being offered and about 9-10 drafts spanning the typical range (porter, IPA, brown ale, stout, wheat, mild ale, etc).

I had a pizza with dinner, it was ok but nothing special really. The beer is why you come here. I'm glad I searched on BA before coming to town, beerfly is an essential tool for travel.

Photo of OStrungT
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5

This place is located on the legendary corner of Haight and Ashberry. It is small inside. There are about 15 tables, and a small bar. The walls have mural like paintings on them. It is very colorfull. I didnt see any brewing equipment, but I think it was in a basement. I saw a graiting in the floor, and I could see a room through it.

This place has slightly slow service. We waited for a little while for our waitress to come, and then she didnt come by very often. She was friendly, and slightly knowledgable on beer.

The beer selection was decent. They had about 6 beers on draft, and 2 on cask. They had the basics, an IPA, a porter, a brown, a hefe. an ESB. Every beer I tried was good though.

The food was good. They had the standard brewpub food, but they had more. I had a lamb sandwich. My wife had a great chicken pot pie. I really enjoy having different food at pubs.

This place was pridec about average for the city. It was not too expensive, but it could have been a little cheaper.

I would probably go here again, but not without stopping by the Toronado which is only about 6 blocks away.

Photo of millhouse
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

I came to the Magnolia with two work companions that basically didn't even know what a brewpub is. That being said, they both really enjoyed our visit here because their organic hamburgers were out of this world. My chicken salad sandwich (I would've had the burger if the two associates I was with had ventured out) was OUTSTANDING. I know it's chicken salad. But, seriously. DAMN.

This place even offers homemade sodas (VERY good). They are homemade/organic to the core. This is the kind of place that I would expect to see in the Haight. Unfortunately, these places seemed somewhat few and far between. Though, my expectations may have been out of whack.

Their one beer that I had while there - their cask porter - was marvelous. It was definitely worth the unbelievable walk that I subjected myself to twice. We were on a tight schedule this day, and I regret not being able to try their other offerings.

Long story short - come for the food and come for the beer. Just make sure that you come!

Magnolia Pub & Brewery in San Francisco, CA
91 out of 100 based on 178 ratings.