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Magnolia Pub & Brewery

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

166 Ratings
Ratings: 166
Reviews: 127
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 10.12%
Active Beers: 52
Beer Ratings: 573
Beer Avg: 3.78
Taps: 10
Bottles: 0
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: 166 | Reviews: 127 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kdoc8
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%

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.

kdoc8, Mar 13, 2007
Photo of barturtle
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%

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.

barturtle, Feb 04, 2007
Photo of SSGPat
4.46/5  rDev +10.1%

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.

SSGPat, Jan 11, 2007
Photo of Jaynuze
4.34/5  rDev +7.2%

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!!

Jaynuze, Dec 11, 2006
Photo of porter17
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%

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.

porter17, Oct 16, 2006
Photo of jreitman
4/5  rDev -1.2%

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.

jreitman, Oct 13, 2006
Photo of instrumentality
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%

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.

instrumentality, Sep 05, 2006
Photo of blgianbeer
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%

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.

blgianbeer, Aug 08, 2006
Photo of flexabull
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%

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.

flexabull, Aug 08, 2006
Photo of RedBeerchetta
3.94/5  rDev -2.7%

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.

RedBeerchetta, Jul 25, 2006
Photo of TurdFurgison
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%

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.

TurdFurgison, Jul 22, 2006
Photo of OStrungT
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%

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.

OStrungT, Jul 10, 2006
Photo of millhouse
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%

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!

millhouse, Jun 19, 2006
Photo of benito
4.05/5  rDev 0%

This is the best brewpub in San Francisco or Berkeley. Hands down.

First off, it's the Haight's only brewpub, located in a building that used to house an ice cream parlor called Magnolia Thunderpussy. The interior has a definite, though not overbearing, hippy feel to it. I visited after a long bike ride around San Francisco and after having checked out some of the city's other brewpubs (SFBC, Thirsty Bear, 21st Amendment), so Magnolia was a welcome oasis.

They had 11 beers on tap, including several that were available on cask. Ten of the eleven were British styles (their solid tripel was the exception), and eight of eleven were true session beers, weighing in at 5.0 abv or lower. Though the selection is nothing inspiring, it seems to suggest that they're working to offer comfort brews, beers that will bring people in for more than one pint and foment a conversation about community or Jerry or how the Haight ain't what it used to be. I sampled or had pints of nine out of eleven, and I highly recommend the tripel, sara's mild ale, and the proving grounds IPA.

What makes this place really worth a visit though is the food. They use mainly local, organic, and artisanal ingredients. My lamb sandwich was one of the best brewpub meals I've ever had. They're working way beyond typical pub grub here, in fact they seem to have found a way to mix traditional brewpub meals (burgers, lunch wraps and sandwiches, pizza) and Chez Panisse. Alice Waters would be proud.

Next time I'm in San Francisco, Magnolia will be the top stop on my returns list for brewpubs. Highly recommended.

benito, Jun 17, 2006
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%

I live in Keene, NH on the OTHER coast, I've been to Magnolia on Haight st. in San Francisco twice, once in 2003 on a cross country venture with my two best friends, and once last year (2005) on a cross country trip with my wonderful girlfriend. Each time was great experience. I'm a MAJOR Dead-head as my BA name hints at. I love the theme of the place, amazing "psychedelic-ish" art work surrounds the place. BarTenders are always very nice and helpful.

The only food I ever ate there was a monster salad, that really hit the spot. The Beer selection is really good, at least 10 brews are on tap including cask conditioned ales. Don't forget to stop in and have a brew on your way to Golden Gate Park!

GratefulBeerGuy, May 21, 2006
Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.63/5  rDev -10.4%

Great Cafe in the Haight just moments from Golden Gate Park. I stopped in for lunch and had an average burger with great fries and some wonderfully flavorful garlic mayo. Beers were all above average accept for a rather bad wheat. The oyster stout was the stand out for me with their Kolsch coming in 2nd. Selection featured just over a dozen house brews and one special English stout on cask. The waitress told me that for the month of May they would be rotating 6 different English stouts on one of their casks. Very cool! Service was friendly and knew the beer very well, much better than at most brew pubs. Atmosphere is artsy and charming. I was quite pleased with Magnolia.

DaPeculierDane, May 12, 2006
Photo of TheLoneGunman
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%

Magnolia is a great little place in the Haight.
-Edit-I must of had a bad day or something because I have been to this place three times since my original review and the food is NOT typical pub food. It's organic and it actually rocks. -End edit-

I wasn't disappointed in any of their beers and I loved a ton of them. There was a vast array of beers available and being sort of a Deadhead, I love the theme of their names.

It's rather cozy but is often crowded due to the tourists. Service was very friendly but a little slow. A great place in the Haight and one I'd frequent if I lived in the city.

My favorites were the Prescription Pale and the Proving Ground IPA. I liked how they brewed across many styles. Always nice to have variety when doing a tasting.

TheLoneGunman, May 10, 2006
Photo of clickpush
3.55/5  rDev -12.3%

I have the pleasure of living directly above this brewpub. Everyday there's a lingering scent of beer production throughout my apartment and although some find it unpleasant, I have to admit it makes me drool.

The restaurant itself is pretty average. It's located at the excellent location of Haight and Masonic in San Francisco's Haight/Ashbury neighborhood, and because of the high volume of tourists coming through the prices for food are a bit inflated. Their one saving grace, however, is their enormous plate of french fries, available with 3 unique dipping sauces and beer-mustard for only $4. It's the perfect dish to order to get something in your stomach while throwing back a few pints.

Magnolia's beer is excellent. They almost always have over 10 beers to choose from daily, and these rotate depending on season and the brewer's discretion. A daily happy hour from 4-7 for $3.5 pints and an all-day Tuesday special at the same price make this a great spot to get an after-work relaxer or to spend all night trying one of everything.

I highly recommend the fries and a Proving Ground IPA.

clickpush, May 03, 2006
Photo of NEhophead
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%

Located right on the Haight, very easy to find location. Stopped in for lunch after doing the touristy Dead pilgrimmage. This was definitely the highlight of our experience following a somewhat depressing walk through the area.

A typical pub setup with some very cool artwork on the walls above the bar. Selection was, I believe six taps; house brews only from what I could tell. I sampled the Oysterhead Stout and the Proving Ground IPA (on cask); both were extremely well crafted and delicious. I also had a few sips of the Weather Report Wheat which was a decent effort for the style. On our visit, the pub wasn't too busy, and it showed in the service. Our waitress was inviting, knowledgable, and prompt in every aspect. Although I only had an order of the fries and a soft pretzel, I'm told the salad my wife had was delicious, especially with the toasted almonds. Magnolia truly heightened our tastebuds and spirits.

NEhophead, May 01, 2006
Photo of PuckLSHS
4.05/5  rDev 0%

Went to the Magnolia Pub and Brewery on a Saturday night before hitting up the Toronado. I am glad we went to this place first and gave it its fair chance before heading off to Heaven for the night.

Magnolia had a really nice atmosphere. It's right in the Haight and is very earthy, dark and pub-like. The service is rather good and everyone pretty much knows what is up with the beers. That is very nice. Nothing like having the actual wait staff able to answer the questions you ask at the table. I hate having to go up and talk to the bartender or ask if the brewer is around.

The beer is brewed in the English style. The time of the year that I was there, they were missing quite a few beers and were in-between quite a few. We ordered a bunch of tasters and ended up splitting all of them before deciding on the Wheat beer. I am not a huge English beer fan, so this really wasn't the place for me at the time.

The food was excellent and so was the service. We got everything right when we ordered it and the food was quick and good. They definitely deserve high praise for being able to do this in a very crowded and popular part of the city. No frills, this is definitely a place to hang out in if you are in SF.

PuckLSHS, Apr 20, 2006
Photo of drugsbunny
4.38/5  rDev +8.1%

Perfectly located in the upper Haight region, this is a great place to eat and grab a beer. The service is fast and pleasant, the food was very good. Their real focus is on the beer, unlike the San Francisco Brewing Company, which was voted most popular brewpub in SF. They have style and descriptions for all the beer, and a good amount was available. I had the Cole Porter, a bit weak, the Blue Bird IPA, very tasty, and the Prescription Pale which was my favorite. Everyone will like this place if you are with a crowd, and you get to enjoy good beer. Great place to stop in San Francisco.

drugsbunny, Apr 05, 2006
Photo of beernut7
4.6/5  rDev +13.6%

Easy to find little pub by way of public transport system. Place was quite crowded and packed full on a Saturday afternoon, but able to get a table for two quickly.
Huge selection of brews including 5 beer engines and 12 standard taps. If you are one for cask beers this is the place to go. All the offerings were consistantly fantastic with perfect temperature and carbonation. No off flavors from long-standing casks despite the large selection.
Nice ability to compare cask and pushed beers. Eccentric mix of traditional English, American and Belgian style brews available. I would definitely make this a stop on any tour of san fran.

Large, diverse offering of food also nicely done and tasty.

beernut7, Mar 30, 2006
Photo of vitesse
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%

Located at haight and masonic street, this brewpub is in the heart of the haigh-ashbury neighborhood (the 7 and 71 buses take you RIGHT in front of the brewpub, btw). great location.
inside is small and comfortable, with a laid-back neighborhoody vibe. lots of youngish people hanging out at the bar at the back. definitely a good spot for people watching.
they had about 10-12 beers on tap, including 3 cask ales when we visited. all were excellent. i especially loved their saison and stout. both were great great beers.
the food is very organic and vegetarian focussed. and the menu was kind of small, but the quality was right up there. i had an excellent pizza and my wife had a caesar salad with very fresh anchovies. this place is DEFINITELY worth going out of your way for. I really like the ambiance... it's a brewpub that takes beer seriously but is also a hangout for regular neighborhood folks.

vitesse, Mar 19, 2006
Photo of bultrey
4.78/5  rDev +18%

I've been to Magnolia 8 times now, which is almost the number of days I've spent on business trips in San Francisco. When I fly into SF from NYC, the first thing I do is check into my hotel. The second thing I do is jump in a cab (or on a bus) to Magnolia for fresh, delicious eats (late night, too), and a couple of pints of cask-conditioned Bluebell Bitter.
Oh, there are other beers on, too. And they're all really good. They usually have around eight or 10 house beers at any given time, usually including two or three casks. If you must make me choose, the aforementioned bitter, the Kolsch, the Proving Ground IPA, and Old Thunderpussy barleywine are my absolute favorites. The Smokestack lightning imperial stout that I had at the recent Strong Beer Month kick off was also killer.

The food is also excellent -- lots of local, organic, fresh ingredients -- Nieman ranch meats, etc. A very contemporary California cuisine menu, some of the best and most eclectic food you'll find at a straight-up brew pub. Ingredients can change with the season. The plain old burger is fab, too, though.

You would expect the atmosphere to be 100% Haight (which would be a bad thing), but it's not, really. Yeah, they got the Grateful Dead-themed walls, and they do play alot of Dead (though fairly low, in the background). I see alot of USF students, as well as students from other universities. I see alot of ageing hippies. I see alot of young professionals. I see alot of everybody. I like that. One big melting pot. Oh, and just try to sit here alone for more than 10 minutes without striking up a conversation with someone.

Lastly, the service is really, really good, at least to the single business traveler. I always get greeted with a smile, friendly conversation, prompt service, and an occaisonal buy-back.

They fill growlers, and sell all kinds of Haight-y schwag, tho the little Kolsch glasses are really cool and must-haves, in my opinion.

I usually go here for dinner and a few brews, then stagger on down to Toronado to finish myself off. Almost impossible. There isn't a better one-two beer punch in the US that I've come across.

Oh Magnolia -- my favorite brewpub in the US so far. Granted, I haven't been to THAT many brewpubs, but this place just stole my heart (or, perhaps because it's in San Francisco, I just left it there)

bultrey, Feb 24, 2006
Photo of germaniac
4.43/5  rDev +9.4%

What a great little place, and an additional treat- Strong Beer Month! The beers were excellent, from the Kolsch to the Russian Imperial Stout. Several cask conditioned brews, my favorite being the Slipping Into Darkness, a multifacted, high ocatane brown ale. Attentive, knowledgable servers, dishing out excellent upscale pub grub. A good size crowd in a cozy dining/bar area, but we were able to have cross table converstations with ease. Wound up sitting alongside a judge from this year's Barleywine Fest at Toronado, who was a fountain of beer knowledge and some great local color. Had to make a special trip back the next day to get a special Strong Beer glass and t-shirt, along with a logo'd pokal glass.

germaniac, Feb 22, 2006
Magnolia Pub & Brewery in San Francisco, CA
91 out of 100 based on 166 ratings.