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Magnolia Pub & Brewery

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164 Ratings
Ratings: 164
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 

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(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
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Ratings: 164 | Reviews: 127 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of searsclone
1.73/5  rDev -57.3%

I was really looking forward to trying Magnolia since it has such a high grade on BA. Unfortunately, we didn't have such a great experience. We went on a late afternoon on a Sunday. The place was about half full. We were greeted promptly by a hostess who told us that we could only have a table if we were eating. We decided that we would grab some food and try one or all of the beers. Our hostess gave us a table, then brought us 2 glasses of water and a bottle of water for the table. We looked at the menu and figured out what we wanted, then we waited. And waited. After we drank all of the water that was on the table, and watched the table beside sit, then have the waitress tell them they couldn't have a table without food, then having another group sit at that table, we decided that we waited long enough, and walked out without having a chance to try anything except the water. After talking to a couple of locals, they all seem to agree that this type of service is not uncommon.

searsclone, Sep 13, 2011
Photo of armock
2.2/5  rDev -45.7%

Atmosphere - This place is a loud tiny box seriously they pack everyone into a maybe 20x20ft room. The bar are has a nice woody look to it and thats about the only nice thing going on. I was there at 3pm on a Sunday for a late lunch but the place is so small and packed it wasn't very enjoyable with random peoples asses sliding along the edge of my table from them trying to move around the place.

Quality/Selection - They had a good number of house beers on tap and another three on cask. I was only able to drink two of their beers on cask one was pretty good the other was pretty boring.

Service - I'll give some props to the bartender who got me a beer after fighting through the crowd to be seen by him. My waitress and the food runners on the other hand are a bunch of rocks. While waiting for my table I saw the food runners bring the wrong order to tables and wander around guessing until they got it right. After the wife and I ordered our meal one of the food runners drop off an appetizer at my table then runs off before I even had a chance to tell her we didn't order it. My waitress didn't use a notepad to take orders and ended up messing up my order twice. I ordered the grillied chicken panini with a salad. When the food comes out my wife gets her food but no condiments for it and I get chicken sausage. So we have to wait forever for the waitress to come by and retell her what I ordered and also order another beer. After another long wait I'm brought a the grilled chicken panini with fries and then I have to remind her about my beer order wtf.

Food - After finally getting food it really wasn't worth the price. Since my meal was still messed up all I ate was the sandwich since I didn't want fries. My wife had their burger and didn't finish it because it just wasn't all that good.

Overall when I go back to San Francisco for a weekend again this place isn't going to be on my list of places to visit. Too crowded and loud with horrible service.

armock, Mar 01, 2011
Photo of Guden
3/5  rDev -25.9%

Guden, Feb 22, 2014
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.25/5  rDev -19.8%

Cool atmosphere, I'm sure its been said a million times, Grateful Dead, pharmacy etc. . . overall, you're in one of the cooler corner spots on Haight Street, and while I usually never hesitate to bag on San Francisco, I really think the city has done a great job cleaning this area up, its actually not as miserable of a place as it used to be! Sure, there's still some bums, but they're the nice ones! Although it can be a little touristy, I think the place right next door or a block away, I don't remember, but anyways, they wanted like $35 for a tshirt! Hah!

Anyways, I've always thought the quality of Magnolia's brews and food was pretty good. They also seem pretty good at making styles I might not be into, their old super ipa stuff they used to bring to the Bisto in Hayward was pretty good, faded a little bit recently, but their gruit, barleywine, cask porter are all worth a try.

So I said food quality was pretty good, but yet, the score is only average. . . what gives you say? Well, let's talk about that fried chicken sandwich. Very good tasting. But you know what? It had about 3oz of meat on it, total, and that might be a very generous tally. I hate eating at places and then still being hungry afterwards, even when I'm drinking beer too.

Portions of the vegetarian stuff seemed to be larger, who knows, could have been a vegan cook or something that he makes the highest minimum wage in the country.

Waitress made about 3 mistakes, but was trying hard, so it all evened out.

Beerandraiderfan, Jan 02, 2012
Photo of ElectricBoogaloo
3.35/5  rDev -17.3%

Stopped here for a late night meal and a couple of brews. This place is loud, so don't come here if you a looking for a nice quiet meal.
The beer was good- I had a couple saisons and cask pale ales-quite tasty. The focus on the english side of beer was a refreshing stop from the hopped-up extreme beer west coast scene.
I enjoyed the food, but it was definitely overpriced for my slim college budget. The burger and fries were average, i was expecting more for $14.
Our server had a cursory knowledge of their beers and wasn't able to answer any questions I had, which I find odd for a place that makes it's own beer. He also took his sweet time serving us, we often had to wave him down to talk to him.

Poor service was made up for by good beer. If you are ever in the hashbury neighborhood, stop on by

ElectricBoogaloo, Mar 20, 2011
Photo of brewandbbq
3.4/5  rDev -16%

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.

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.

brewandbbq, May 17, 2013
Photo of xhcadamx
3.48/5  rDev -14.1%

A - Newly renovated this place is pretty nice. Very interesting decorating unlike any other brewpub I had been to before. The bathrooms were awesome. I am assuming they had been remodeled to look the way the looked when the building was built (probably a little bit after 1906).

Q - I was expecting great beers from this place. This was not the case, all the beers that were ordered at my table had a very young quality about them. My IPA was choked with a green apple flavor - couldnt even finish it.

S - Our server was often short with us. Maybe I look like a low tipper?

S - The varieties of beer was nice. I think I saw 3 cask beers. They have some beers that usually don't find at other brewpubs. Hopefully these beers are better than the 3 I had tried.

F - Very tasty! I had the burger and was very impressed. I think everything here is Organic / bought locally.

V - The beers and some food items are overpriced in my opinion.

xhcadamx, Jan 24, 2009
Photo of mtnbiknma
3.48/5  rDev -14.1%

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.

mtnbiknma, Sep 07, 2007
Photo of BenHesk12
3.49/5  rDev -13.8%

I live in the neighborhood and often visit magnolia on weeknights for a beer and a bite after work. The beer is consistently decent, with somewhere like 10-20 taps, and the food albeit a touch expensive is good. The downfall of this place is that it gets very crowded and doesn't have the space or service to handle the crowd. It's always tough to order a beer from the bar here, and there's always a wait for a table. Not to mention the inside is consistently hot and sweaty--don't bother bringing a jacket. Overall, magnolia beer is decent, the food is good, but be prepared for a typical crowded/hip san francisco spot.

BenHesk12, Aug 10, 2014
Photo of dcloeren
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

dcloeren, Nov 18, 2013
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Magnolia Pub & Brewery in San Francisco, CA
91 out of 100 based on 164 ratings.