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The Alembic Bar
Taps: 10 / Bottles: 30
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
$$$ - a bit pricey
[ Bar, Eatery ]
1725 Haight St.
phone: (415) 666-0822
(Place added by: clickpush on 10-12-2006)
Ratings & Reviews
| Reviews: 22
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
cool bar - located in the Haight-Ashbury hood, common ownership with Magnolia
lots of fantastic looking drinks, wine, sake, etc. But alas, i was here for a pint.
blackboard details the current offerings - about 6 Magnolia beers and 6 other offerings featuring Drakes, Firestone Walker, Moonlight and some others.
cool vibe - hip and dark. i can only imagine the food was pretty solid, given the respect that alcohol is given and the cool atmosphere.
this was the first post-dinner stop on our crawl - certainly a good place to grab a few
01-01-2010 19:54:46 |
More by dirtylou
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Zounds! Yet another place that did not exist from 1987 to 1989. Not only did it exist now, but it was situated right next door to the reincarnation of the Red Vic Movie House! It was narrow, but deep, inside. Facing, a window was left with the entry right. The left wall served as the back bar with an extensive collection of whiskies, including ryes. Above the top shelf were a series of five (5) blackboards, detailing wines and sake, "The BOURBON"; American Rye, Irish Whiskeys, Gin, World Whiskey, and American Single Malt:, I LOVE SCOTCH WHISKY"; and "DRAUGHT ALE". I wasn't shouting, just transcribing. Further aft, left, along the wall were a series of padded benches fronted by standard tables and chairs. The right side had a long shelf fronted by stools (when available) followed by more padded benches. All of the way aft were the kitchen and the lavs. The inverted "L"-shaped, dark wood bar was branded with numbers ala bleacher seats. I was wedged between 12 and 13. Addendum: In talking to my left seatmates, I found out that the bar was bleacher seating from Kezar Stadium, as was the plank along the right wall. Cucumber infused H2O as a refreshing break between beers. I knew that I had arrived when my right seatmate and the bartender and I were all wearing similar goggles. Pressed tin ceiling; hanging exposed light bulbs; saffron paint on the walls; ceiling fans. Mottos: "We're feeling it"; "Take your time - 415"; "Thank you, may I have another"; "Good liquor, Great eats". Man, I was really into this joint. Atmosphere 5, no doubt!
12-25-2009 12:19:19 |
More by woodychandler
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
Ok I am a local and come here just about once a month. This bar may have the best spirits selection in SF. They have great beers well selected, today I'm having a Stone Vertical, they also feature many beers from their sister bar Magnolia that are rock solid representations of SF brew.
This would be the perfect bar/eatery if only I could get service in a semi timely manner. Tonight was a personal worst for Alembic 22 minutes elapsed from my ordering a beer to it's arrival. The cheese plate I ordered had not cme after over 40 minutes so I cancelled it.
So great bar, great food, good beer, great spirits and maybe the most lackluster service I have experienced in SF. Not mean not rude just bad. This is not my first time here more lke my 14th or so. Magnolia owned by the same folks just down the block has much better service. Not sure what's happening here but I really hope it improves as I love this place if I could only get a beer in under 20 minutes.
10-18-2009 23:54:46 |
More by jp11801
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | $$$$
I stopped by The Alembic with a few friends a few nights ago.
The Alembic is right in the heart of the Haight, a block up from Golden Gate Park and Amoeba Records. The place is pretty small, with maybe 10-15 seats at the bar and about 12 tables in the back. Most of the drink menu is written on blackboards above the bar. The tap list, short as it was, was easy to read. However, the much more extensive liquor selection was written in very small letters and I had a very hard time reading many of the names. I've heard they have a good selection of beer bottles, but I didn't see any list either on the blackboard or in print.
The tap list was okay. There were maybe 12 taps, with several from Magnolia and a few guest brews which I don't remember. The Magnolia beers were good, but I don't see the point of going to a smaller, more expensive bar for Magnolia beers when you could just as easily go a few blocks over to Magnolia itself.
The service was quite good. The bartender was attentive and helpful, despite how busy the bar was.
The food menu looked very interesting, but expensive. A good alternative is to head to Escape from New York Pizza two doors up for an excellent, and cheap, snack.
I'm glad I had a chance to try this place, particularly for their extensive slection of Single-Malt Scotch, but I wouldn't recommend it for the casual beer drinker.
01-06-2009 07:50:48 |
More by trumpetego
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$
I came here with my wife's friends on New Years Eve and even though the place is small it was pretty easy to move through the mid-full crowd. Noise was not too distracting either.
I prefer pubs and dives so this place was a bit precious for me but it was lively and the staff is awesome. The waitress helped me pick beers (Green Flash West Coast IPAa and Hook Norton Double Stout) and I was very happy with the choices.
The food was good if a little odd (pickled quail eggs? Really?) and served tapas style i.e. tiny and pricey.
If you're on the Haight and want a great place to go and drink some quality brew you could do a lot worse than The Alembic.
01-05-2009 06:22:38 |
More by blane1
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$$
I was sceptical to go here because we were at Magnolia first and they have the same owner. Boy was I wrong. This place had a nice modern vibe that lifted my mood. The beer selection sign was over shadowed by the overpowering list of liquor. This was ok though. On a beer trip you will most likely have tried all the these beer anyway so I went for the Bourbon. I collect whiskey and Bourbon and I was impressed with the selection. I got to try 2 new ones. The bartender was fun to watch make drinks, very entertaining. We didn't get any food but it seemed a bit foofy. This will be on the list again next time we go to SF.
08-06-2008 20:55:08 |
More by dbONE
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$$
Very lovely place. I visited on a Sunday night and it was a bit crowded. Environment is fresh, vibrant, young, etc... a nice change from the damp, dark, wooden dumps that I love so much!
Service was very good. People at bar (patrons) were not into chatting with the out of towner, but the bar tender moved right over and talked beer. Pretty decent knowledge of the brews they served. Some nice local brews on draught, and nice beers on bottle.
I would def. recomend to someone who is working with a group of non-beer geeks. Something for everyone and very cool environment. Now the walk to Toranado after a few beers is both fun and LONG!
06-24-2008 02:38:54 |
More by rsawyer
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$
In my opinion Alembic is the perfect restaurant (bar, whatever). The beer selection is more than adequate, with numerous local craft brews on tap, and a decent number of import and craft options in the bottle. The spirit selection is more than impressive as well. the decor is kind of dark, but quirky and very cool. the wait staff are all very knowledgable about the food and the beer, and very helpful. They are also fairly tattooed and pierced, which adds to the vibe.
the food is something to behold. Small plates, simple flavors, flawless execution. After a round of oysters I had the octopus carpaccio and the roasted sweetbreads. The octopus was sliced paper thin and presented beautifully without overpowering its subtle flavor. The sweetbreads were cooked perfectly, and had a depth of flavor you would be hard pressed to find in an aged filet.
This is my new favorite restaurant.
04-14-2008 17:28:27 |
More by yurko
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
In SF for work, I met some colleagues at The Alembic. Their choice (nice one!). We were there with the after work crowd on a Wednesday. The place is small and intimate with a real nice vibe. We sat in the front window at a bar table and were served by a knowledgeable and friendly waitress. Their offerings are well chosen including a variety of US crafts, Belgians, Germans and English. They also have fresh drafts from Magnolia. I think I had an Imperial Heffe...The food is pretty good. They have mostly small plates with a local vibe. If I lived in SF, I would be here often.
01-26-2008 16:02:34 |
More by citrusjim
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | $$$
A narrow little place near the west end of Haight, the Golden Gate Park area. Visited on 3 July, 2007.
As I was continuing a westward journey down Haight Street, I stopped into Alembic for a bit, just after their 4pm opening time. Only one or two other people inside, besides the bartender, who seemed very preoccupied with candle-lighting and generally pretty-ing up the place.
A long, narrow space with tall ceilings and chic furnishings, emanating a trance-like, relaxing quality (at least when nobody's there). Soft candlelight (thanks to the bartender) and diffuse sunlight from skylights high above give a sort of moody glow to everything, including the chalkboard menu of drinks above the bar. The bar itself is made of a huge plank of darkly-painted wood with numbers etched into it, aged bleacher seating by the looks of it. Inadvertently, I parked myself at spot '13'.
Back to the drink list; it's a gigantic hand-written sign directly above the bar. The beer list is 'relatively' small, but I say that only because the vast whiskey and bourbon selection dominates most of the board. The beers that are listed are, however, quite nice. On-tap are almost all the available beers from Magnolia (which makes sense, as this is a second bar for Magnolia's owner), plus other area favorites like Marin, Two Rivers, Russian River (though the Little White Lie was tapped out, unfortunately) and Moonlight, plus North Coast's Brother Thelonious and Hair of the Dog's Fred from my hometown, Portland.. A dozen or so Belgian bottles represented a nice selection of the better Tripels, Krieks, Saisons, etc.
As it was barely 4pm and I had other places to go, I skipped food and left after just 1 drink, a pint of Moonlight's Late Afternoon Tart. A pint cost $5, so this isn't the cheapest place around, but is a nice, comfortable place to visit for a while.
07-08-2007 04:30:59 |
More by msubulldog25
The Alembic Bar in San Francisco, CA
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