Log in or Sign up
Extreme Beer Fest
returns to Boston on March 21 & 22, 2014.
Tickets are on sale now
BeerAdvocate mobile beta: Testers Wanted
. Give it a try and let us know what you think.
Android or Google Chrome user? Get a
14 day free trial to BeerAdvocate magazine on Google Play Newsstand
today! (AU, CA, UK, US only).
Extreme Beer Fest
Google Play Newsstand
The Alembic Bar
Taps: 10 / Bottles: 30
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
$$$ - a bit pricey
[ Bar, Eatery ]
1725 Haight St.
phone: (415) 666-0822
(Place added by: clickpush on 10-12-2006)
Ratings & Reviews
« first ‹ prev
| Reviews: 22
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$
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 | 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 | $$$
Very lovely place. I visited on a Sunday night and it was a bit crowded. Environment is fresh, vibrant, young, etc... a nice change from the damp, dark, wooden dumps that I love so much!
Service was very good. People at bar (patrons) were not into chatting with the out of towner, but the bar tender moved right over and talked beer. Pretty decent knowledge of the brews they served. Some nice local brews on draught, and nice beers on bottle.
I would def. recomend to someone who is working with a group of non-beer geeks. Something for everyone and very cool environment. Now the walk to Toranado after a few beers is both fun and LONG!
06-24-2008 02:38:54 |
More by rsawyer
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
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: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Apparently, I just blew past the woman at the door who was looking to keep us out due to space restraints. Ben told me as much when he caught up to me at the end of the bar. Trouble shot the situation and quickly ordered a beer on the thinking they wouldn’t eject me then, not easily, anyway (I am the solver of problemos, I am solution oriented). To be fair, I didn’t know the deal on the way in, and I did apologize to her on the way out. Revisited in the light of the next day, ‘cause I was in the ‘hood and could...
It’s a deep, narrow, room with a worn “L” shaped, wood bar off to the left. Upright wood plank base, piping foot rail, and seating for 14 on stools. Barback is glassware in rows and some wines atop a 4 door horizontal cooler holding bottled beer selections and wine. Some cupboardiness alongside, and hidden boozings; the tap tower atop, a few wines, and a coffee machine. 3 long shelves run the length above holding a whole hell of a lot of Whiskey, and things that wish they could be. And 4 square blackboards on a rack run up atop, on a cool pulley system that bring the boards down for easy edit action (as opposed to climbing up on the bar to change out the recently kicked for the on now).
2 hightop roundies up front in the windows, and a looong stretch of bar counter adjacent to the run of the bar. Down past the bar, a handful of 2 seat tables on a length of a shared blue cushion bench, and a corner “L” of the same with 5 tables across the way. To the rear, a tight kitchen space, with a horizontal blackboard above the opening listing prix fixe, dinner & cheese selections and specials.
Worn wood plank floors, black pressed tin ceiling with crown moldings, and yellow mustard, no, maybe more of a spicy brown, ceiling trim and walls. Light from a center skylight, some wall mounted lighting fixtures of metal piecework, drop single filament bulbs tracing the bar, and a single elaborate Quisp lamp to the rear. A few tall vertical prints, a wall shelving piece with books, beakers, test tubes in a mini rack, old bottles, cocktail shakers, and other dusty things, and a large ornate square mirror on the rear wall framed (that bitch is enormous).
10 taps, on nondescript handled stainless steel bar tower on the barback. ½ the taps hold “Gypsy/Tenant Brewer ” event selections (Local Brewing Ocean Beach Porter, Oakland Brewing Impact Crater Imperial Stout, Pacific Brewing Laboratory Nautilus, Dying Vines Brewing Old Brick Bitter, and the High Water Brewing St. Eve’s Belgian Strong Golden Ale, for which there should be a cease & desist a-coming); and the other ½ hold regional California play (Magnolia Kalifornia Kolsch & Proving Ground IPA, Moonlight Death & Taxes, Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye, and the Sutton Cellars Brown Label Dry Vermouth). Started with Moonlight Death & Taxes, due in part to it being awesome, and moved to the Oakland Brewing Impact Crater, which was quite tasty, yes.
And the aforementioned bottled beer selections, looks like just shy of 3 dozen, if you include the “Gypsy/Tenant Brewer” event offerings. The bottled menu is broken out by style or stylings, with roughly 1/3 of them imports, and those mostly of the Belgian variety (Orval runs an, in the range of acceptable, $11). And they do some cocktails here, too, uh huh; the bitters and the like on the bar boxed in front of me.
Opted for a light bite, being the Shishito peppers, oh, non-crazily painful peppers of salty goodness. The perfect snack, seriously. I had been thinking ‘duck’, ‘cause it was on the specials board, but the peppers proved to be the necessary fix.
The tunes have been great. Caught some Buffalo Springfield (early Stephen as that goes, oh yeah, Neil, too), and then “Tears from heaven” comes on, and as I’m thinking “damn, I hate this fucking song”, the bar guy barks “No!” and she changes it (Thanks, man). Was jammin’ last night, not so much today (Thursday afternoon, at 3), but I’m liking it more so now. Good scene, and I could hang, but we’re two and out; got to go collect Ben from the evils of work.
05-15-2012 22:00:34 |
More by slander
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
Stopped in for a weekday lunch, not crowded at all. Perfect atmosphere, couldn't ask for a better bar on Haight.
Open ceiling, mustard walls, framed vertical prints of abstract industrial textures. Worn in wood floors and tables. Handsome rustic bar to the left, with a cluster of padded booth seating to the rear. Curio shelves to the right behind the bar with plenty of archaic cocktail curios. It's a small and popular place, therefore can't accommodate large groups, not an unreasonable or exclusive policy. Like Monk's Kettle, seating is reserved for dining if it's busy.
Drafts listed on the chalkboard, small but effective list. Magnolia Kölsch, Drake's 1500, Ovila Saison, and several others. Bottle list covered the stylistic basics. Odonata Saison was "on special" for too much money... a 375mL saison for $26?. Whiskey and spirits selection was extensive, with a creative cocktail list also.
Service was attentive and not pretentious. Everything was delivered in a timely manner. Restrooms were clean, with actual cloth hand towels (same as Magnolia).
Food was delicious, the beef tongue sliders were a memorable savory bite, something i'd have again in a heartbeat. The seasonal grilled nectarine and burrata salad was tasty too.
Overall worth a stop if on Haight, during an off peak time. Amoeba, Magnolia, and plenty of other interesting spots nearby.
10-08-2011 05:03:20 |
More by emerge077
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$$
This place, which in the creation of Dave from Magnolia, is fantastic! The atmoisphere is great, dark, but not too dark, and tiny, but just spacious enough with a wonderful ambiance and victorian aire about it. The quality of the food and the rotating tap and bottled beer selection is phenomenal and the service is very good as well. I ordered some BBQ pork belly and some sort of absinthe cocktail and they were both fan-freakin-tastic. The beer selection is kept interesting with many magnolia brews and other local micros as well as a hefty bottled beer list and an awesome whiskey selection. The prices are not the cheapest in the city, but hey as a treat to yourself it's definately worth it and just think...you can eat here 3 or 4 times for the same amount of money it would cost you to eat somewhere like Aqua once...
05-18-2007 04:37:35 |
More by francisweizen
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 5 | $$$
From the outside this place seems plain and unassuming. A closer glance at the window reveals a short tapas menu and the house cocktail list. Inside you're struck immediately by visual and auditory ambiance: the high gilded ceilings, old fashioned fans, and quiet electro jazz tell you this is no dive bar. In fact, the liquor selection is the biggest I've seen in the area, with 4-5 shelves spanning about half the length of the restaurant. The bar, which is in the front-left of the house, is medium length (about 15 stools) and a shelf on the opposing wall offers a place to rest your drinks to about 10 more stools. Beyond the bar area is the dining room, equipped with roughly 10 tables offering up about 30 seats.
I went for dinner at about 7pm and found only 6-7 other customers there. Although I made immediate eye contact with the bar tender, I stood awkwardly for 2-3 in the space where the bar meets the dining room, waiting for someone to seat me or at least let me know if I could seat myself. I had a chance to look around a little more and noticed 10 unmarked taps under the liquor shelves and cursed them for not having tap handles.
After being seated in the back corner of the dining area (cloth napkins!!) my girlfriend and I were graced with cordial and eloquent service. The waitress offered advice but was not obnoxious, joked politely when appropriate, and encouraged a relaxed pace to enjoy the experience.
Sounds good so far, right?
The plates (small!) run mostly from $10-15, with a couple appetizers costing anywhere from $5-$10. Between two people we shared the lemongrass frites ($5), warm goat cheese salad ($9), lamb sliders - 2 per order ($10), and a bean & autumn squash casserole ($13). The food was delicious! I loved everything that was brought to the table, and left full.
The beer... oh, the beer... There are 10 taps, and all the drafts are $5: 6 from Magnolia and 4 from other local breweries. The bottle list is exceptional for a restaurant, but the prices are so inflated that ordering one would be completely insane. I ordered the Magnolia Wit Rabbit and the waitress came back saying they only had it in bottles. "Since when does Magnolia bottle their beer?!" I exclaimed in confused delight. Alas, she thought we were ordering something else. Two more beer requests were met with the stinging response "Sorry, we don't have it in stock anymore." I finally settled on the Marin Star Triple Wheat, and was shocked when I was handed an imperial pint glass. Tasted it; it was an IPA! I asked told the waitress and she responded "Oh, our Marin Star is the IPA today." Umm, you mean White Knuckle?
So, in brief: the beer menu is NOT current, and I believe they're going to install a blackboard (Magnolia style) to avoid confusion. The draft selection was very weak - they didn't have any of Magnolia's seasonals and their guest taps were not unique. The wait staff aims to please but is deficient in beer knowledge. The bottle list is somewhat of symbol, not really something to be considered for consumption. And the food is delicious.
(p.s. The bathroom is cleaner than yours - and instead of paper towels there's individual wash cloths that you throw into a hamper when you're done. Excellent!)
10-25-2006 20:06:03 |
More by clickpush
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
« first ‹ prev
The Alembic Bar in San Francisco, CA
Your name or email address:
Do you already have an account?
No, create an account now.
Yes, my password is:
Forgot your password?
Stay logged in
Top 250 Beers
Change of Address