A very Probe style Brewery Review


Adam Carolla’s empty chair

I went to San Francisco just to see Adam Carolla’s new movie, Road Hard. Of course, anytime I go anywhere I am also going to a brewery or two.
Adam Carolla made an appearance at the theater for question and answer sessions after each showing of the movie on Tuesday. So I got off work and went on Wednesday at 2:30 pm because I like to avoid the crowds and I like to be home before it gets dark. I was the only person in the theater. I took a picture of the chair where Adam sat the night before. It was still set up in the middle of the isle. Once the movie started I did hear one guy behind me laughing, so I wasn’t the only one in the theater. It was a funny movie, but I did not laugh.
I used to say, “I’ve only cried during three movies in my life, and they were all Adam Sandler movies.” That was true, the last one was “Click”. Thankfully I don’t cry in real life because I am a grown man and that would scary. But these days I seem to tear up more frequently while watching movies. I must hide it pretty well because no one has ever said to me, “Oh my God, are you crying?” Luckily I was almost the only one in the theater because Road Hard was a tearjerker. I love good romantic comedies.


Sunset Reservoir Brewing Company

Anyway, on the way to the movie I stopped in at a brand new brewery in the Sunset District. Nice place! Not a place for me particularly, but a really nice place. It was Sunset something or other brewery. They didn’t have tap handles and they didn’t have any goofy t-shirts for sale. I didn’t even ask if they sold pint glasses or bottle openers. The young urban professionals that this place was built for are a little too cool for that. They did make the beer on sight, nothing too crazy but it was all good. I only had time for a sampler before the movie.


Nice looking bar at Sunset Reservoir


but I prefer the tap handles at the Beach Chalet Brewery

After the movie I went to the Beach Chalet Brewery. It’s from an era of older breweries in California, but it’s very unusual in that it is somewhat of a tourist attraction because of its location between the ocean and Golden Gate Park. The place is lost in time. It’s a grand impressive building, but worn around the edges enough to be comfortable. A Reuben Sandwich may be $15 in the dining room, but during happy hour their own beer is just $3.50 a pint with $3 fries or onion strings among other deals. Ocean Beach is one of the least scenic beaches in existence. The Park Chalet bar that is in back is actually more of an attraction. It opens to Golden Gate Park which is a very unusual feature for any bar or restaurant. I asked the bartender how far into the park I could walk with my bear and he didn’t seem to have a definite answer.
This was one of the brewery stops on my 40th birthday over 7 years ago where I drank four shots of whiskey in 5 seconds. The rest of the day I had to focus hard just to keep the world from spinning. That was before I quickly became an old man and had to be more conscious about my alcohol intake.
I am a beer tourist so I was happy to find an actual gift shop downstairs with bottles of Beach Chalet beer for sale. I also got a California Kind Ale t-shirt because it was my favorite beer and it has a woman in a bikini on it. Score! I liked the guy working there. He said he remembered when there were only 35 breweries in Northern California and I think he actually told me that there are six more small batch neiborhood breweries planned for the Sunset District. When I told him why I was in the city he said, “At the Balboa Theater? I think I’ll go see that! Really, I was just trying to think of something to do tonight.”


The Park Chalet Bar is behind the Beach Chalet. This a screen capture from their website. The windows were all open when I was there. I took my pint and walked into those trees on the right.


This is Ocean Beach directly across the street from the Beach Chalet Brewery.

After a walk in the park I met my friend Bill back at the new Sunset brewery that I was at earlier. He lives nearby and he was curious to check it out. The place was packed! They said it would be an hour to get a table so instead we just got stools by the window and had beer. The staff at this place was great, despite the crowd the bartender got to me instantly and as she was getting my drinks another bartender came by and asked again. Once again, brewpubs are usually twice as efficient at getting beer to their customers than they are in bars or clubs.
We then went to a nearby pizza place that had Magnolia Brewery on tap.
After that I stopped in at Bill’s place. I told him I wanted to check out his backyard view. 20 years earlier I had an ex girlfriend who also lived in the Sunset. She used to come home from her waitressing job, take off all of her clothes, get a glass of wine, talk on the phone or whatever and relax while checking herself out in the mirror for 15 or 20 minutes before getting dressed. The best part was that she had a full-length bedroom window and she left the blinds pulled up while she did this. I had many questions. She said, “I don’t know why I do it! I’ve been working out, I just feel really good about myself right now” She said she honestly didn’t care if the neighbors were watching her or not but it was just her way of de-stressing after work. One night I ran into her and her roommate Jeanette at a show in the city and I came back to their house because I really wanted to see what she looked like in the window. Jeannette knew what we were up to and did not approve, she said she never once left the curtains open while she was changing because there were a bunch of windows facing hers and she wasn’t into the peeping tom thing. However, a little while later I was standing out in the backyard watching my ex on the second floor and Jeanette walked into her room on the first floor and she also got completely naked!
Anyway, Bill had no interest in hearing this story; he shook his head disapprovingly and changed the subject. Personally, I think it’s an awesome story. Naked women are always fantastic. I admit that I tend to be more interested in stories involving naked women than most people. If you do like stories about naked women you should read my Probe interview at http://www.daveninja.com/probe/ Coincidently, it features a half naked photo of Jeanette at Ocean Beech of all places. We are still friends, but I haven’t talked to her old roommate in a while so I didn’t use her name.

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Sunset District houses