Rogue Ale House
673 Union Street
San Francisco, California
Visited in September, 2007
I didn’t think too highly of the first Rogue Ale House that I ever visited. Located in downtown San Francisco, it was a bit of a pain to get to. Once there, I was blown away by the number of beers they had on tap, but disappointed in the fact that a sampler only came with four different beers. And driving in San Francisco, I didn’t want to stay and try them all.
The food wasn’t all that great either, I didn’t think. I get some sort of stew or gumbo that had all kinds of different meat in it. I found it disappointing, in the end, and wasn’t overly fond of the stout float, either.
I walked away fairly disappointed, which is why there’s a low score on this one. However, after having lived in the Northwest for a couple of years, I came to love Rogue for its great beer, despite overpriced bombers on the East Coast. So if I got to go back today, the score would probably be a decent amount higher. But for now, I have to go with the original scoring.
In the heart of downtown San Francisco, I’m not entirely sure that this place counts, because they only serve Rogue Ale, they don’t actually make it there. It’s actually made up in Oregon. The place is kind of small with a limited amount of seating, a short bar, and not much in the way of good televisions. Not what I’d expect from downtown San Francisco and a well-known name like Rogue.
The food is a bit overpriced for the amount you get. I tried some alligator gumbo, which was quite good, but I felt I should have gotten about twice as much for what I paid. Also, on the dessert menu is a stout float! This deserves major points, even though the treat itself wasn’t so great.
The alehouse has a ton of beers to choose from—at least 20 styles of Rogue—and a sampler only includes four. But at least you get to choose your own. I could sit at the bar allllll day and try about 20 different beers, which sounds like a great afternoon, if I had the time. But I’d much rather a flight of 8 beers of 3 ounces instead of 4 with 6 ounces. Of the four I tried, the nut brown ale and stout were easily the best, although Dead Guy Ale is one of my favorites when I can find it in the Midwest on tap.
The service wasn’t very good. The guy must have been busy elsewhere in the restaurant, because I didn’t see much of him. I probably would have ordered another sampler…