Steelhead Brewing Company
333 California Dr
Visited in June 2007 and October 30, 2017
Along with 21st Amendment, Steelhead Brewing was one of the two brewpubs I got to visit again during a recent work trip to San Francisco. I hadn’t planned on it, but a local friend offered to drive me to the airport and suggested stopping here for dinner.
The place was immediately recognizable to me. Still a ton of gorgeous stonework, a huge, beautiful bar, and a lot of lounge-style seating options, like big leather chairs sitting on either side of a small table for two.
I did opt for a full beer sampler this time, but I once again failed at a true tasting as this was my fourth beer spot of the day. Combined with a quickly filling stomach and a large, delicious half of a chicken, I couldn’t get through it all.
I can say with certainty, however, that most all the beers are solid for their styles. Not much stood out, though I did note once again that the roasty stout was still delicious.
Bumping up the location to 20 because it’s just that stunning, and I’ve found that’s a rarity for brewpubs. I’m also bumping up the food to 18 and the overall as well. The beer can stay where it is for lack of a wow factor.
I visited Steelhead Brewing’s location in Burlingame, California, during my stint as a resident of Palo Alto. It was one of the first breweries in the area I struck out to explore. At the time, I tended to grab a couple of full pints rather than try a sampler, so I didn’t get a good taste of their full assortment.
Five years later, I recall a very good dry Irish stout, a very nice restaurant full of stone and a fireplace, and nothing else. I was also probably on a health kick, so who knows just how good their food might have been. But the fact that I recall anything about their beer or location at all has to be a good sign as to the quality of the establishment.
This brewpub is big and elegant-looking without overdoing it or seeming pretentious. There are several plasma screens above the bar along with plenty of traditional restaurant seating. There’s a fireplace and lots of stone work, and is located in the heart of a very nice neighborhood. And right on the public transportation train line I might add!
The tuna steak sandwich was spicy and yummy. The side salad instead of fries option was a nice touch, and they didn’t skimp on the greenery, like some places will when you order a green side.
I decided to try two pints instead of a sampler because I expected to come back more often, but who would have known there are so many brewpub’s in the San Francisco Bay area? Of the two that I had, the Irish stout was exceptional.