After four weeks of soft openings, the much anticipated San Francisco Mikkeller Bar opened for real on Friday August 9th. A block-long queue of beer lovers began forming at 7:00am for the noon opening. When the doors finally opened, groups of thirty or so were admitted at a time so the bar and kitchen could take their orders efficiently.
By one o’clock, the line was gone and the bar had reached its capacity of 175 or so patrons. Even at capacity, it did not feel excessively crowded. The 40 taps plus two casks were flowing with Mikkeller brews and collaborations, plus a selection of other beers from around the country and world that are rarely seen in San Francisco. The sophisticated draft system was dispensing beer at three different temperatures depending on the particular style. Further, each line has its own control of the carbon dioxide and nitrogen mix, which can be tuned to taste.
The beers were complemented by specialty smoked meats, cheese plates, snacks and house-made sausages offered up by Chef Mike O’Brien’s crew.
A prime attraction of the day was the downstairs Tivoli sour room, which featured an extensive list of rare bottles, such as vintage geueze bottles from Cantillon and Drie Fonteinen from as far back as 1998. A group of determined enthusiasts pooled their resources and ran through an impressive array of bottles ranging from around $20 to about four times that price. The next day another wave of tempting examples appeared for new impromptu bottle-shares.
The second day of the three day extravaganza started with a brunch and flowed into a poster-signing event, celebrating the “Spontan art” graphics of the Mikkeller graphic artist, Keith Shore. The San Francisco pub is adorned with his artwork, along with other design elements that refer to the original Mikkeller pubs in Copenhagen.
Today is the third day of the festivities, and there is a sold-out beer dinner event until 7:00pm, when the doors will again open to the public. As with many anticipated openings, this has served as a beer community gathering place and de-facto reunion event over the weekend.
Starting Monday, the plan is to open at noon daily. Despite the starkly down-and-out block of Mason Street where the bar is located, the proximity to BART at Powell Street makes this an easy venue to visit. It’s also easy to jump on BART or MUNI and make this part of a beer tour of San Francisco where you can experience places that are a little less elegant and rarified, just to mix up the set of offerings, the ambiance and the price points. You might even want to take advantage of the location by parking near another BART station if you are driving in from afar.
More logistical details and a map: https://beerbybart.com/why/mikkeller-bar-powell/
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