Friday, June 02, 2006


It was my wife’s birthday a few weeks ago & she made it clear she wanted to spend it with some friends at AZIZA, an outstanding Moroccan restaurant located in San Francisco. I assured her I’d take care of the arrangements, an assurance that was itself assured once I looked at Aziza’s beer list online. W-o-w. I’d never even heard of half of these, so I knew that some aggressive beer spelunking on my part would be taking place under the hooded guise of selflessly celebrating a new annum in her life. Upon arrival I immediately placed order #1 – the ERDINGER WEISSBIER PIKANTUS, brewed by Erdinger Weissbrau in, you guessed it, Germany. It came in a large bottle somewhere between a 12oz. and a 750ml – probably about a pint and a half’s worth here. It set the evening in the right direction for sure. This is a "Weizenbock", which Beer Advocate says is "A more powerful Dunkel Weizen (of "bock strength"), with a pronounced estery alcohol character, perhaps some spiciness from this, and bolder and more complex malt characters of dark fruits.". A more powerful Dunkel Weizen? Sign me up! Man, I have a lot to learn.

Anyway, I don't have my notes in front of me because I didn't take any, but I remember the deep chocolate-brown color, the rich malty taste, & the thick, almost "chewiness" of the thing. I scored it 7/10 and made my next move. This one didn't pan out as well. The AYINGER JAHRHUNDERT BIER is a "Munich Helles Lager", and I'm just not that into yellow European lagers with that sticky-sour taste. It was immediately regretted upon purchase, but it was also a sunk cost that I needed to finish. Once done, I furtively typed 4.5/10 into my cell phone when no one was looking & rejoined the party. This restaurant is amazing, folks - easily one of the two best restaurants I've been to in my hometown of San Francisco (Delfina is the other) - and with a beer selection that encourages deep dives into Euro beer culture, I predict a return visit as soon as I pay off the credit card bill form this last one.

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