Tuesday, April 17, 2007


You’ll find a great many beer people spending a goodly amount of their time harping on the lack of great beers at high-end restaurants. Certainly this is not idle chatter. Who among us hasn’t sat down at a fine dining establishment to break bread & have a fantastic gastronomic experience, only to be presented with a wine list with 30-100 varieties and a beer “list” with 2 or 3? So it was the other evening at San Francisco’s DELFINA restaurant, which just might be the single best restaurant in a town well-known for ‘em. My choices were Anchor Steam, which I’ve had a few of in my day, and SUDWERK BREWING’s DUNKEL WEIZEN, which I’d never heard of. Oh, I know SUDWERK – back in the early 1990s it was one of Northern California’s (Davis) only breweries, and many a time I threatened a road trip out there only to, uh, not go. Since 1990 there has obviously been an upsurge in such places, and Sudwerk’s kinda been left in the dust as far as desirable beer locations to seek out, and honestly, I rarely hear anyone talking about their beer. (I will say I’ve always found it to be pretty solid).

Their DUNKEL WEIZEN appears to be a beer that they only enter into competitions, or sell to restaurants, and that is actually quite hard to come by. Don’t get too freaked out, my beer dork friends, there’s nothing to get particularly excited about. This one has a very nice dry, malty flavor to it at first, reminiscent of wheat as you might expect. It’s quite thin-bodied, which I didn’t particularly care for, and generally quite “light”. It did pack some serious flavor in, like I said, but after a few big gulps I was already pretty tired of it, and wishing that Delfina has somewhere else for me to go in the beer milieu. They didn’t, so I overcompensated by eating far more than I should have. That’s what it’s all about, until the bill comes, right? Let’s go with 6/10 on this one.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm slightly puzzled at the lack of respect that Sudwerk gets. It's been around for so long & it's still fairly low-profile. I think it may have to do with a lot of their beers being on the lighter, subtler side of the spectrum. I live in Sac & have never even seen this particular beer so I can't comment on it, but I love their Dopplebock & their pilsner. I think they make some perfect restaurant beers. With a lot of meals, I want tosmething light but substantial - a Sudwerk pilsner or, say, a Noth Coast Scrimshaw. After dinner, sure, bring on the crazy stuff. God, there's a restaurant in Sac that I love - pretty fancy but still casual enough - that made an effort to have good beer on draft to go along with its extensive wine list. They picked Lagunitas IPA & Racer 5 IPA. I don't know, unless I'm ordering the hop salad, I just don't feel like those are the best beers for a great, somewhat delicately flavored meal! Well, I can't stand Lagunitas IPA to begin with, but still...