a compilation of musings on one of the world's oldest beverages...and a few other topics.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Going With The Flow is Key/Social Kitchen & Brewery

At work, I use a MacBook Air. It's a good computer. At least, it was a good computer until it failed me.

It failed me not in that it broke, or that it had some dysfunction that prevents me from doing my work. Rather, it failed me because of the "N" key.

A week or so ago, I spilled some water on my keyboard. I'm pretty sure it affected the "N" key, because on Sunday night, I noticed the "N" was smeared and that the light off the "N" was shining brighter than the other letters.

This pretty much brought me to pieces. No, I didn't have a literal breakdown or scream or throw anything. But I did stare at the key nonstop, then attempt to black it out with marker. When that didn't work, I resorted to taking a piece of masking tape, writing "N" on the tape, and covering the key. Because I don't want it to be unlike the rest of the keys on the keyboard. It had to be the same. It needed to be exactly how I wanted it be.

I did this because looking at the key made me itch. It made my hair itch, and my arms itch, and my ears itch. Which then led to my talking it out with a few (very understanding and quirky-in-their-own-way) co-workers. And a dear friend of mine. And my parents.

It's clear that the only way I'll get over the key thing is to look it in the face and reinforce it has no power over me. It will change nothing in my life. It's not going to jump off the keyboard and slap me in the face. It's just completely and utterly irrelevant.

You're probably wondering why on earth I'm delving into this personal issue and you're probably thinking "this woman is incredibly odd." That's just fine and dandy. I'm used to it, and have definitely come to terms with it. It makes me who I am. And in the grand scheme of things, I'm going to get over it. Even writing about it now makes me laugh (plus, I wish more of us shared these stories, so we could revel in our unique weirdness).

What does this have to do with beer? We'll, it's a TOTAL stretch, but it's gotten me thinking about a few things, beer-wise.

Also? I just wanted another forum to talk this one out.

When I taste beer, I like to mentally break down the beer into specific categories: You know,IPA, Pilsner, Lager, Stouts, Ales (Belgian/Scottish/British), etc. But in the beer world, that's becoming somewhat impossible. It's a Brave New World of beer out there. You've got your barleywines, imperial stouts, sours,Double-Double-Double Hopped Up On Blow IPA's, brown beers, etc.

The thing is, I KNOW this. Anyone who follows beer knows this. Despite this, the mental block, the categorizing of the beers, the questioning of the brewer/brewery, still creeps in a bit.

But this is changing. Yes, it is! The latest impetus for attitude change was due to the Social Kitchen & Brewery.

The beer I tasted was something called the "Rood Rye." It's billed as a "hoppy belgian red rye."

Say WHAT? ALL of those things seem incongruous to me. How many Belgian beers are usually hoppy- or red? And rye, really? Why rye, of all things?

Needless to say...my strange beer anxiety dissipated after 5.6 seconds, otherwise known as "After I Tasted The Beer." Because that beer is f-ing good. I mean, it was like, "bone marrow on a toasted piece of french bread" good. Or, if that doesn't suit you, "grass-fed hamburger stuffed with some ridiculously decadent cheese and topped with bacon" good. And if that doesn't do it for your, veggies or vegans...got nothin'. You can make up something in your head.

It was good because it had an explosive and fresh taste. It was hoppy. It was red. I could taste the rye. It didn't overpower or overwhelm the beer. It was smooth, and not too filling. The abv was a perfect 5.7% (and that's another thing- Belgian beers are usually so much higher). I got the impression they put a lot of thought into the beer. In fact, I got the impression they put a lot of thought into all their beers. If you check out the menu, you may come to a similar conclusion.

The latter makes me happy because sometimes I think brewers brew these tremendously alcoholic beers as an easy way out. People get drunk faster, and it's potentially a bigger crowd-pleaser. That's not to say Social does have BIG beers on their menu. They do. But it's geared towards a wide audience.

Even better? This is an SF-based brewery (REPRESENT!) In the Inner Sunset (a neighborhood that's not one of the typical SF "go-to's." They serve food, which is supposedly quite tasty. The space is large, the crowd was friendly, we didn't have to be eating to sit at the tables (WHAT WHAT), and the ambience managed to be down-to-earth and...somewhat sexy.

Go. Now. Because there's only so much 21st Amendment and Anchor Steam one can drink. And if the beer combinations seem insane...it's probably irrelevant. What matters is the taste.

And that concludes our lessons in OCD and Jumping to Conclusions, folks! Happy Friday.

*Full Disclosure: The Tape Isn't Yet Off, But It Will Happen.*


  1. 1. I still follow and love your blog.
    2. I genuinely like beer now! Go me!
    3. Just drank/recommend: Hotter Than Heels (Cigar City Brewing Company), and Two Hearted Ale (Bell's Brewery)

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Thank you, Mollie! This warms my heart. And trust me, I'm definitely still reading your blog, as well. I've pulled a number of recipe's off of it.

    Thrilled to hear you like beer. Thanks so much for the tips- I've never heard of Cigar Brewing Company! Will have to look it up now. As for Bell's...they rock.

    If you get the chance, try Clipper City Brewing's Loose Cannon. They're a Baltimore-based brewing company (and no, that's not an oxymoron)!