Rogue pairings

The Pacific Brewing Laboratories guide to DIY food and local brews

Patrick M. Horn and Bryan Hermannsson's Pac Brew Labs is a center of good drinking in SF -- stands to reason they eat well.

BEER AND WINE The other week, I hit up one of the free, bi-weekly Thursday night tasting parties put on by San Francisco nanobrewery Pacific Brewing Laboratories, located in a small garage on a side street deep in SoMa—and was completely smitten. The adventurous atmosphere and swell-looking crowd were part of that, of course. But the small-batch beers on offer (I quickly downed a gorgeously smooth black IPA), the rogue food vendors (I then dove into a box of Nosh This Bacon Crack chocolate), and the almost-steampunk assemblage of tangled brewing equipment, scuffed kegs, and illustrative blackboards really sealed the deal.

Since they seemed exquisitely attuned to the underground brew-plus-food equation, I asked the guys behind Pac Brew Labs, Patrick M. Horn and Bryan Hermannsson, to tell us a bit about themselves and give us a wee menu of street pairings. Here's what Patrick came up with for us. (Marke B.)

"Pacific Brewing Laboratory started in a garage as a place for us to experiment with new beer flavors, styles, and brewing techniques. What started out as a place to share new creations with friends grew into a twice-monthly, totally free event with hundreds of our "new" friends and great local street food vendors.

"We brew small, 10-gallon batches which allows for constant beer experimentation. Some of our more exotic beer styles include Hibiscus Saison, Squid Ink Black IPA, Chamomile Ale, Lemongrass IPA, Szechwan Peppercorn Red ale, and wine-soaked oak-aged Brown Ale. We're always on the lookout for new ingredients and inspirations that will lead us to palate-pleasing creations. For our tastings, we often invite a local food cart to attend, in order to pair our beers against some of the amazing varieties of flavors produced by DIY local food vendors. Below are a few of our favorites, which include beers we enjoy from other local breweries."

Read about Pac Brew Lab's upcoming free Thursday Night Beer Nights at



"Leo Beckerman and Evan Bloom of pop-up Wise Sons Deli (Saturdays, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at Beast and Hare, 1001 Guerrero, SF. are on a mission from God to bring to us mere mortals the best in Jewish deli. They've been serving up their in-house pickles, matzo ball soup, pastries and — most importantly — their weeklong-brined, spice-rubbed, hickory smoked pastrami with home made rye bread to San Francisco and at many of our beer socials since the year 5771. Our Squid Ink is made with darker grains than traditional IPAs and uses West Coast hops to give it a traditional West Coast IPA hop aroma and bitterness. The richness and spices of the pastrami pair perfectly with the citrus-y, hoppy and roasted flavors of the Black IPA. Finish with a house fermented pickle for the perfect sandwich-beer-pickle experience."


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