The Monk’s Kettle: A "destination" beer tour for the refined yet unpretentious

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By Susan White

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If you’re looking for a classy way to get drunk in the middle of the week – sans the extravagant snobbery of the Marina – you might want to try partaking in one of the Monk’s Kettle’s beer-pairing dinners, now held the first Wednesday of every month.

The Monk’s Kettle is a craft-beer bar located near 16th and Valencia, smack in the middle of our city’s bustling Mission District. Unlike typical gastropubs, this one prides itself on its slightly upscale atmosphere and unique variety of brews (over 150 on its constantly rotating menu, not including the 24 they keep on tap at all times). Yet this tavern doesn’t harbor an exclusive or imposing attitude. According to co-founder Christian Albertson, who opened the establishment in 2007, the Monk’s Kettle merely seeks to "educate" its consumers on the extensive world of beer, providing a friendly and relaxed environment in which to do so. Each of its staff members are trained to recommend brews based on individuals’ tastes, and each course on the menu is listed with suggested beer pairings to go with it. Combining food and beer seems to be a tradition the founders have upheld from inception – only now have they decided to make it an official event.

On June 3, the Monk’s Kettle offered a five-course beer dinner featuring Deschutes Brewery of Oregon, whose representatives were there to host the event. Guests were required to pay a steep cover charge of 80 dollars per person and make reservations in advance (well in advance – according to Albertson, their beer-pairing dinners are now "booked until next April").

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