Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

Email: Deschutes Abyss on tap at the Toronado in San Francisco tonight

By William Brand
Wednesday, January 30th, 2008 at 4:20 pm in Uncategorized.

Hi William, I just read, with great interest, today’s “What’s on Tap.” (On the edge, Abyss has a whiskey, licorice punch) You mention that a bottle of The Abyss goes for about $10, but I was unable to find WHERE I might be able to buy it. Admittedly, after reading the first few paragraphs, I immediately went to google it (without much luck), but even going back I can’t seem to find a mention of any source. Can you help me out?

Thanks, LT

Deschutes Abyss closeupDon’t know how dedicated you are, but the Toronado, 547 Haight St. in San Francisco is tapping a keg of Abyss tonight (Wednesday, Jan. 30) at 6 p.m. If you’re not familiar with the Toronado, it’s easily one of the top five or 10 beer bars in the U.S.

You might also ring the Bistro, 1001 B. St. in Hayward. There’s a chance the proprietor Victor Kralj, has it on tap. Bistro’s another great place. 510-886-8525.

My advice about finding a bottle of Abyss. Look real hard right now; it goes like smoke from an open fire. Whoosh. It’s gone. Hi Lucas. Depends on where you live. I know that City Beer in San Francisco has it. So does Leder’s Liquors in Berkeley; Monument Wine & Spirits in Concord and Jackson’s in Lafayette were scheduled to get it.


Bill, Ended up going to the Toronado for the first time last Saturday with my wife, great advice. This was easily the best pub I have ever walked into and happily sipped. (Thank you taxi service…) Quick question- my understanding is that “West Coast IPA” (in general) means a more heavily hopped American IPA. Is this correct? Had Arrogant Bastard as the extreme example at Buffalo Bills- wow, pucker up. I do prefer a few of the Lagunitas flavors and love anything tried from Bear Republic. Also, I have seen “San Diego-style IPA” as a descriptor a few times. Any difference? Curious because have never really seen “Bay Area IPA” as a classification. Still learning…

Lots of great postings on your blog lately and starting to check daily- always appreciate the most updated info!

Bear Republic Racer 5Hi Bd...just unearthed your e-mail from under a pile of stuff in my in box. The whole IPA thing is evolving rather rapidly. The first modern India Pale Ale was Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing, San Francisco, released in 1976. Over the last 10 or 15 years, there were three craft brewers on the West Coast especially known for hoppy ales, Rogue, in Newport, OR, Anderson Valley in Boonville, CA and Bear Republic in Healdsburg (Ca.). No doubt there are craft breweries in the Seattle area that I’m missing, but Seattle’s a blank spot for me and their beers rarely reach us.

Over the last few years almost every brewer in California and lots in Oregon and Washington have been making hoppy beers. Brewers like Lagunitas in Petaluma, to name just one. Then the whole thing began to escalate as brewers learned to use aromatic, rather than bittering hops all the way through and to especially add hops late in the boiling process and to savagely dry hop — add hops in the fermenter.

The San Diego brewries, especially Green Flash are right on top of the curve, along with a bunch of Northern California brewers. In the Midwest there’s Three Floyds (Musnter, IND.) and in Milton, Del. Dogfish Head. But the idea of imperial IPAs, higher alcohol, higher hop flavors had caught on nationally. There’s really no one place that can claim dominance.

While the West Coast may have led the way, these days, it’s a national phenomenon. And I dearly love it. wb

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