Barebottle Brings Beer-Brewing Award Home to Bernal Heights


This Golden Age for Beer in Bernal Heights is officially in full swing, with a handful of new craft-beer havens now open for business around the neighborhood. The Barebottle Brewing Company at 1525 Cortland opened just a few months ago, but it’s already emerged as a must-visit destination for beer lovers, who love it for the wide selection of tasty, house-made beers and the airy, comfortable space.

And now there’s another feature to celebrate: Barebottle just won a medal for making great beer. Team Barebottle explains:

The Barebottle Brewing Company earned a bronze medal at the 2016 Great American Beer Festival (GABF) competition four months after opening it’s doors in San Francisco. GABF is the largest commercial beer competition in the world and recognizes the most outstanding beers produced in the United States. The top three winners in the competition’s 96 beer-style categories were announced October 8 at the Great American Beer Festival awards ceremony held at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, Colorado.

Barebottle credits the success for its early GABF medal to its innovative approach to developing and brewing beers. “We’re honored to receive this award, and excited that our model is generating early results,” said Lester Koga, co-founder. “As homebrewers and BJCP certified beer judges, we use a competitive method and local inspiration to develop our beers, and so far, it looks like it’s working well.”

Barebottle was recognized in the Strong Ales beer-style category for its Coastal Red, a big Amber beer inspired by California Coastal Redwood Trees with, “hints of spicy banana bread, fig, and black currant” says Head Brewer Cortlandt Tocyzlowski, who developed and refined the original recipe first as a homebrewer, then as a professional brewer at Drake’s and E.J. Phair before coming to Barebottle as Head Brewer. “These big beers can flirt with being too sweet. I actually use 2 yeast strains: an English strain for 2/3rds of primary, and then West Coast Ale Yeast to help it finish fermenting out.  I think this give me that perfect balance of English body and esters, while the West Coast Ale makes it more crisp, less cloying.”

PHOTO: Barebottle Brewing on Cortland, by Telstar Logistics

Saturday: Rock the Guac at the 5th Annual Guacamole Competition!

2015 Guac-Off Champion Elle "Monster Guac" Garcia clutches her victory trophy

2015 Champion Elle “Monster Guac” Garcia clutches the coveted Guacamole Glory Trophy

It’s that very special time of year for guacamole fans in Bernal Heights.

Once again, the annual Guac-Off guacamole competition is coming this weekend. It’s free, and it’s happening on Saturday, September 10 beginning a 1 pm at the glamorous Farmhouse Mansion, at 3340 Folsom near the top of the hill at Ripley.  That means if you you want to compete, there are a few days remaining for you to beg your abuela for her secret recipe.

Here are all the guactastic details, courtesy of guacMC Luke:

Look, 2016 is a complicated time, but in a complicated world eating guacamole with your friends and neighbors is the best of all simple pleasures. As the saying goes, San Francisco is 49 square miles surrounded by reality, so for one delightfully warm Indian Summer afternoon we invite you to forget all the complications of 2016 and bask in the fact that you are not surrounded by reality, you are surrounded by avocados. Lots of avocados.

So join us on Saturday, September 10th, 2016 at 1pm at The Farmhouse Mansion for the 5th Annual Indian Summer Guac-off!

  1. Your guacamole must use at least 7 avocados.
  2. If you don’t bring a guacamole, you’re encouraged to bring beer.
  3. No matter what you decide to bring, bring your friends!
  4. We’ll provide the chips, the Guacamole Glory Trophy, and the mystery prizes.

If you’re thinking about coming we’d love for you to check out (our new site!) and take 15 seconds (seriously, that’s all it takes) to fill out our totally non-committal sign-up form so we can know how many pounds of chips we need to buy.

If you’re reading this it means you understand the sacred power and magic of spending a warm afternoon with friends, neighbors, cute babies, cuter dogs and maybe even the mailman. It means that you know the delight of being shaded by lush trees in the garden of a large mansion while being surrounded by whimsical interpretations of the holy avocado.

So use this information carefully — and by use it carefully we mean tell anyone you’d like.

Chris, Luke & Josh


Old Devil Moon Beer Restaurant Now Open on Mission Street


It took a lot longer than expected (which is what we always expect), but this week Old Devil Moon, the brand-new, beer-obsessed restaurant at 3472 Mission Street at the foot of Cortland Avenue, finally opened for business. Welcome!

As you no doubt recall, Old Devil Moon was co-founded by former La Lengua resident Chris Cohen, who lived for a time on fashionable Tiffany Street, next door to the owner of La Terrazza, the bar that was previously at 3472 Mission. The two got to talking, and the owner of La Terrazzo eventually said “I’ve actually been thinking about retiring for a couple years, I’d love to sell you my place.” Thus, the torch was honorably passed from La Terrazzo to Old Devil Moon.

So what’s Old Devil Moon all about? InsideScoop explains:

Old Devil Moon [is] the new beer-focused restaurant from Chris Cohen (founder of the SF Homebrewers Guild), along with business partners Will Marshall, Andrew Kelley, Ericka Schell and Carson Beker. (Kelley, Schell and Cohen are all certified cicerones.)

Located in the former La Terraza space on Mission Street, Old Devil Moon takes its inspiration from other local beer-focused restaurants, like Oakland’s Hog’s Apothecary and Monk’s Kettle in the Mission. However, the vibe and food for the space will be New Orleans-inspired.

The project has been in the works a couple of years and took longer than originally thought because the team ended up having to completely gut the space and rebuild from the ground up. The delay was worth it for Cohen, since it allowed the team to build out a new draft system exactly to their specifications that includes a large walk-in cooler behind the bar that can hold 19 kegs, as well as three smaller coolers to store different styles of beers at different temperatures.

In addition to the 19 draft beers, plus one hand-pump cask ale, the bar will offer about 30 easy-drinking canned beers, as well as a large selection of larger format barrel-aged imperial stouts and sour beers. Some of the breweries the bar will be showcasing include local and domestic offerings from Sante Adarius, Freewheel Brewing Co., Fieldwork, Modern Times, Almanac and Craftsman, as well as some from further afield including Rodenbach Grand Cru from Belgium and hard-to-find Switzerland brew, Samichlaus.

Apart from all the beer, Old Devil Moon also offers a list of signature cocktails, while the food menu is built around New Orleans-style favorites such as Po Boys, gumbo, and fried oysters. (Insert Pavlovian Response here.)


Old Devil Moon opened for business on Monday night, and the place was reportedly packed. Chris Cohen from Team ODM tells Bernalwood:

There were a few moments from our opening night that meant the moon to us.

Like the guy who said, “I’ve lived in the neighborhood for decades – I’m so happy this place has an unpretentious, friendly vibe. I’ll be back.”

And the other who said, “We’ve lived in Bernal Heights for 30 years, and me and my wife are both beer lovers. I’m excited there’s a place I can go to with great beer just down the hill from my house.”

A third customer asked for help choosing some beer. Sure! Then he asked for a fortune. Sure! Two patrons told us our menu board was magic (it is!) and then sang Old Devil Moon and everyone clapped.

It felt like our vision come true: We want this to be a neighborhood place with destination-worthy beer where magic can happen. We want to get to know you, so it made us so happy to see our friends and neighbors meet. Thanks to everyone who came down the hill for a great beer, thanks for a great welcome for Old Devil Moon to the neighborhood, and if you haven’t been down yet, welcome! Come raise spirits and make some mischief with us.

PHOTOS: Courtesy of Old Devil Moon

Anda Piroshki Closing This Weekend After Kitchen Rent Increase


Big bummer: After learning about a big commercial kitchen rent increase, Anda Piroshki, the tasty purveyor of Russian food at 331 Cortland, will be closing permanently after this Sunday, August 28.

Anda Piroshki as has thrived since founder Anna Tveliva first opened in 331 Cortland during 2011, and over the years the business grew to include a second outpost on Haight Street. Along the way, Anna herself became a familiar fixture in the Bernal community, as well as a US citizen.

In a message for Bernalwood readers, Anna writes:

Dear Bernal friends,

I need to share with you a sad news. Anda Piroshki’s commercial kitchen lease is up, and the new offer we got is almost 3 times higher. Unfortunately it is killing the business.

Considering the short notice I was given (I have to leave the kitchen by 9/1) and some family issues I am currently dealing with, I made a hard decision to close the business at the end of this month.

I dearly love Bernal, our customers, our landlady Debra at 331, folks from Paulie’s Pickling and Anusha from Mae Krua. Going to miss all very much. I am so grateful to be able to serve Bernal with my motherland food all these years and get so many fans!

Our doors will be open till 8/28. Please stop by to get your last Anda Piroshki fix and say goodbye :-(

Sad. Heartbroken. Truly yours,

Anna Tveliva

She also made this video:

Sigh. Truth be told, it’s hard to imagine a bigger fan of Anda Piroshki than Bernalwood’s own Cub Reporter, who insists we stop by Anda Piroshki every time we visit Cortland Avenue together. Literally: Every time.

As a parent, I’ve been happy to indulge the Cub Reporter’s piroshki obsession, not just because Anda’s food is delicious, but because I like to think my kid’s love of Anda Piroshki was hardwired into her DNA by her great-grandfather, an immigrant from Russia who died two decades before she was born. Savoring one of Anna Tveliva’s piroshkis may be his way of speaking to Bernalwood’s Cub Reporter through the generations.

Anyway, Bernalwood’s Cub Reporter was really sad to hear Anda Piroshki is closing, so  we stopped by 331 Cortland last weekend to load up while we still can.  This morning, the Cub Reporter asked me to put an Anda Piroshki in her lunchbox. So while all the other kids eat peanut butter and jelly or grilled cheese in the cafeteria today, Bernalwood’s Cub Reporter will be excited to dive into this:


Thank you for all the delicious memories, Anna, and best of luck.

PHOTO: Top, Anna Tveliva at 331 Cortland for Halloween, 2011. Courtesy of Anda Piroshki.


Front Porch Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary With Street Party


Yesterday, the Front Porch restaurant on 29th Street in the La Lengua Autonomous Zone celebrated its 10th Anniversary. Blessedly, even after a decade, neither the primal forces of time nor fire have been able to stop the southern-fried deliciousness that is the Front Porch.

Rebel propagandist Burrito Justice was on the scene for the festivities, and he reported:

The back yards of La Lengua [are] echoing with the sounds of horns and drums and cheering from the Front Porch… Whatever you want to call it, this neighborhood does not suck.

So true. Check out this little video to get a taste of the scene:

Big congrats to Team Front Porch on the anniversary, and thanks for all the good food and warm community you’ve brought to 29th Street.

PHOTOS AND VIDEO: Courtesy of @BurritoJustice

Nutes Noodles Seeking Permanent Place at 903 Cortland


Pastafarians and multicultural noodle-freaks, rejoice! Nute’s Noodles, the Asian-infused  noodle soup and ramen restaurant that has long been doing pop-ups inside the space at 903 Cortland, now plans to become a permanent restaurant at (you guessed it) 903 Cortland.

Sarah Fritsche from Inside Scoop got the inside scoop:

Inside Scoop reached out to [chef Nute] Chulasuwan, who confirmed that she is indeed in the process of buying the Bernal Heights space from [former Sandbox Bakery owner Mutsumi] Takehara. (Also listed on the ABC license are partners Makiko Nakagawara and Supreeya Pongkasem.)

Chulasuwan says that the new incarnation of the space will be a continuation of her popular noodle pop-ups, which currently run four nights a week. For more details on what to expect from the forthcoming restaurant, check out Chulasuwan’s menu, which feature Thai noodle dishes, including a promising version of Northern Thai coconut curry noodle soup called Khao Soi, as well as Japanese-inspired ramen.

Chulasuwan says that the transfer will take a couple of months, but she hopes to open the restaurant by September.

IMAGE: 903 Cortland by Telstar Logistics

Tonight: First Anniversary Celebration at the Old Bus Tavern


Wow. It’s been a year already!

Tonight, Monday, Aug. 1, the critically acclaimed and positively delightful Old Bus Tavern at 3193 Mission (@ Valencia) celebrates its first year in business . Co-owner Bennet Buchanan brings news about the festivities:

Opening a neighborhood restaurant/brewery has allowed us to meet so many cool people in this city, many of whom live right here in Bernal. Also, despite all the warnings, we’ve learned that it is in fact possible to go into business with your best friends and remain as close as ever.

We want to invite all our neighbors to our combined Old Bus Tavern’s First Anniversary + Jerry Day Party on Monday, August 1st. We’ll be open from 5-10pm with live, Grateful Dead-inspired music from The Incubators (regulars at Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael) from 6-9pm.

We’re going to offer the following Dead-inspired menu:

  • Grateful Bread………Buckwheat Cornbread with salted honey-miso butter and chives
  • (Green and) Brown-Eyed Women………Marinated Olives with rosemary, garlic and lemon zest
  • New Potato Caboose………Steak Fries with beef salt and garlic aioli
  • Fire on the Mountain………spicy Chili with pequin
    The Pizza Tapes………Cherry Tomato Salad with brioche, burrata and charred pepper vinaigrette
  • Just Noodlin’………Spaetzel with brassicas, maitake mushrooms, whole grain mustard cream and Aztec Fuji apples
  • Homemade Cherry Garcia Ice Cream Sundae………slightly “Sugaree”

PHOTO: From left, Old Bus Tavern partners (and still friends) John Zirinsky, Jimmy Simpson, and Bennett Buchanan. Courtesy of Old Bus Tavern.