Ale Arsenal - San Carlos CA


(Ronnie ) #1

A few years ago, my friend Melanie asked me to write up Ale Arsenal. Well, it’s been three years since it opened, so about time I acted!

The best description is that Ale Arsenal is a sanitized version of Toronado in the Haight. It mimics the darkish interior, the excellent selection, and the tap selection changes every single day. There are two menus - one for the bottles and one for the taps. For sour ale fans like Vancouver chowhound grayelf, this place is paradise.

The taps are a good mixture of local and obscure breweries from all over the nation and abroad. I’m thinking they always have two German lagers on tap - guaranteed.

Bartenders are always friendly and courteous, its owned by a brother and sister duo - locals.

Now this is a bit of a locals secret, BUT I will let it out here. You can order food from the neighbouring Refuge, and eat it here while gulping down a fine IPA or whatever your tipple.

Cheers !


#2

It’s not that much of a secret - they pretty much suggest people do that in their social media. There is a nearby dumpling place that seems very popular for carry-in food there, too.

I’m not sure Toro is the best comparison - this is a more of a daily printed tap list place. I think Ale Arsenal has a wider variety of beer available, but it’s more costly.


(Brian Bulkowski) #3

Yeah, it’s good drinkin’ over there.

The real point is Refuge has a different category of beers. Regardless of the mood you’re in, you can head to San Carlos, and choose a more american / IPA slant at Ale Arsenal, or go belgian-ish at Refuge. Nirvana.


#4

Exactly, though 95% of the time I just settle for a St. Bernardus Abt 12.


(Ronnie ) #5

Never bothered to check their social media, since I’m there pretty much once a week :smile:

Toronado’s taps change frequently, unless something has changed. Anyway, to me, Toronado is a pain to get to and then park and then drive all the way back ever since I moved from the city, so Ale Arsenal is pretty much perfect.

Not sure what you mean by daily printed tap list place.


#6

Ale Arsenal prints the beer list every day. Toronado just has that menu on the wall (which may or may not be updated if a keg blows and gets replaced). I certainly wasn’t advocating one over the other; was just saying they really aren’t that comparable. Ale Arsenal’s restrooms are cleaner than the Toro bar, much less anything else. LOL

I do think Ale Arsenal needs another restroom, though…


(Ronnie ) #7

Got it. Many moons ago, when I visited Toronado frequently, it was updated on a regular basis. Sort of a precursor to the daily printed list.

I would say it’s a cleaner, sanitized, chilled-out version of Toronado. Oh, and zero attitude from the bartenders.


#8

I’ve never been treated by anything other than the utmost respect by the Toro bartenders. I suspect this is because I look more like a regular than a beer geek, and because I don’t act like a douchebag. LOL


(Ronnie ) #9

You are the first person in the world I’ve encountered who says that. Wonders never cease.

And … What does a beer geek look like? Is there a tell-tale sign? What about a douchebag?

Enough of this … it’s time to drink some beer!


(Brian Bulkowski) #10

Not that I’ve spent a lot of time at the Toronado, but never had attitude there.