Ale Arsenal - San Carlos CA

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 !

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.

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.

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

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.

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…

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.

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

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!

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

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold

Market stall in Lima
Credit: TXMX 2