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Prepared is my middle, third and patrionymic when it comes to pubs. Knowing these hours between touchdown and eventing needed a non-lethal kicking, I came with something I’d made earlier.

I confess. A printed pub guide accompanies me on all my foreign ventures. Experience says: don’t leave something as important as beer to chance. Noting the scarcity of licensed premises, I’m glad I didn’t.

I’m on my way to Amsterdam, on foot. Amsterdam Café, that is. There’s nothing symbolic about my choice. A pure arsing matter: it’s the closest. And I’ve an impatient thirst.

I can just squeeze to the bar between all the empty stools. Is still quite early. Unless your body thinks it’s early evening.

The cheerful barmaid asks: “What would you like?”

Now there’s a question to conjure with. I don’t think “world peace” is the answer she’s expecting.

“What’s local?” I know. Fucking cliché. But I have to say it. My encyclopedic knowledge ended when brewer numbers jumped from hundreds to thousands.

Evidently this is:

Headland Rye IPA

Not too murky, thankfully. Bit subdued, hop-wise. OK, but nowt special.

Cash only, I see. Bugger. Haven’t great wads on me. Need to be careful with a couple of taxi rides coming.

Fuck. Look there in the fridge – there’s

[section redacted]

“Bedtime for Bonzo” my body is saying. “Only another 10 hours to go” my mind replies. Until I take a train to Palo Alto.

The barmaid gives me a couple of tasters before I choose my next beer.

“That tastes like an Irish Coffee. In a good way. But I’ll take the Blond Stout.”

Stone Master of Disguise
Weird. Pale, but with a coffee flavor. Odd in a way I’m still making my mind up about. Good odd? Bad odd? What the fuck. There’s Spanish-language music pumping out, the sun is shining and the barmaid’s bored enough to be up for a chat.

And I’m on my second beer. Always cause for celebration. Nothing lonelier than a single beer.

Only time for two. Time to take the Caltrain.

Amsterdam Cafe
937 Geary St
San Francisco, CA 94109
United States
Open 12:00 pm – 12:00 am
25 taps