Pi Bar

Neighborhood bars have come a long way in the Mission District. Taverns have never been in short supply in that part of San Francisco, but they’ve typically been pretty similar once you walk in the door: dark, dingy and a little tired. Recently, that has begun to change, with the arrival of gastropubs like Monk’s Kettle on 16th Street. A new beer bar on Valencia called Pi is also trying to introduce interesting beers to the Mission in a family-style environment. You can sit at the bar and have a great beer, like Death and Taxes from Moonlight Brewing, or you can bring the kids and have a pizza. Contrary to a recent story in the San Francisco Chronicle, Pi isn’t a brewpub (lack of tanks is a dead giveaway), but it does pour a good pint. Pi serves appetizers, salads and pasta dishes, but the emphasis is clearly on hand-thrown, thin-crust pizza. During happy hour, you can get a single slice of cheese pizza and a beer of the day for $6.28 ($3.14 x  2). Draught selections include Anchor’s Liberty Ale, Russian River’s Blind Pig IPA, Trumer Pilsner, Two Rivers Organic Cider, Ommegang Hennipen Golden Ale, Paulander Hefe-Weizen, Racer 5 IPA, Red Seal Ale from North Coast, and the aforementioned Death & Taxes Dark Lager. Bottles lean heavily toward Belgian ales (wines are mostly an afterthought: Red Stuff and White Stuff). Pi understands that the proper glassware is important to serving good beer, especially Belgian ales, and has signature glasses to match with beers like Houblon Chouffe (pictured above), Orval and others. 

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