Sometimes, things that don’t at first seem to fit together, work really well. Some people don’t see any reason why one would want to drink beer at a coffee shop. There should be coffee and maybe some sandwiches, but beer - go to a bar or brewpub for that . Well – I don’t agree at all. I love having a beer or two at a good cafe. Maybe you have something to work on and want a quiet environment to plug away on your laptop and yet also want a few beers.
Now good beer at a coffee shop – that is a bit tougher. I remember when I lived in New York, I was part of a great writing group that met at a few different places in the East Village including a pseudo coffee shop called Drink Me (no idea if it is still there). I don’t remember about the beer selection but then it didn’t really matter. We could drink for cheap – have a good place to meet – and of course even write a little bit. Luckily in the Bay Area, most places have at least a few good beers on tap or in the cooler, and my favorite coffee shop with beer (CSWB for those playing at home) does an admirable job.
901 Columbus has everthing going for them. Nice space with lots of light. Free wifi. Good food. And the owners are friends with those great people at Firestone Walker Brewing Company (which of course is the most important thing going for them). They get a few special kegs made just for them. Nothing too challenging to the drinker but overall some great beer to drink while relaxing on their couches. Last time we were there they had: DBA, Broadway Blonde, and Olam’s Screamin’ Demon Pale Ale. That last one not only has an awesome name, it was a good beer. A fine pale ale with a healty shot of hops. Oh and it doesn’t hurt that the happy hour, which I think was from like 5-9 every day, made these beers cost $2 a pint. Sweet!