Our friend Jose and I recently argued about the value of San Francisco, over a beer of course. As if usually the case with our debates, he vehemently expressed his dislike of San Francisco which made me reciprocate with wholehearted support for The City. However I can honestly say I was greatly disappointed by my recent trip through Chinatown in search of Snow Beer.
On a whim, I dragged Jason out to search some Chinatown groceries to see if they would have some. It was naïve and without research but I felt energized and hopeful. Why wouldn’t a community do what it could to sell a taste of home here in the US?
And parking and walking the hills up to the heart of Chinatown, we were met with lots and lots of souvenir shops, with plenty of branded items to open a beer or hold a beer but not the actual beer I was looking for. At that moment, I realized that most of my ventures into Chinatown had been for restaurants, pastries or trinkets to give to people that were visiting. I’d not actually shopped for groceries there. So Grant Street was a miss, full of many tourists in embarrassingly racist hats and selfie takers but no liquor resellers.
We moved up to Stockton Street, where I knew more of the grocery stores were located. When we arrived there, it was all herbal remedy stores, wet markets and produce stores. After peering into most and not seeing any refrigerators of any kind, it finally occurred to me that most of those places didn’t have license for liquor sales. Or maybe they just didn’t want to manage a stock item.
After mapping a few “liquor stores” and visiting them, we officially struck out. Each of those places only sold the general, readily available macros you can get in any chain grocery store. It’s a bit of a broad assumption, but the residents of Chinatown appear to be satisfied drinking the popular beers of their new country of residence and not their homeland.
Later in the evening, Jason updated me that he checked a few online beer exchanges to no avail. The second leg of the search was also unsuccessful.
It has been described as a watered down version of Bud Light. Well I have a couple bottles of Bud Light hanging around. I guess I’ll just have to open one up and let my imagination placate me for a moment that the taste of the top beer in the world by sales volume is what I’m drinking.