It was the small brewers dotted around the Bay area of San Francisco that can claim to have kickstarted the craft beer movement that is now sweeping not just the US, but the world. Many have now evolved to open up bars and restaurants and here’s our selection of some of the most happening places in the city.
Right near the outside of the AT&T Park, home of baseball team, the San Francisco’s Giants, you will find the 21st Amendment Brewery, named after the constitutional amendment that brought about the end of Prohibition, and the ban on producing and selling alcohol in the US in the 1920s. The brewery has its own bar where you can enjoy an ever changing range of beers, as well as its most popular mainstays on the menu. You can find everything from blonde ales to Indian Pale Ales to bitters.
The names of the beers are a highlight in themselves with a choice of beers like Hell or High Watermelon, an American Wheat beer or its Brew Free or Die! which is actually a very refreshing Indian Pal Ale. There is usually a beer on tap that suits most people’s palate.
If you go when there is a baseball game on it can be crowded and rowdy, but that might be just the way you like it!
www.MagnoliaPub.com Neighbourhood: Haight-Ashbury
The Magnolia Brewing Company started in the basement of the pub with the same name in 1997 and if you are into eclectic craft beers this is a must stop visit. Here they take their craft beer very seriously. The beers often change daily so you can keep going back time and again and never get bored.
They do brews from bitters to porters and everything in between. Again with some crazy classics like Cole Porter or New Speedway Bitter there is something for hop-heads or standard lager lovers. They have an app that you can download to check out what is on tap daily. The only problem is narrowing down which ones you want to try from the list.
Neighbourhood: North Beach
In the heart of the Italian neighbourhood of North Beach sits Rouge Ales Public House. These guys do some amazing IPAs, but their stouts and porters are worth a visit alone.
They have over 30 beers on tap to choose from on any given day with some very eclectic beers to try like its Chipotle Ale or Double Chocolate Stout or Mocha Porter. If you are into spice then give its Rogue Sriracha HOT Stout a go.
There is also a good cider and spirits selection as well, if craft beer is not your thing.
Neighbourhood: Bayview-Hunters Point
Speakeasy Ales & Lagers is set up to help you find the beer you like. With up to 12 beers on tap you can happily taste all 12 before picking out the one you want to drink. The beers constantly rotate and it also different types of serves including a range of flights so you can try a number of beers in a single session. As well as year round beers from their extensive list of pilsners, ales and lagers, they do a number of limited releases like their Fix Fight Barrel Aged Old Ale.
There is also a strong Prohibition theme here with a different beers like the Syndicate Series or the Perfect Crime range.
A real bonus here is that if you find something you really like, then you can pick up a growler and take it away with you.
Neighbourhood: Potrero Hill
Anchor Brewing Company is the biggest of the craft brewers in San Francisco and one of the oldest breweries in the US. It has making beer since 1896.
This is also a great place if you would like to do a brewery tour as they run a series of daily tours for individuals or groups. They usually take about an hour and half and end with a beer tasting. They are currently in the middle of building a new brewery on Pier 48 that is expected to open in 2017. Its range of 10 beers includes the Go West! IPA, the Liberty Ale and a Meyer Lemon Lager.
If you are a beer buff, then Anchor Steam not only has a place in the history of beer, it also plays a key part in the history of San Francisco as well.