If your house is one where the words yeast, sanitizer, and bottle capper are used regularly, you probably brew your own beer. If you’re lucky enough to have tasted a batch of homebrew, you’re most likely hooked. One sip of a good homebrew and you have an uncontrollable impulse to recreate and improve upon that recipe again and again. You probably also know that a good homebrew is an art that takes time, effort, and more than a few curse words, for flavor, of course.
The skilled brewmasters at the bars and breweries in San Francisco have perfected the art of crafting beer and you have to check them out.
South of Market (SOMA)
Photo via Flickr by Gordon Zheng
The SOMA district of San Francisco is full of activity. Check in to your room at any of the nearby InterContinental Hotels Group locations, refresh yourself, then walk over to the Cellarmaker Brewing Company. A local favorite, Cellarmaker specializes in hops-driven beers, but the drink menu is diverse, including IPAs, ales, lagers, bitters, porters, and stouts. They brew a small amount at a time to keep the new flavors coming. With names like Lost Wisdom and Killed By Death, you know you’re in for a good night. They even encourage you to bring food with you, or you can order delivery from a local restaurant.
Next, walk around the corner to 21st Amendment, another creative brewery with a full-service bar, specialty batches of homebrew, and classic pub food. ThirstyBear, the first and only certified organic craft brewery, is also in the neighborhood. Their craft beers are only available on tap, and they serve traditional Spanish tapas.
If your hotel is nearby, take a walking tour of three microbreweries or craft beer bars. Keep it in the small group setting, enjoy some mind-blowing brews, and have a blast with the local tour guide.
The Dogpatch neighborhood of San Francisco, formerly known as Dutchman’s Flat, is home to even more brewing masterminds. Triple Voodoo Brewery & Tap Room has 16 unique beers on tap. It’s dog-friendly but you must be 21 or older to enter, so no kids allowed.
Speakeasy Ales & Lagers has been open since 1997 and features Prohibition-era decor. It even has an underground taproom. You can “Join the Mob” by adding it on social media and enjoy the food trucks scheduled for customers.
Photo via Flickr by David Ohmer
Almanac focuses on the “farm-to-barrel” process, scrutinizing everything that goes into its brews. It also serves locally sourced ingredients on a seasonal menu, which is designed to complement its beers. Also in the Mission District is the Southern Pacific Brewing Company. The bar, restaurant, and brewery are located in a 10,000-square-foot warehouse. It is considered a gastropub and serves “elevated” pub food to pair with its craft beers and specialty cocktails.
This is just the head on the pint of the San Francisco craft and homebrew scene. There are so many more original and delicious breweries in and around the city. Make a trip of it. Spend a week. Enjoy all that the Bay Area has to offer. But most importantly, try these creative recipes and support the local breweries.