12 San Francisco Breweries You Need to Know About

By Alyssa Pereira

We all know about the famous breweries around town—21st Amendment, Anchor, Speakeasy and the like—but there are a growing number of craft, artisan breweries popping up in San Francisco.

Unfortunately, you can’t visit all of these breweries and brewhouses, but you can still buy the beer or catch them at events around town. Check out some of the best breweries in the city below—see any new ones?

Southpaw
Neighborhood: The Mission
Southpaw BBQ and Southern Cooking is nestled on Mission Street in a rustic looking building. Obviously it boasts an exceptional southern menu, but its 7-barrel beer system is pretty noteworthy too. Brewmaster Phil Cutti was tutored by the founders of Speakeasy and brought his skills to the Mission restaurant, building enviable in-house brews that pair perfectly with traditional country food.

Bartlett Hall
Neighborhood: Union Square
One of the newer restaurants to hit San Francisco, Bartlett Hall’s brewing operation is led by Christopher Wike of the Golden Gate Brewing Company. It sounds like their brews aren’t quite available to the public yet, but they’ve at least got some Pilsners and Belgian Quads in the works.  You can still visit: the restaurant is fully operational.

SF Brewing Co.
Neighborhood: Not open to public
The San Francisco brewery isn’t around to visit, but brewmaster Josh Leavy has SF Brewing Co. drinks—the Alcatraz Amber and Marina Honey Blonde—being sold at eight locations in the city. Check out the site for all eight.

Elizabeth Street Brewery
Neighborhood: Noe Valley
Formed by a pair of friends turned couple, these brewing two have been in business for over ten years. They make a bitter, a porter, a winter ale named after their daughter Quincy (aww), one called “Daddy’s Chocolate Milk) and a few more. They currently operate out of Noe Valley, and are working on opening a more permanent tasting room.

Cervecería de MateVeza
Neighborhood: The Mission
This brewery is also a cafe, that “provid[es] locally-sourced, Argentinian-style cuisine paired with creative artisanal beers.”The predominately offer yerba mate-based organic beer, and every week offer two new beers brewed in-house.

SF BrewLab
Neighborhood: The Mission
The SF BrewLab is not a brewery per se—it’s a collective for microbrewers that offers classes to independent brewmasters and newbies who want to learn the craft. They’ve got a few things in the works, so stay tuned to what’s next.

Pacific Brewing Lab
Neighborhood: Not open to the public
Bryan Hermannsson wanted to experiment with odd beer flavors and styles, so he started Pacific. However, it took off, and now it’s a free bi-monthly event complete with a few food vendors.He regularly blends unconventional ingredients into his brew recipes—hibiscus flowers, squid ink, peppercorn, you name it—so, clearly, they’re unlike any others.

Pizza Orgasmica
Neighborhood: The Richmond (five locations around San Francisco and Marin)
If you didn’t already gather, Pizza Orgasmica also makes—you guessed it—pizza. Orgasmica’s owner already had a successful restaurant business under his belt, but he and his wife wanted to pair it with a custom-made aphrodiasic beer—and that was the beginning of what is now 12 brews made specifically to drink with your pizza.

Pine Street Brewery
Location: Not open to the public
Pine Street has been around for five years now in some form or another, and have eleven beers on their roster. They work with local charities regularly but since moving from the historic Bourne Mansion in 2011, they’re looking for a new home.

Fort Point Brew Company
Location: Not open to the public
Fort Point is also unfortunately not open to the public, but the brothers who own it operate out of a historic Presidio building that used to be an Army motor pool. They currently brew six types of beer, including a Kolsch style ale made exclusively for North Beach’s iconic Tosca Cafe.

Headlands Brewing Company
Location: Not open to the public
Headlands prides itself with having an experimental tilt, thanks to 20+ years of combined brewing, and a kickass brewmaster in Phil Cutti (who also lends a hand at Southpaw Brewing). Currently they make three brews.

Cellarmaker Brewing Company
Neighborhood: SOMA
Cellarmaker’s tasting room is open six days a week, so you have no excuses to sample their constantly changing brewlist. They only make four beers at a time, aging them in red or white wine barrels or bourbon barrels, and tend to sway more towards hop-forward makes. However, they’ll throw a Saison or Stout in there when the time is right!

For more information on most of these breweries, head to the SF Brewers’ Guild Website.

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