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San Francisco’s Microbreweries and Brew Bars
San Francisco loves nothing more than the alternative lifestyle. We love the indie, the DIY, the creative, the boundary-pushing … and so we love our microbreweries. After all, they take that indie spirit and apply it to something else we love in this city: getting our drink on! There are several different types of microbreweries and brew bars in the city so there’s a bit of something for everyone.
1. Magnolia Pub,1398 Haight St. (@ Masonic Ave.), Haight 415.864.PINT
This pub and brewery harkens back to the old days in more ways than one. First, it offers cask-conditioned beers that are the hallmark of the original microbreweries that started in the UK. And second, it’s right in the midst of the historic Haight Ashbury neighborhood. Oh, and it’s got nothing to do with the brew or the history but they have fabulous food, too, which is always a nice perk from a brew bar.
2. 21st Amendment Brewery, 563 2nd St. (@ Brannan), SoMA, 415.369.0900
This is one of the most popular beer drinking spots in the city. It has a cool outdoor area. It’s close to the Giants stadium so it’s filled on baseball game days. And it’s a microbrewery with a lot of great beer to offer. Plus they put their beer into cans which is a fun little treat that a lot of people like (and reported this keeps the beer fresher too). Of course the bar is named after the Constitutional amendment that repealed Prohibition.
3. Thirsty Bear Restaurant & Brewery, 661 Howard St. (@ 3rd St.) SoMa 415.974.0905
Another option in the SoMA is Thirsty bear. It’s known for its sangria and tapas but it’s also a great brew bar. Enjoy the tapas while your get yourself drunk on hand-crafted beers that are made from the melding of minds from two totally original owners: an attorney-cum-brewmaster and a Norwegian-Brazilian drinker. You don’t get more alternative than that. And the result is a tasty one.
4. Beach Chalet, 1000 Great Highway (@ Ocean Beach), Ocean Beach 415.386.8439
If you’ve got guests and you want to show off both San Francisco scenery and the local microbrewery scene, The Beach Chalet meets your needs. It overlooks the Pacific Ocean, so you get the whole “ooh, wow” tourist thing going on. And they brew seven different beers that will wet your whistle and keep you friendly enough to keep up the tourist thing. There’s often live music here which is a nice little added treat.
5. Anchor Steam Brewing Co., 1705 Mariposa St. (@ Carolina St.) Potrero 415.863.8350
Ah, but if you really want to show off your San Francisco, take your travelers on a tour at the Anchor Steam Brewing Co. If you know anything about your city, you know that this is THE San Francisco beer. It’s brewed here but it travels around to lips all over the world. It’s the Casanova of SF-brewed beers. And you can be all fancy, showing off the brewing process as an excuse to enjoy some good beer during the day.
6. Rogue Ales Public House, 673 Union St. (@ Columbus) North Beach 415.362.7880. This brew bar in North Beach is a popular spot for a lot of reasons. It has trivia nights once a week, which is definitely appealing. It’s got good food (including really tasty San Francisco clam chowder). It’s got a great outdoor seating area. And it’s got good beer. Their website explains that their ales “are made with the finest hops and barley malt, free range coastal water and Pacman top fermenting proprietary yeast. Preservative, additives, chemicals: Never! Rogue does not pasteurize its products.”