Beers in San Francisco: Breweries by Foot

Ah, The City. Famous for its colorful bridges and islands that double as prisons, San Francisco is a popular tourist destination (since it’s too expensive for 99.9% of people to live there). From the tourist-y boardwalk to the tourist-y streets, there’s plenty to see in sunny San Fran.

As one of my favorite cities in the world, I was happy to find out that the craft beer scene in San Francisco was good – especially considering the ridiculous prices these craft brewers must need to pay to provide the city with drinkable beer.

In a day that saw me walk for nearly 2 hours, I traveled down the flattest roads I could find in search of the best beer in the bay. Here are some of my favorite breweries in San Francisco.

Best Places To Drink Beer In San Francisco

Recommended by a friend while I was already enjoying their beer, Cellarmaker Brewing Co. is my favorite SF brewery. What makes it so special? The intimate tap room, the extensive tap list and the location. Also, their beer was exceptional.

Another place I checked out was Barrel Head Brewhouse, a large space with food, drinks and, of course, beer. I also can’t create a list of San Francisco breweries without mentioning the eternal Anchor Brewing Company.

Now for a little bit of cheating: Almanac Beer Company. Technically based in Alameda, these guys have a taproom open in The City. I’ve always been a huge fan of their sours and was pleasantly surprised to find out that they made bitchin’ IPAs as well.

Lastly, I couldn’t in good faith discuss Bay Area beer without bringing up 21st Amendment Brewery. These guys do a bang-up job of making good beer that’s available just about anywhere in the country. Their taproom feels more like a restaurant, so it’s a good stop if you want a bite to eat.

The cool thing about San Francisco is that somehow their craft beer scene is still growing. New places have opened since I visited most recently, and I’m looking forward to checking them out next time I’m down.

Some Extra Thoughts on San Francisco Breweries

Here’s the thing about San Francisco: they aren’t nearly as brewery dense as other cities in the world (cough cough Seattle and Vancouver).

Here’s another thing: SF is surrounded by good beer, particularly to the north. This is as good a time as any to point out that Russian River Brewing Company and Lagunitas Brewing Company are relatively close by. These are beer juggernauts, people. They don’t play around.

Why mention these breweries, Thomas? Because it’s basically the only city in the world where you can buy Pliny the Elder pretty much anywhere. A slight exaggeration, but fans know how hard it is to find. You can even grab a Little Sumpin’ just about anywhere in the city – including AT&T Park.

My point is that it’s important to recognize that the city’s craft beer scene – and beer scene in general – draws heavily from some of the ultra-famous breweries nearby.

Been to San Francisco? Drink San Fran beer on an ultra-regular basis? Be sure to leave a comment of any noteworthy breweries that deserve attention!

Thomas Short
Latest posts by Thomas Short (see all)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *