With a beer selection as diverse as the microclimates, the San Francisco beer scene has something for everyone’s mood and palate. Whether you’re chasing hazy IPAs or tart sours, the SF brew scene is alive, vibrant, and sure to entice. I promise you’ll find a favorite spot to add to your rotation of happy hour spots or Sunday Funday locations! Here are the best breweries in San Francisco you need to visit!
Cellarmaker – 1150 Howard St, San Francisco, CA 94103
You can’t do craft beer in SF without stopping at Cellarmaker. Ever since its been on the scene, it has graced visitors with bold, inventive brews. It is a great place for both beer drinking veterans and those new to craft beer since they offer some brews that truly “knock off your socks” as well as more subtle styles. They also collaborate often with other Bay Area based breweries, so there’s plenty of rotating taps and unique brews. It’s possible to get small pours to sample beers, but I recommend getting a taste of everything… and I mean everything. Sample everything they offer at once by getting the impressive 12 beer tasters. You (and your buddies) won’t regret it.credit: Misty Ahmadi
Bites: None, but feel free to order delivery or bring your own.
Flights: Yes! Sample away my friends.
Groups: If you’ve got a small group, grab space on one of the table tops. Recommend for smaller groups though.
Must get: As mentioned before, the taps rotate frequently, so if you happen to be in while Coffee and Cigarettes is on, go for it. This American Porter is smoky, coffee-flavored, and often is showcased with variations. I’m not always that biggest porter fan, but this one has me coming back for more. I also have been loving their IPAs, so definitely give those a try.
Anchor Public Taps – 495 De Haro St, San Francisco, CA 94107
Anchor Steam is about as San Francisco as you can get. The history of open fermentation allows the beer take on the unique SF environment (much like the sourdough here) and because of that, you can’t call yourself a San Franciscan until you’ve had some Anchor right from the source. Anchor Brewing is the only American brewery that still uses open fermentation on a production scale. For the longest time, your only “from the source” options where the RSVP required brewery tour (which is located across the street from the Public Taps) or The Yard outside of AT&T Park. Now Anchor has made it even easier to enjoy their brews by opening Public Taps in 2017. When I went to a soft opening for the new facilitate, I immediately fell in love with it all. The setup is not only gorgeous (you can’t miss the golden anchor above the bar), but HUGE. Plenty of indoor and outdoor seating.credit: Misty Ahmadi
Bites: Local food trucks every day, right outside for your convenience. You can find the schedule on their website.
Flights: Yes! You can make your own, or the brew staff with help you craft your tasting adventure.
Groups: YUP. Bring everyone, bring games, bring pets, and let those good times roll. Join one of the trivia nights or other activities that go on at the taproom.
Must get: If you never had Anchor Steam Beer, here’s your chance. For those familiar with Anchor and wanting to venture out of the regular offerings, the brewery offers exclusive, Portero-only beers and collabs. Definitely try those out!
Almanac San Francisco Taproom & Kitchen – 2704 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110
If you’re looking for seasonal brews inspired by Northern California, look no further than the Almanac Taproom. Their delicious food offerings pair wonderfully with their always rotating taps! You can do small pours to taste, and many of their beers are available onsite or to-go. Along with a spacious indoor area, you can sit outside in their beer garden. A knowledgeable staff is on hand to help you pair food and beer.
Bites: Oooo yes please. Their seasonal menu is made with locally sourced, fresh ingredients.
Flights: Grab some small pours and taste your way through some locally inspired beers.
Groups: Yes! Lots of table space for big and small groups.
Must get: Another spot where I have to recommend whatever is their “taproom only” release of the moment. I also have loved how you can taste variants of the same beer in one place, at one time.
Bare Bottle – 1525 Cortland Ave, San Francisco, CA 94110
Looking for a brewery where you can bring all your friends, family, kids, and pups? Venture a bit further outside of the typical SF range and you’ll find Bare Bottle. A spacious brewery with plenty of space to stretch out and sample Bay Area inspired beers (with really great pun-filled names). They also often feature collabs with other breweries, as well as single batch, limited brews. Also staffed by a friendly crew that is always ready to help, Bare Bottle has a strong community feel whenever you step into the brewery.credit: Misty Ahmadi
Bites: Food trucks on rotation right outside the brewery.
Flights: Make your own and sample the tasty brews.
Groups: Bring literally everyone you know. Lots of space and plenty of games!
Must get: Bare Bottle is known for its Galaxy Dust, a hazy IPA that features, you guessed it, Galaxy Hops. You gotta try it while you’re there. Honestly just checking their current tap list as me drooling, and they change it up often so if you see something you like, go in and try it ASAP.
Local Brewing Co. – 69 Bluxome St, San Francisco, CA 94107
Small batch, yet approachable beers are what make Local great. It does a great job of doing favorite styles well, but then often amphing them up with fun tastes and finishes. True to the name, there’s a lot of local pride in the names of the beers. The selection of beers makes it easy to introduce people to new styles or tastes. The location is also solid – it’s hidden away in an alley very close to CalTrain, AT&T Park, and a great local winery called Bluxome Street Winery. Stop by before a Giants game!credit: Misty Ahmadi
Bites: Feel free to order at the table or bar sandwiches and bites to share.
Flights: Yes – and they serve them in great carrying containers too!
Groups: Bring your crew – grab a table top and get comfortable.
Must get: I’m a fan of their nitro beers. They also have a golden stout (one of my personal favorite styles!) on nitro called “I Don’t Give a Graham.”
Black Hammer Brewing – 544 Bryant St, San Francisco, CA 94107
When you enter the brewery, you can look up to the digital screens and see what’s on tap for the day. But my favorite part? On warm days, the brewery sides open up to let in natural light. You can also order pitchers here, which is not common at some of the others spots. Try cozying up at the bar or sitting at one of the communal tables. There’s trivia nights and live performances throughout the week. Its location in SoMA makes it easily accessible by commuters and for those who work in the area. Come by for a Geeks who Drink trivia night and start to feel like a local.
Bites: None onsite (except for the occasional big pretzel), but they encourage bringing in food from other outside or getting delivery. I personally love having Goat Hill Pizza delivered!
Flights: Get four pours, your choice.
Groups: Yup, come and gather around one of the long tables.
Must get: With a name like Sparkle Pony, this Belgian Blonde Ale is a must get.
Southern Pacific – 620 Treat Ave, San Francisco, CA 94110
Looking for a spot that can hold all your closest friends and serve up both craft beer and fun cocktails? Look no further than Southern Pacific. This spacious set up has both outdoor and indoor spots where you can gather round yummy bites, local beers, and cocktails – finally, something for everyone! You can also score pitchers here, which makes it easy to share with friends. The openness of the warehouse may seem daunting, but I promise that the space fills quickly and you’ll feel like you’re surrounded by beer friends soon enough.
Bites: Yup, come hungry. We’re talking full menu.
Flights: Grab a house flight to taste.
Groups: Yup. Bring your crew.
Must get: Try whatever is seasonal or a cocktail made with one their house beers.
21st Amendment – 563 2nd St, San Francisco, CA 94107
In town for a Giants game? Then you have to come by 21st Amendment for a beer before heading to the stadium. Join locals and fans alike for some solid beers and tasty food before making your way up to AT&T Park. This spacious brewery has plenty of seating inside, but for game days, opens up to allow people to sit outside. While it may be possible to get your hands on their beer outside of SF, there’s always something about getting it from the source.credit: KFOG.com
Bites: So much to choose from!
Flights: Grab some tasters to figure out what you like.
Groups: Lots of space for your group of pals – grab some seats at the bar, at a table, or outside before Giants games.
Must get: If you’re not allergic to melons (unlike me), you have to try the Hell or High Watermelon, a summer seasonal wheat beer that is served with a watermelon. It’s refreshing and a fan favorite to have from the source.