Check out this post to find out where to go for craft beer in San Francisco and Berkeley.
This is a guest post with Backpacking with the Bonds:
Backpacking with the Bonds is devoted to focusing on the economic impact that travel and tourism has on local businesses, and we do our utmost to ensure our travel is impactful on local businesses and entrepreneurs as much as possible. Travel and tourism, as you might be aware, is big business globally, and can be important to the domestic economy and employment figures. With this in mind, we focus on locally owned and operated hotels, restaurants, and just about any way we can, we frequent local businesses. One of the best ways to do this is to drink at local craft breweries while traveling. As huge craft beer fans we did just this on our recent visit to San Francisco.
Black Hammer Brewing
Awarded California Brewery of the Year in 2016, Black Hammer Brewing was the first brewery I visited in San Francisco and I loved the beer so much I returned a second time. Located between 4th and 3rd street just a block south of the 80, Black Hammer offers an impressive 16 beers on tap ranging from Witbier to Stout. I had a flight ($20 for 4) of the Witless Zombie Wibier, Sparkle Pony Blonde Ale (yup no autocorrect, that’s the name of the beer), the Cuddle Puddle IPA, and the War Horse Belgian style-IPA. Oh and the Sparkle Pony won a gold medal at the prestigious Denver International Beer Competition in 2016! Black Hammer also has a happy hour ($1 off pints and $5 off pitchers) Monday through Saturday 12pm to 2pm.
The airy room with free bar snacks is the perfect place for a beer or two, especially if you are in town for a conference (Moscone Center is 3 blocks away) or a Giants game (also 3 blocks away). They have a wide range of menus for food delivery too if you get hungry. This award-winning brewery should not be missed.
Located just five minutes walk from Black Hammer Brewing, is 21st Amendment, probably the best known of the craft beer breweries in San Francisco. In fact they are large enough that you can buy their beers at Whole Foods in Washington, DC.
Located in the neighborhood for roughly 16 years, the brewery has built an impressive lunchtime crowd. The brewpub functions more like a restaurant with a full kitchen and bar. Since they don’t do flights we each had a pint. I had the Gold Medal Maibock and Carrie the Down Wit It, a Belgian Wit Beer. We also had a vegetable pizza to go with our beers. The beer and food were good, but I wasn’t a huge fan of the restaurant-vibe.
Southern Pacific Brewing
Southern Pacific Brewing is located in the popular neighborhood of the Mission not far from the 16th Street BART Station. The brewery like most is set in a large warehouse with two floors of seating and has a large outdoor area, the perfect place to enjoy a beer. I had a California Blonde Ale and Carrie the Hefeweizen. They have a full menu. Downside is they don’t serve flights so it’s difficult to try a range and their beers which are fairly standard like Kolsch, Amber, Porter, IPA, and Pale Ale. Certainly not pushing any boundaries, not even with the names.
In addition to their own beer they also have a good selection of well known west coast beers such as Lagunitas, Anchor Steam, and Deschutes.
After climbing Coit Tower in North Beach on an unusually warm day in San Francisco we stopped in at Church Key, a self described cozy bar catering to beer geeks serving a constantly changing selection of beers with a heavy offering of local options. One of which is Local Brewing Company. Carrie and I both had the Local Citron Berliner Wesse a sour beer with some citrus. I’m a huge fan our sour beers and this one did not disappoint. I enjoyed the Local so much I had the other Local beer Church Key had, the Local Mezcal Red Common Lager. We arrived just after they opened at 5pm and were in the good company with the regular crowd. They don’t do flights, but the selection of beer is so good you’ll want to try them all. If you are looking for great local craft beer then look no further than Church Key.
Fieldwork Brewing Company
Looking to escape San Francisco? Or perhaps find yourself over in Berkeley looking for a craft beer then head over to the Fieldwork Brewing Company in North Berkeley. Set in a spacious warehouse with a large outdoor patio. Fieldwork Brewing Company serves flights and food, and is the place to be!
Fieldwork has a ridiculous amount of beer covering the full gamut of beer options. During our visit they had 20 beers on tap. Luckily, they offer flights! For my flight, I went with what are my go to beers whenever they are on offer like farmhouse ales, sours and IPA and got the Textbook Farmhouse Ale, the Sour Diesel Tart Hoppy Saison, the Yabbo Session IPA, and the Nomadic IPA. We enjoyed the beers and brewery atmosphere so much we ordered a pint and a tamale and chips and a black bean dip! The food and the beers were terrific.