9 Booming San Francisco Breweries

Noteworthy San Francisco breweries for the beer-lover's bucket list

San Francisco’s beer scene continues to expand each year, as 112 Northern California brewers—40 more than last year—attended San Francisco Beer Week 2016 at the end of January. Alongside delicious beers paired with local cuisine, some of the city’s best breweries also offer everything from home-brewing classes to experimental brew tastings to flamenco dancing. Here’s an intro to just a few of the new happenings hopping up the San Francisco beer scene. Bottoms up!


In spring 2014, Magnolia Brewing Co. opened a second location in the Dogpatch called Smokestack restaurant. Visitors can feast on barbecue specialties made from locally sourced meats and wash them down with one of the 20 Magnolia beers on tap. The modern, industrial facility features wooden, communal tables, ideal for after work happy hours. 2505 3rd St., San Francisco

Your best bet for: Barbecue in a striking industrial setting

Black Sands Brewery

Opened summer 2015 in Lower Haight, this brewery has a neighborhood feel to it. Plants dot the sleek white bar top, where customers come to learn more about the brewing process. The brewers focus on beer education, giving out house beer recipes and selling home-brew equipment and supplies from a space next door. Head brewer Cole Emde even teaches classes for about 12 people onsite. 701 Haight St., San Francisco

Your best bet for: Brewing classes and equipment

Black Sands Brewery in San Francisco
Take onsite classes from the head brewer at Black Sands. (Courtesy Black Sands Brewery)

Park Chalet Coastal Beer Garden

An extension of the Beach Chalet Brewery & Restaurant, this beer garden offers the best of both worlds: a location across the street from Ocean Beach and a gardenlike oasis tucked in the outskirts of Golden Gate Park. After a day at the beach or park, visitors can stop by for a beer and dance along to the live music often playing outside. Don’t miss the Fisherman’s Catch seafood boil with crab legs. 1000 Great Hwy., San Francisco

Your best bet for: Views and dancing

Local Brewing Co.

Local Brewing Co. opened its warehouse-style SoMa location in summer 2015. Bringing the production and brewpub experiences together, the brewery encourages customers to provide feedback to the brewers and ask questions about the beer they’re drinking. In fact, every batch of beer created only produces 20 kegs, which means the beer is fresh and can be crafted to integrate feedback into the next production cycle. 69 Bluxome St., San Francisco

Your best bet for: Indulging your inner beer critic

Local Brewing Co. in San Francisco
Try small batch beer from Local Brewing Co. (©Michael David Rose)

Anchor Brewing

One of the oldest breweries in San Francisco, Anchor Brewing opened a beer garden last year at The Yard, a pop-up food and retail village that hosts several cultural events and trivia nights. Guests can also visit the brewery location on Mariposa Street and take a walking tour, which concludes with tastings in the taproom. 1705 Mariposa St., San Francisco

Your best bet for: The brewery tour

Anchor Brewing in San Francisco known for Anchor Steam Beer.
Tour Anchor Brewing, one of the oldest breweries in the city (Courtesy Anchor Brewing )

Speakeasy Ales & Lagers

Head south to Bayview-Hunters Point to visit Speakeasy Ales & Lagers for its Session Saturdays, in which visitors can play a game of cornhole, take a brewery tour and receive 20 percent o­ff Session beer growler fills. Throughout the year, the brewery often hosts events with food pairings, food trucks and live music performances in its massive warehouse space. Don’t forget to taste the brewery’s signature Big Daddy IPA in the Speakeasy Tap Room. 1195 Evans Ave., San Francisco

Your best bet for: Cornhole and growlers

Speakeasy Ales & Lagers in San Francisco
Sip a glass of Big Daddy IPA. (Courtesy Speakeasy Ales & Lagers )

21st Amendment Brewery & Restaurant

This spot is particularly popular on baseball game days, especially when the Giants are in town, with its close proximity to AT&T Park. It also recently opened a tasting room in San Leandro (across the Bay) for visitors looking to test experimental brews and tour the brewery. Particularly popular is the brewery’s Hell or High Watermelon wheat beer, a refreshing beverage for springtime. 563 2nd St., San Francisco

Your best bet for: Game day viewing

21st Amendment Brewery & Restaurant in San Francisco
Catch the game over a beer. (Courtesy 21st Amendment)

ThirstyBear Brewing Co.

This organic brewery has a Spanish flair with tapas on the menu, including cheese and charcuterie plates that pair with specific beers on tap. Every Sunday, visitors can also check out guest flamenco dancers showing off­ their skills in the brewery’s Flamenco Room. 661 Howard St., San Francisco

Your best bet for: A dose of Spanish culture

ThirstyBear Brewing Co. in San Francisco
Visit ThirstyBear, the city's first organic brewery. (Courtesy ThirstyBear Brewing Co.)

Barrel Head Brewhouse

The floor-to-ceiling windows make this Western Addition/NoPa neighborhood brewery stand out. Opened in March 2014, the brewhouse features a Pumpkin in a Pear Tree Belgian Ale, which perfectly blends pumpkin and pear flavors alongside delicious dished such as butternut squash soup or fish and chips. 1785 Fulton St., San Francisco

Your best bet for: Late-night bites