Pack your hiking boots and burn off those beer calories in the hilly paradise of San Francisco. With Anchor Brewing calling the Bay city home, there’s a beer history that continues to inspire and excite brewers and visitors alike. So down to the nitty gritty, what would we do with a limited window of time in San Francisco? Strap in and come with us on a whirlwind adventure in this iconic Californian city!
Our top picks for drinking great beer in San Francisco
Mikkeller was the brand’s first venture in The States, and injects a welcome dose of Danish style. There are 42 beer taps to choose from, and the dispensing system is nothing short of miraculous. It allows them to custom-control the level of gas and nitrogen connected to each beer, the perfect pour just got real. There are also different temperatures for storing kegs, so each style is showcased at its very best. Add to this Mikkeller’s trademark minimal Danish aesthetics and you’ve got some seriously strong beer-game on your hands.
There is no feeling more satisfying than the pleasure of a good taproom, drinking beer from the source. Local Brewing Co have created a friendly space in which to drink like a local, uniting good beer with great people. They also run courses to educate people in beer, from home brewing workshops to beer tasting events.
Hopwater Distribution’s goal is simple, to enjoy great beer without the snobbery, amen to that! The 31 taps have a rotating range of beers, showcasing the best from California and The States. The food menu has some fantastic bar nibbles (crab tater tots, anyone?) as well as a larger pub-style menu. They also host some cracking multi-course beer pairing dinners if you’re looking for something a little special. This stunning venue boasts huge windows pouring natural light into a vast cavern of exposed brickwork and slick, modern interiors.
San Francisco beers to look out for
It’d be wrong to come to San Francisco and not drink your share of Cellarmaker, whose beers are some of the most globally sought after. You can also check out the taproom from these hop heads, you’ll lose many an hour here! Speakeasy Ales & Lagers are another local favourite. They brew their flagship Prohibition Ale in homage to the bootleggers and gangsters who persevered during America’s dry spell. Friends and family members were welcome to visit the brewery back in the day, and now we are all lucky enough to fall into that category as their taproom opened in 2013. Other great taprooms to stop into are Harmonic Brewing and Local Brewing Co. You can even use the Local Brewing Co. app, which helps you select the perfect beers for your palate!
San Francisco’s great eats
The SoMa district (South Of Market Area) is a large area of San Francisco full of huge warehouse spaces and is renowned for an excellent array of world cuisines to choose from. Whether it’s Sushi from Kama Sushi, organic Californian specialities from Bar Agricole or authentic Italian eats from neighbourhood favourite Rocco’s Cafe, you are sure to find something new and delicious to try. For fast eats, Soma Street Food Park boasts a tantalising selection of vendors, from Eggs Benedict to burgers and chowder. Speaking of chowder, the wharf is famous for seafood; Boudin Bakery is a real favourite with locals and visitors alike. A standout choice for a crispy sourdough bowl filled to the brim with creamy, flavoursome clam chowder.
The best sights in San Francisco
There are many famous spots to visit in San Francisco, and Alcatraz Island is one of great mystique. Here you can discover the abandoned prison, areas of natural beauty, as well as various colonies of seabirds. One of San Francisco’s greatest architectural sites is of course The Golden Gate Bridge, one of the most photographed sights in the world. And if you love getting involved in the hustle and bustle of busy local districts, Chinatown is the perfect place for you. This vibrant part of town is crammed with herbalist shops, unusual tea stalls, restaurants and secret alleyways. If museums are your bag, The Exploratorium is an absolute must, it’s a real hands-on interactive space for the inquisitive mind. Visitors can explore the world through science, art, and human perception in this public learning lab.