10 of the Best Breweries in San Francisco | First Edition
Discover 10 of the best San Francisco breweries. You need to visit these local hubs the next time you are in the Bay Area!
By Leila N’Amara
San Francisco is a global player in the beer scene. Thrillist ranks San Francisco amongst the top ten beer cities in America. Even Forbes has documented successful SF brewery, Cellarmaker in their Top 15 Craft Breweries. But in a city with dozens of San Francisco breweries and San Francisco beer tours, it can be difficult to choose which place to grab a pint of craft beer.
To help locals and tourists we have put together a San Francisco breweries map of the best breweries in San Francisco. These locations are great to visit on your San Francisco brewery tour.
Be sure to check out our Famous Tour of San Francisco which will give you a great lay of the land of where to go and what to do while in San Francisco!
#1 – ANCHOR STEAM BREWING
Anchor Steam Brewing was one of the first of the Bay Area breweries and has been around since the Gold Rush Era. Anchor Steam in San Francisco creates their beer with a unique process of open-air fermentation.
You can experience your own Anchor Steam Brewery tour by ordering a flight of beers. This will give you a taste their beer and a little bit of San Francisco history. If the flight of beers leaves you wanting information about the brewery, you can even go on an Anchor Steam beer tour.
If you are looking to explore more than one of San Francisco craft beer breweries, skip the Anchor Steam tours and book our private San Francisco brewery tour. That way, you’ll experience Anchor Steam along with others.
#2 – MAGNOLIA BREWING COMPANY
Neighborhood: Haight-Ashbury and Dogpatch
Magnolia Brewing Company started as an underdog but is now one of the best breweries in San Francisco. Long before the craft beer scene hit San Francisco, Magnolia founder, David McLean, was brewing beer in a tiny basement in Haight-Ashbury. Twenty-one years later, and Magnolia’s humble gastropub has grown to two locations. They also have a proper brewery in the Dogpatch neighborhood.
Their original gastropub is one of the best San Francisco brewpubs and is located in the hippie neighborhood, Haight-Ashbury. So Magnolia’s is the perfect place for anyone visiting this iconic neighborhood to grab a San Francisco craft beer and a burger. On a warm sunny day, sipping their Kalifornia Kolsch on the patio is perfect for any DIY San Francisco beer tour.
#3 – 21ST AMENDMENT
Neighborhood: South Park, near AT&T Park
Another popular location that is on many brewery tours in San Franciso is 21st Amendment. 21st Amendment has become a beloved local brewery. Their craft beer now has many fans!
Fans going to ballgames at AT&T Park will be within stumbling distance of 21st Amendment Brewery. If you’re doing a DIY San Francisco beer tour, the location alone is worth visiting this San Francisco brewery. The Embarcadero neighborhood has amazing views of the often overlooked Bay Bridge.
P.S. This is one of my regular San Francisco breweries to visit
#4 – CELLARMAKER BREWING COMPANY
Cellarmaker isn’t one of those breweries that has a specific beer that “you have to try.” In an interview with The Brew Enthusiast, founder, and owner, Casey Connor boasts, “we’re not building the brewery on a flagship, but rather the reputation of the brewery itself. It’s a different approach in the beer world, but we’re gonna roll with it.”
Considering Dylan’s Tours is also a company that likes to “roll with it,” we like his philosophy! So this brewery makes frequent appearances on our private San Francisco brew tour led on electric tuk-tuks. It’s also one that we will recommend to anyone looking for a cold pint of San Francisco craft beer.
#5 – FORT POINT BEER COMPANY
Neighborhood: The Presidio of San Francisco
Fort Point Beer Company is one of the newer breweries on our list. But, it’s also one of the most beloved by our founder, Dylan. Their KSA is a favorite for many in the San Francisco craft beer scene and often makes appearances on our electric tuk-tuk San Francisco brew tour.
Nothing quite like cheering with a cold beer from Fort Point Brewing Company as we make our way to take photos at the actual Fort Point which is underneath the Golden Gate Bridge.
#6 – Local Brewing Co
Neighborhood: SOMA, near AT&T Park
As a 100% local tour company, we can get behind a tagline like, “if you’re here, you’re local”! We have a lot of love for Local Brewing Company.
In fact, it makes frequent appearances on San Francisco’s only Brewery Tour led on an electric tuk tuk. And by the way, if you want to experience one of the most unique Bay Area brewery tours, this is it!
Even SF locals might be surprised to learn that Local Brewing Co is one of a handful of breweries in the Bay Area founded by women.
After spending a decade perfecting the brews before finding a brick-and-mortar location, they want to be known for their beer — not their gender. And they’d probably want you to know about their super cool Beer Curator that helps you discover the best beer matches at Local Breweing Co. in San Francisco as well!
What could possibly be more San Francisco than craft beer and tech? This SOMA brewery is a must-stop on any San Francisco brewery tour!
#7 – Black Hammer Brewing
Black Hammer Brewing made big news in San Francisco back in 2017 when they debuted the first-ever CBD infused beer. And then made even bigger news when the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau ordered them to stop.
Not because of the weed though. At least not in the way you’re thinking. Because Black Hammer forgot to get approval for using a “non-standard” beer ingredient.
Yes, we’re serious, we couldn’t make this up if we wanted to!
Black Hammer is a must for anyone wanting to get a taste of the San Francisco craft beer scene. Which is why you’ll see this San Francisco brewery pop up on our Brewery Tours in San Francisco on the city’s only e-tuks! And see all of the best San Francisco breweries.
#8 – Standard Deviant Brewing
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Neighborhood: Mission District
A microbrewery with pinball — welcome to San Francisco!
We wrote about Magnolia Bar & Brewery in the First Edition of our Best Breweries in San Francisco. One of their former brewers later teamed up with a couple of buddies to transform an old auto shop into this massive space for beer lovers in the Mission District.
In what can almost be read like a fairytale, in a time when the Mission is quickly being picked apart by techies and developers, the trio behind Standard Deviant got this location despite techie developers with deep pockets.
Why? Simply because their landlord wanted to give a chance to some good ol fashioned SF locals!
If there’s one thing this city loves, it’s an underdog.
Be sure to stop by this newer San Francisco craft brewery to enjoy some good brews, a little pinball and food truck styled grub. This is another one of our favorites to visit on a San Francisco microbrewery tour!
#9 – Harmonic Brewing
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Come by the tap room today to try our new beers and grab some Killer Texas BBQ! Light of Day IPA on the left with Mosaic & Vic Secret hops, bright and perfect for this weather, spring has sprung. Money Green IPA on the right with Citra & Idaho 7 hops, super dank, @money23green approved! Beautiful weather and tons of parking, oh and don’t forget, your favorite bartenders, so come down to Dogpatch! What are you waiting for?! #sanfrancisco #harmonicbrewing #bayarea #sf #dogpatch #brewpatch #independentbrewery #sfcraftbeer #bayareabeer #sffoodie #bbq #smokedmeat #slowandoak
Neighborhood: Dogpatch, near the soon-to-open Warriors arena and & AT&T Park
If you’re not from San Francisco, you’ve likely never heard of the Dogpatch Neighborhood. Until recently, most locals hadn’t even heard of this neighborhood!
Luckily, three SF natives knew this hidden gem of a neighborhood was quickly being rediscovered by other San Francisco breweries and opened up shop a few years ago.
If you didn’t know already, the Dogpatch is the place to go if you’re wanting to brewery tour San Francisco. There are a ton of options here.
Ed Gobbo, one of the founders, while speaking with beergraphs.com, sums up why Harmonic Brewing is so special, “[W]e don’t have a big growth model. We’re going to be the local place. Breweries should be like bakeries, places where you go to get the freshest stuff to eat and drink”.
#10 – Almanac Beer
Neighborhood: 24th & Mission
You’ve probably heard of farm-to-table restaurants. Now imagine that, but with a brewery and you’ll get one of the best Bay Area breweries – Almanac.
Almanac Beer is made with fruits, herbs, and grains all sourced from local family farms, and they are known for having some of the best sour beer in San Francisco.
Even though Almanac isn’t technically a San Francisco beer maker (they’re brewed over on Alameda Island), their Taproom & Beer Garden is in the heart of 24th and Mission District!
Enjoy special barrel-aged beer exclusively for the taproom and taste test your way through some of the best beer in San Francisco. Pair your beers with an ever-changing seasonal menu that’s designed to complement the constantly changing line up of beers at the taproom.
Before you go brewery hopping, be sure to take a tour of the city on one of our Famous Minibus tours!
We hope that you get to experience our list of San Francisco breweries. For more information on what to do in San Francisco check out these other blogs!
A guide to beer tasting San Francisco – 30 San Francisco Beer Halls You Have to Visit