Friday, May 13, 2016

Beer Friday: The San Francisco [Area] Edition

Oh, San Francisco. How I love thee! (Although my bank account begs to differ...).

Last week, Z and I traveled to San Francisco (first time since our honeymoon in 2013!) for work...and plenty of play. Heading to SF anytime soon? Here's where to grab a great beer.

Fieldwork Brewing Company, 1160 6th St., Berkeley, CA

Fieldwork Brewing Company | A Hoppy Medium

The first stop on our unofficial beer tour provided a great first experience with this new-to-me brewery, which just opened in February of last year. The beers were fresh and solid, and their simple yet quality menu provided us with some delicious (and much-needed) after-travel fuel. (Get either the Kale and Mushroom or Curry Vegetable pasties!).

Beer to try right now: Salted Cucumber. Trust me. We went home with a crowler!

City Beer Store, 1168 Folsom St., #101, San Francisco, CA 
Great bottle/take-home selection, solid beers on tap, and a very friendly - and knowledgeable - staff to boot. They also have a few tables and light snacks, so you can stay and enjoy a few draft brews before taking your loot home.

Cellarmaker Brewing Company, 1150 Howard St., San Francisco, CA

Cellarmaker Brewing Company | A Hoppy Medium

Easily one of my favorites of the trip! Cellarmaker was a new-to-us stop, and it did not disappoint.

Cellarmaker Brewing Company | A Hoppy Medium

Besides all of the beers we tried being clearly fresh, well-made, and dangerously delicious, the atmosphere at Cellarmaker was also on-point. Although the tasting room is small - and busy! - we were able to find a barrel and stools to sit on while we relaxed and sipped on our brews. 

Beers to try right now: Mo'Simcoe IPA (pictured) or Sabrosa Mexican Chocolate Porter.

Sante Adairius Rustic Ales, 103 Kennedy Dr., Capitola, CA

Sante Adairius | A Hoppy Medium

A little over an hour and a half drive from San Francisco, Sante Adairius is worth the trip. The open, casual setting gets loads of natural sunlight, and has a plethora of games to boot (Connect Four, anyone?). The story behind their beers and brewing process is also quite impressive - you can read more about that here

Beer to try right now: Doble L├║pulo, double IPA brewed for Lupulo's second anniversary. 

Toronado, 547 Haight St, San Francisco, CA
The staff at Toronado may be infamous for their less-than-pleasant attitudes, but if you can get past their abrasiveness, Toronado is a must-visit for any beer lover. The setting itself is nothing special, which, in my opinion, only adds to this place's shtick, but the impressive beers on tap (and in bottles)
will have you forgetting about that - and the service - in no time. 

Mikkeller Bar, 34 Mason St, San Francisco, CA

Mikkeller Bar, San Francisco | A Hoppy Medium

We first checked out Mikkeller Bar on our honeymoon, only days after it opened. Three years later, we were eager to revisit - and we're so glad we did. The beer list is lengthy, featuring plenty of Mikkeller and guest taps (as well as bottles), and the food menu is quite impressive. (Get the Cauliflower Tempura, $13 - served with farro risotto, asparagus, tomato, snow pea leaves, and pesto).

Beer to try right now: Mexas Ranger, brewed with spices, almond milk, cocoa, chile, black beans, and avocado leaves. (Sounds weird, but I swear it's tasty!).

Monk's Kettle, 3141 16th St,, San Francisco, CA

Monk's Kettle, San Francisco | A Hoppy Medium

I love this bar. Again, we first visited on our honeymoon, and this was high on my to-revisit list for this trip. Monk's Kettle is open for lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch (the food's great!), but we just came here this time for a brew. Their draft beer and bottle list is lengthy and varied, and the staff is quick to greet you with a smile. It's a great spot to sit at the bar (or one of their window-side booths) and sip on a good beer.

Beer to try right now: We stopped in on Cinco de Mayo, so I had the just-tapped Taco Hands, a collaboration brew between Cellarmaker and Tired Hands. It was brewed with tortilla chips, cilantro, lime, etc. - and it was surprisingly delicious, without at all tasting like a taco (thank god). It tasted more like a juicy, hoppy IPA - my favorite!

Where have you had a great beer lately? 


  1. i can't believe these places are brewing beers with tortilla and avocado leaves! you hit up so many good spots. Also, San Fran is definitely the most expensive city. I was just in NYC and I swear SF is even higher priced.

    1. I believe it! SF is crazy expensive. We're definitely getting spoiled with Portland prices, but even Boston seems cheap compared to SF!

  2. Ooh man, I miss San Francisco! Bookmarked for our next trip!
    I had a great beer from Jack's Abby in Framingham yesterday. The Boston area beer scene continues to be exciting!

    1. I can't wait to visit Jack's Abby new spot! It opened right after we left. I love so many of their beers!