If you’re traveling to San Francisco for a short amount of time, you’ll need to plan accordingly. The Golden Gate Bridge will always be there, but a seasonal craft beer may not. We’ve asked our favorite journalist and beer experts — here’s their list of the best bars in San Francisco and the Bay Area where you can pull up a chair and enjoy the best craft beer you’ve ever had. From international beers to a pint from a local brewery, you’re sure to find the right drink to quench your thirst in the City by the Bay.
Citizens of San Francisco are lucky enough to live in the middle of a burgeoning brewing scene, but there is one thing that we love more than beer – food! VirginiaMiller of The Perfect Spot swears by c! Not only do the have a superb beer selection, they pair delicious local craft beers with casual American comfort food. Sample any of the 9 beers on tap or pick from over 150 bottled beers!
1740 O’Farrell St, San Francisco, 94115
You know that a pub is serious when they offer an ongoing series of multi-course dinners with paired beers. Hopwater Distribution takes traditional bar food and elevates it with local seafood or with twists on classics like bacon and eggs. Enjoy any one of the 31 beers on tap.
850 Bush St, San Francisco, 94108
Inspired by the Copenhagen bar of the same name, Bar Mikkeller has become an established home to beer lovers since it opened its doors in 2013. Over 40 taps house rare brews from around the world, along with four Mikkeller brews that are exclusive to this SF staple. Pair any one of their beers with the famed pastrami sandwich.
34 Mason St, San Francisco, 94102
Taking it’s inspiration from traditional German beer gardens, Biergarten offers patrons beautiful views of the night skies in their open air setup. This bar has a rotating selections of Bavarian craft beers.
424 Octavia St, San Francisco, CA 94102
This young tap rooms is eagerly tapping into the local mindset. Liquide Gold favors local breweries and features and constantly evolving menu of 30 different craft beers. From delicious IPAs to a daring Sour Mash, you can find the perfect brew to match your personality!
1040 Hyde St, San Francisco, CA 94109
You’ll never taste the same craft beer twice at Cellarmaker Brewery. This experimental company likes to play with different flavors and ingredients in order to create a unique drinking experience for their patrons. Check their websites before swinging by for a visit — you’ll want a general idea of what you’re diving into.
1150 Howard Street, SF, CA 94103
Zeitgeist is probably the most famous dive bar in the Mission District of San Francisco. This beer bar boasts over 40 rare and local craft beers on tap along with recognizable labels like Stella Artois and Anchor Steam. Whether you’re in the mood for pool or a quiet night in the garden, you’ll have a good time. While here, you have to try the grilled cheese!
199 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94103
Imagine a wood paneled room with tall windows that overlook a national forest. Sessions is the dream of a “New American Public House” – a place where families can meet, share food, and sample craft beers and specialty cocktails. With nine beers on tap, you’re less likely to feel overwhelmed by a variety of options!
1 Letterman Dr, San Francisco, CA 94129
What started as the famous Cerverceria in San Francisco has expanded into a small brewing company with bars in both San Francisco and Oakland. As a tiny brewery, Woods Beer makes small batches of experimental beers designed for adventurous or curious drinkers! With three locations in the Bay Area, we suggest that your try out the bar that started it all.
3801 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94114
Located right by Golden Gate Park, Social Kitchen and Brewery is the perfect place for nature lovers, craft beer enthusiasts, and foodies to meet up! A flight of modern comfort food made from fresh and seasonal ingredients pair perfectly with the San Francisco lifestyle. An offering of 18 drafts and specialty cocktails makes this the ideal place to duck into after an exertive hike.
1326 9th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94122
You probably can’t imagine yourself walking into a liquor store, buying a bottle of beer, and drinking it on site. Yet City Beer Store encourages this unusual activity. This combination store and craft beer tasting bar features drinks from around the world as well as a constantly rotating number of sampling beers on tap!
1168 Folsom St, Suite 101, San Francisco, CA 94103
This microbrewery is blowing up the neighborhood around the University of San Francisco. With thirty taps serving craft beers out of a genuine torpedo, this bar gives off an explosive personality. Their specialty brews take a step away from popular California flavors to explore popular brewing styles in Europe.
1785 Fulton St, San Francisco, CA 94117
By naming themselves after the world’s first craft brewers, Monk’s Kettle launched to an ambitious start in 2007. This popular tavern offers a balanced beer selections that is paired with special culinary options. With over 200 beers on their rotating list, that is quite the flavor profile!
3141 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103
This tiny brewery has already established itself as a major contender in the Bay Area beer scene. Local Brewing Company has fifteen beers, with a total of twenty six beers in their archives. Swing by their new location for a tasting.
69 Bluxome St. San Francisco, CA 94107
Located merely two blocks away from the SF Giant’s home at AT&T Park, 21st Amendment Brewery and Restaurant has something for every SF local. Handcrafted beers, featured guest craft beers, traditional pub fare, and a special weekend brunch menu means there is something for everyone!
563 2nd St, San Francisco, CA 94107
This warehouse-turned-brewery makes smart use of its industrial space. Home to both the brewery and bar, there is ample seating in this bright, expansive, and inexpensive bar. We’d recommend trying the strawberry blonde ale if it’s in season!
620 Treat Ave, San Francisco, CA 94110
Before Mikkeller opened in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco, Chuck Stilphen made his name in Bay Area as the owner of The Trappist, a famous beer mecca in Oakland, California. Known as a specialty beer cafe, this bar is known for serving quality Belgian beers along with other specialty brews.
460 8th St, Oakland, CA 94607.
Located in beautifully historic Jack London Square, Beer Revolution is a clever combination of quality beers with a savory menu of European vegetarian and vegan cuisine. With an impressive number of over 47 beers on tap, many San Franciscos make the trek across the bay to enjoy the potent combination of flavors offered here.
464 3rd St, Oakland, CA 94607
When it comes to craft beer, you want to be able to sit down and enjoy the complex and distinct flavors. Lost and Found is a tranquil, outdoor beer garden that is fortunate to sit in a sun rich region of the Bay Area. Their revolving list of local brews tends to highlight regional breweries over recognized brands! Taste a seasonal draft before it’s gone!
2040 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, Ca
The can-do attitude of this small business is thrilling. This self-identified beer bar, brewery, and brew-on-premises venue is the ideal stop for anyone who wants to try their hand at brewing beer. Master brewers are on site with instructions on how to make your own craft beer. If you’re fearful of violating forgotten prohibition laws, you can pick from one of 30 beers on tap.
1802 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94612
For those of you not traveling to San Francisco any time soon, you can use Grabr! A Traveler can bring you a pint or two of your favorite craft beer. Order today 🙂