Contributed by Mike Sturdivant, Conferences Director at PCBC
San Francisco beer history dates back to 1896 when the original Anchor Brewing was founded. The brewery had its share of ups and downs over the next sixty years, surviving prohibition and The Depression. In 1965 Fritz Maytag (great-grandson of Maytag Corporation founder Frederick Louis Maytag I) bought 51% of the company and saved it from bankruptcy. In 1971 Anchor Brewing began bottling its famous Anchor Steam® Beer and by 1975, produced four other beers, Anchor Porter®, Liberty® Ale, Old Foghorn® Barleywine Ale, and the first annual Christmas Ale. In 1984 they started brewing Anchor Summer Beer, the first wheat beer in America since Prohibition. Fritz Maytag retired in 2010, but the new owners vowed to keep the same quality and standards that has driven Anchor for over one hundred years.
Unfortunately Anchor Brewing offers few tours, so you’ll most likely find yourself enjoying their beers at your favorite local San Francisco restaurants and watering holes (or at AT&T Park). Here’s a short list of some other breweries besides the famous Anchor Brewing that are located in San Francisco near PCBC. They may not carry the name of Anchor Brewing, but they each offer something delicious and exciting for beer lovers:
21st Amendment Brewery* – The Baseball Fan: This is the place to be for pre-and-post Giants games. It’s got great atmosphere, wonderful food and a tasty variety of beer. Even visiting fans will feel welcome here.
My Favorites: Back in Black (Black IPA), Brew Free or Die IPA & Hop Crisis DIPA
Location: 563 2nd St, San Francisco, CA 94107 (just a few blocks from AT&T Park)
ThirstyBear Brewing Company – The Organic: This is San Francisco’s first and only CCOF certified organic brewery, and it’s just a block from the Moscone Center. The food as described by the kitchen is “A Contemporary, seasonal approach to Traditional Spanish Tapas & Paellas”. Smooth beer and excellent food — what more could you ask for?
My Favorites: Kozlov Stout, Polar Bear Pilsner, Golden Vanilla & Valencia Wheat
Location: 661 Howard St, San Francisco, CA 94105 (one block from Moscone Center)
Rogue Ales & Spirits* – North Beach: Want something a little more casual? Throw on shorts and a t-shirt and enjoy solid food and an outstanding variety of great beer. Did I mention 42 taps with 42 different Rouge and guest beers?
My Favorites: Dead Guy Ale, Double Chocolate Stout, Rogue Farms Series & Yellow Snow IPA
Location: 673 Union St, San Francisco, CA 94133 (long walk or taxi from Moscone Center)
Speakeasy Ales and Lagers* – India Basin: A local favorite since 1997, this brewery has grown exponentially in the past few years and once you pay a visit you’ll understand why.
My Favorites: Big Daddy IPA, Prohibition Ale, Scarlett Red Rye & Butchertown Black Ale
Location: 1195 Evans Ave, San Francisco, CA 94124 (a taxi is required)
*Anchor Brewing is ranked #21; Rogue Ales #27 & 21st Amendment Brewery #50 among the largest U.S. Craft Breweries based upon beer sales volume in 2013.
About Mike: Mike Sturdivant is the Conferences Director at PCBC. He enjoys coaching girls youth soccer, playing adult co-ed slow-pitch softball & homebrewing. Mike takes great pride in his glove work at first base, but is still seeking his first over-the-fence homerun.