San Francisco has countless bars, pubs, and breweries for the craft beer enthusiast.
Here are my top five favorite spots to get fine brews (and in some cases, food too!).
1. The Monk's Kettle
Located in the Mission District, this is a perfect destination for both the beer and food lover. With a wall full of clean specialty glasses, an expansive draught and bottled beer list, and a menu featuring culinary delights, this is an ideal spot to sit and enjoy a single (or several) craft beers. The pub fills up quickly in the evenings so arrive early or be prepared to wait. They are open every day except for Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Independence Day until 2am.
2. La Trappe Cafe
If you enjoy Belgian beer then this will taste like heaven to you. The beer menu at La Trappe is literally a book, with many pages of different styles, price points, and breweries. The food was well-made, but the truly exceptional part about this pub is the beer. You may be seated downstairs when you arrive for dinner and drinks and you feel like you are a speakeasy or catacombs, thanks to dim lighting, dark decor, and brick walls. It is right on the edge of the Russian Hill district and you can take the Mason Street Cable Car right to their front door.
3. Toronado Pub
Less refined than some of the other great beer destinations in San Francisco, this no-nonsense pub is a great place to start your day in The Haight. They don't serve food here but you can get a sausage right next door and return to the Toronado, barely missing a sip. There are many fine draught and bottled beers here and the graffitied unisex restroom is worth taking your camera with you to photograph. The beer menu on their website is not current but will give you an idea of the variety of options you will have. They open at 11:30am every day and close at 2am.
4. Magnolia Pub and Brewery
This is a wonderful gastropub in The Haight. If you started your morning out at the Toronado Pub, this is a logical next stop on your journey to the historic Haight-Ashbury. Not only do they have a variety of their own brewed beer on draught, they also offer a variety of their brews that are cask-conditioned. The food is second-to-none, and the charcuterie plate comes highly recommended. The atmosphere is comfortable, classy without being snooty. They have varying hours, so check their website before heading down.
5. Jack's Cannery Bar
If you are facing the tourist-induced chaos in the Fisherman's Wharf, you may need to take a break and sit down with a beer to relax. Head up to Jack's Cannery Bar at 441 Jefferson Street and take a load off. This is yet another San Francisco bar that not only has history but also a huge amount of beer. You will feel like you are sitting in an English pub and will want to take a look at all the signs and wall art in the large bar and seating area. There is even a photo booth! You are in luck if you are in town over the holidays, as Jack's Cannery Bar is open 365 days a year from 10am-2am.
Written and contributed by ink_mama