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We’re Getting Three New Craft Brewery Taprooms - August 30, 2018 - SF Weekly
SF Weekly

We’re Getting Three New Craft Brewery Taprooms

Unlike Chicago or even Los Angeles, S.F. isn’t a city saddled with huge tracts of postindustrial turf, lying fallow since the decline of American manufacturing. (And as with future housing developments in Hunters Point, some of what we do have might be contaminated with radioactive schmutz.) But that’s not stopping the craft-beer industry. A couple years after a mini-boom of openings endowed San Francisco with such heavy-hitters as Standard Deviant, Harmonic, and Barebottle, this fall will see several new breweries and taprooms. And this doesn’t even count West Oakland’s Den Sake Brewery, which is putting out high-acid sakes intended to pair with food just as wine does.

Hopefully, they get as creative as Temescal’s Brewing‘s LaCroix-esque offerings for Beer Week or the In-N-Stout that Seven Stills produced (but which got them a cease-and-desist from the iconic maker of Double-Doubles).

Fort Point

KSA Kolsch and the smoked altbier Manzanita have become staples of S.F.’s highbrow canned-beer scene, but while this Presidio brewery is known for throwing slightly wild dim-sum brunches for Beer Week, it remains slightly mysterious. Although graphic interpretations of S.F. landmarks abound on Fort Point Beer Co.’s packaging, the general public has never set food inside its brewery — just the little taproom in the Ferry Building.

That’s going to change now that the company will take over the former Brasserie St. James at 742 Valencia St. The space held the short-lived Abbot’s Cellar before that, so while brewing is in its bones, it might be tough to make a run for it. (It’s also on a congested, three-block section of Valencia that Lyft has voluntarily ceased picking people up on.) Still, if anyone’s plucky enough to thrive here, it’s Fort Point.

Holy Craft

Founded in early 2015, the manufacturers of naughty-angelic beers like the Japanese rice-style lager Harajuku Girl is set to move into the North Beach space once occupied by Sip Bar & Lounge, at 787 Broadway. It’s a move that coincides with a push for a larger retail presence, according to Hoodline.

A contract brewer like many other small operations, Holy Craft currently outsources its production to other, larger breweries, so the North Beach brick-and-mortar will allow co-owners Steve Seto and Phil Fabian — who got their start working out of a garage — to brew around a dozen beers on site and play host to pop-ups while figuring out a long-term plan for food.

Ballast Point

The beloved San Diego brewery will open its eighth taphouse in California over the winter in Mission Bay. While it’s a stretch to call that neighborhood a hotspot, it will join Spark PR and the newly opened Stagecoach Greens mini-golf course as places to get a beer after work — in this case, a home for Grapefruit Sculpin and Fathom IPA.

As a 20-year veteran of the SoCal craft beer scene, Ballast Point is a key place for some line-caught, Baja-style fish tacos and house-made pretzels (with beer mustard). Beyond merely a taproom and proper brewery, this location will include an “on-site R&D laboratory” cranking out brews that won’t be available anywhere else. The hour of mocking Mission Bay dwindleth.