Anchor Brewery, makers of the well-known Anchor Steam Beer, Liberty Ale, Old Foghorn, Brekles Brown and other traditional beers and ales, do not have their own pub. However, the brewery offers free tours by reservation every weekday and “happy hour tours on weekends. These include tastings of a selection of their beers. Some of these beers can be almost impossible to find on draft outside the brewery. The rub is that these small tours are quite popular. One to three months in advance is a suggested lead time. The tour of the unusual antique production brewery and the included tastings last about 2 hours and are well worth it.
Anchor was one of many local San Francisco brands a century ago, in the days before the national corporate giants, but was the only one to survive. Anchor rescued an original American style, the California “Steam” or Common beer in the process. Their interesting website and unusual tours tell the story of how this brewery helped pave the way for the modern beer renaissance, and supported the rise of the contemporary homebrewer.
Extras: You can rent their space for your special event, including a brewery tour and private tasting. You can also get growler fills at the brewery seven days a week.
Nearby, at the local Whole Foods is a cafe called Steep Brews that almost always has fresh Anchor beers on draft, if you happen by the brewery without reservations and get thirsty at the sight.
1705 Mariposa Street, San Francisco • (415) 863-8350
This trip is slightly beyond the one mile limit we chose for our recommended walks, so unless you prefer the exercise, you may go ahead and take the MUNI bus or call a cab. Exit BART and go to the southwest corner of 16th at Mission Street to the bus stop for the 22. Take the 22 bus ($2.00 exact change) about a mile east on 16th. It will turn right and then left onto 17th. Get off at 17th and De Haro Street. Go uphill 1 block on De Haro to Mariposa Street, and you’ll see the old brewery building. (Mariposa is their mailing address, but the actual entrance is on the De Haro Street side of the building.)