Home World Explore three San Francisco neighborhoods with this beer-tinerary

Explore three San Francisco neighborhoods with this beer-tinerary

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For this month’s Bay Area brewery tour, I headed back to San Francisco on a sunny spring day to visit three breweries I’ve been meaning to check out: Enterprise Brewing in the city’s South of Market (SOMA) neighborhood, Barrel Head Brewhouse in the area north of the Panhandle (NOPA) and San Francisco Brewing in Ghirardelli Square. With great beer, food and atmosphere, these destinations did not disappoint.

Enterprise Brewing

Enterprise Brewing is named after a different brewery with the same name in San Francisco that opened in 1873 before closing during Prohibition. (Courtesy Jay R. Brooks)
Enterprise Brewing is named after a San Francisco brewery that opened in 1873 before closing during Prohibition. (Courtesy Jay R. Brooks) 

Open since August in the former Cellarmaker digs, Enterprise Brewing Co. was founded by Jesse Hayter and brewmaster Cameron McDonald, who met while working at Fort Point Brewing as, respectively, the first delivery driver and first brewer.

The brewery’s name comes from the recesses of San Francisco history, a nod to another Enterprise brewery that opened on Folsom Street in 1873 only to be shuttered by Prohibition.

This brewery’s space is small, but open and vibrant, with a raucous, lively energy. A roll-up door brings in air and light. It feels welcoming and inviting, with a DJ spinning tunes and people bringing in food from Rize Up Bakery next door. On Saturdays, they bring in pizza from Outta Sight Pizza.

McDonald keeps 10 or so beers on tap, including a clean, refreshing lager and a Continental-style pilsner, which are their best-selling beers. I enjoyed their Dutch Blonde, their take on a Kuit beer, a nearly-extinct beer style from the Netherlands. They also had a lovely copper ale, that was giving steam beer vibes, and a sourdough stout brewed with sourdough loaves from Rize Up and served on nitro.

Details: Opens at 4 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday, 3 p.m. Fridays and 1 p.m. on weekends at 1150 Howard St. in San Francisco; enterprisebeer.com.

Barrel Head Brewhouse

Barrel Head Brewhouse, a San Francisco brewery located north of the Panhandle, has an interior described as
Barrel Head Brewhouse, a San Francisco brewery located north of the Panhandle, has an interior described as “tastefully nautical.” It also has a new sister location called Lost Marbles in the Inner Richmond. (Courtesy Jay R. Brooks) 

The two-story windows at Barrel Head Brewhouse, a NOPA brewery, beckon the thirsty. Founded in 2013 by Ivan Hopkinson and Natasha Gatto, the brewery’s interior is, as one customer described it, “tastefully nautical.” It’s eclectic and comfortable, with octopus drawings on the walls and a full-size torpedo behind the bar. There’s a fire pit, booth seating and a large wooden bar, plus a second-floor balcony.

Brewmaster Kirk Hillyard serves up to 10 house-brewed beers supplemented by guest taps and cans from other local breweries. (Cocktails are on the menu, too.) Popular beers include a sweet take on Kölsch and Thomas Edward Best Bitter, a solid bitter with a signature Burton snatch — a term used to describe the aroma of sulfur on a freshly poured beer.

Other stand-outs include the Oud Bruin barrel-aged brown ale, a nicely complex beer with umami notes of mushrooms, treacly sweetness and a good malty backbone, and Brother Harker Patersbier Belgian IPA, which has a beautiful nose, big pillowy head and complex flavors. And the kitchen turns out food — beet salad, calamari and pesto pasta, as well as burgers and fish and chips — that’s a cut above the usual pub fare.

Details:  Opens at 2 p.m. on weekdays and noon on weekends at 1785 Fulton St.; barrelheadsf.com. They also recently opened a sister taproom, Lost Marbles, in the Inner Richmond district that serves Barrel Head beers plus guest taps and a pub menu.

San Francisco Brewing

San Francisco Brewing Co., located at Ghirardelli Square, has an abundance of outdoor seating plus a Ghirardelli chocolate peanut butter stout available. (Courtesy Jay R. Brooks)
San Francisco Brewing Co. at Ghirardelli Square has an abundance of outdoor seating — plus a Ghirardelli chocolate peanut butter stout available. (Courtesy Jay R. Brooks) 



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