San Francisco, like many cities across the country, has become a great beer town in the span of just a few years. While Thirsty Bear and 21st Amendment set the craft-beer ball in motion here 20 years ago, the last five years have seen a boom in microbreweries, which have sprung up in nearly every SF neighborhood. The city is now, in fact, approaching the pre-Prohibition era in terms of the brewing community — around 1900, SF proper is believed to have been home to around 40 local breweries.
A group of six SF friends, led by Jake H., set out on Saturday, August 17 to hit every brewery in the city, beginning out at the ocean at 9:30 a.m. at Beach Chalet — a grand total of 28 stops. (And that didn’t even include stops at multiple locations of the same brewery, like Woods and Black Hammer.) They made a schedule, hired a driver, and Jake inked the 28-brewery checklist onto a t-shirt with a Sharpie. And the whole adventure was documented on Instagram, obviously.
“We survived!” Jake tells SFist on Sunday. “We kinda realized doing 28 of anything in a day is a lot. We went to dinner and ordered beer (surprise) to celebrate afterward.”
Jake says it was a heartening experience and the crew got plenty of free beers along the way, along with free t-shirts and messages from one brewery staff member to another. E.g. “Tell Aron that Mickey says hello,” and “When you see Mark, tell him to go fuck himself.”
“We met a lot of great people and dogs,” he says.
“We hired a driver, but didn’t exactly tell him in advance the full plan to visit 28 breweries in fear he’d back out,” Jake explains. “Turns out he was super cool and really into it. When we ran out of our scheduled time he billed, he wouldn’t leave us and kept driving us to the end, saying ‘You have 3 more to go. I’m going to take you so you finish this thing. I’m not leaving you now.'”
The crew, which included friends Ash, Brianne, Chris, Brad, and Kevin, says their top five of the day, both for beer and good vibes, were Black Sands, Black Hammer, Seven Stills, Barrelhead, and Bare Bottle. The only dud, they say, because it was overcrowded with slow service, was Southern Pacific Brewing in the Mission, which was their second-to-last stop.
Below, documentation of these very beer-soaked shenanigans — starting with the first stop of the day at 9:30 a.m.