Images courtesy of the San Francisco Public Library Historical Photograph Collection
San Francisco’s brewing heritage stretches back to the Gold Rush era, when hundreds of bars served thirsty miners in the Barbary Coast district. Since then breweries have come and gone over the years. Many were destroyed in the 1906 earthquake and fire. Those that remained, were rebuilt, or opened shortly thereafter, prospered until Prohibition arrived in 1920, which decimated the industry.
American came to its senses in 1933. Beer flowed once again from breweries in San Francisco, albeit in smaller numbers. By the 1950′s, brewery mergers and acquisitions lead to the development of large brewing corporations that dominated the marketplace. Companies like Hamm’s, Acme and Burgermeister were household names in the city.
The tied started to shift in the mid 1960′s. Fritz Maytag purchased Anchor Brewing in 1965, and in 1976, the New Albion Brewery opened in Sonoma County. It was the first microbrewery in the United States. Those two pivotal moments led to the craft brewing industry we know and love today.
The map below attempts to document San Francisco’s former and present day breweries. The majority of the brewery information on this map was culled from American Breweries II, a book by Dale P. Van Wieren (Eastern Coast Breweriana Association, 1995). Brewery locations were only plotted if an address was found. Whether the building was destroyed, demolished or still stands was determined by researching old photos, maps, and by architectural observation. There are many breweries left uncharted.
This project is a work in progress and will occasionally be updated or corrected with new information when acquired. If you have any helpful info regarding this project, please contact the editor.
Red Box = Area Destroyed by 1906 Earthquake & Fire
Red Map Pins = Breweries Destroyed by the 1906 Earthquake & Fire
Red Map Pins with Black Dots = Demolished Breweries
Blue Map Pins = Closed Breweries / Building that housed brewery still exists
Blue Map Pins with Black Dots = Not known if building that housed brewery still exists
Green Map Pins with Black Dots = Currently Operating