21st Amendment Brewery
563 2nd St.
San Francisco, CA 94107
www.21st-amendment.comAlthough best known for its light and crisply crafted Hell or High Watermelon wheat beer (served with a slice of the fruit), 21st Amendment Brewery, named after the constitutional amendment repealing Prohibition, is on the seasonal cutting edge of craft beers. With Bitter American, a session beer that will become a year-round offering, you can expect excellence. A session beer’s volume contains less than five-percent alcohol which seems to prompt most drinkers to have another – a session. Want something heartier? Try Conventioneer. It’s rich and malty for a chilly autumn day. Generous servings are approximately $7.
The Beach Chalet Brewery & Restaurant
1000 Great Highway
San Francisco, CA 94121
The Beach Chalet Brewery & Restaurant located above the Golden Gate Park Visitor’s Center not only has fantastic views of Ocean Beach, it also has a great menu and hand-crafted ales brewed on the premises. These are served from chilled storage vessels located right behind the bar and poured directly into your glass. This autumn, try Riptide Red, a toasty, malty bitter with caramel undertones. Another good option is Fleishhacker Stout with its creamy dark head and bold chocolate tones. The Brown Ale serves up both a chewy caramel flavor and a dry-roasted nutty finish. If you’re not sure which beer you want, a sampler of six is a reasonable solution for $8.
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Thirsty Bear Brewing Company
661 Howard St.
San Francisco, CA 94105
www.thirstybear.comFeaturing flavor-packed traditional and unique beers, Brendan Dobel, brewmaster of San Francisco’s first CCOF-certified organic brewery, has just announced the upcoming autumn lineup. A visit here allows for a tantalizing taste of such seasonal delights as 2012 Wet Hop Hopsmeister Farm Harvest Ale brewed with organic Centennial, Cascade, Columbus, Chinook and Ivanhoe hops picked 24 hours before brewing at Hopsmeister Farm in Clear Lake, California. Another feature is the Full Belly Ale, a multi-grain certified organic ale brewed with wheat and oats from Full Belly Farms, along with malted barley and rye. Also planned is Stave Series #8: Charbay Stave, Thirsty Bear’s Kozlov Stout aged in French Oak barrels that previously contained pre-bottled, hops-flavored whiskey. Kozlov Stout, named after the man who’s hand was bitten by the original thirsty bear, is a midnight-black ale brewed with black malt, chocolate malt and roasted barley.
Social Kitchen & Brewery
1326 9th Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94122
www,socialkitchenandbrewery.comThe Social Kitchen & Brewery, a small brewpub with a restaurant in the Inner Sunset neighborhood, is where brewmaster Kim Sturdavant works hard to brew his easy-drinking hoppy beers. Current releases Ramsgate Rye Pale Ale and Anniversary Brune Hoppy Belgian Brown help patrons say goodbye to summer. If those don’t do it for you, try The Giant S’more, a Belgian Imperial Stout incorporating sweetness with a chocolate finish, along with hints of graham cracker, marshmallow and cloves. It’s a mouthful!
Southern Pacific Brewing
620 Treat Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94110
southernpacificbrewing.comHoused in a former Mission District machine shop, Southern Pacific Brewing is a sprawling indoor-outdoor brewery and pub-style restaurant. Brewmaster Andy French offers several clean, dry beers crafted on the premises with a $3-5 price point. The brewery also holds tastings which are like sampler platters. For the flavor of autumn, hoist a Robust Porter, a dark and hearty brew made from a rich mash of British crystal, black patent and chocolate malts. Bold chocolate and coffee flavors dominate, while Summit and Cascade hops balance its smooth finish.
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Nina Holtons creative background in travel and cooking and a passion for writing empowers her to share the Bay Area scene with readers avid for information about where to go and what to do. A free-lance online journalist, she lives in Santa Clara; and her work can be found at Examiner.com.