San Francisco, California
With the 1896 Anchor Brewing Company as its founding father, San Francisco's beer scene is a mix of West Coast style and locavore pride. Newer breweries craft everything from English ales to experimental farmhouse saisons. Beer bars and gastropubs serve top-notch locally sourced food. Hey, it's Alice Waters country.
Best Brews, Breweries, and Bars
A Mission District must, Monk's Kettle is the city's defining gastropub with beer-centric chef Adam Duyle at the helm. The draft list has plenty of local and Belgian brews, plus there's a selection of vintage beers from the cellar. Focus on beer and beer alone (there's no kitchen) at the dimly lit Toronado Pub, where a jumble of tap handles represents a diverse tap list, which may include the locally brewed, sessionable 21st Amendment Bitter American.
On the Upper Haight, the Magnolia Gastropub and Brewery has been brewing British-style ales in the basement since the 1990s, including the dank and hoppy Proving Ground IPA. Look for the new Magnolia brewery, taproom, and BBQ joint in the Dogpatch next spring.
An American take on a Copenhagen classic, the new Mikkeller Bar has quickly become a beer nerd destination, with 40 taps and two casks attached to the formidable Flux Capacitor draft system. Think selections from Nøgne, Hill Farmstead, and, Mikkeller.