What is the most popular beer in San Francisco?

Answered by Michael Weatherspoon

As an expert sommelier and brewer, I have had the pleasure of exploring the vibrant craft scene in San Francisco. With 27 breweries currently in operation, the city boasts a diverse range of beer styles and flavors. However, determining the most popular beer in San Francisco can be subjective, as it often depends on individual tastes and preferences. That being said, there are a few breweries and beers that have gained significant popularity and recognition among locals and visitors alike.

One brewery that has made a mark on the San Francisco beer scene is Anchor Company. Established in 1896, Anchor Brewing is considered the oldest brewery in San Francisco and has played a pivotal role in the city's brewing history. Their flagship beer, Anchor Steam Beer, is a California common beer that has been brewed using the same recipe since the 19th century. Its distinct flavor profile, with notes of caramel and toasty , has garnered a loyal following over the years. Anchor Brewing also produces a wide variety of other beers, including seasonal releases and collaborations, which further contribute to their popularity.

Another brewery that has gained significant popularity in San Francisco is 21st Amendment Brewery. Founded in 2000, 21st Amendment has become known for their diverse range of beers and creative can designs. One of their most popular offerings is their “Brew Free! or Die” , which is a hop-forward beer with a balanced bitterness and citrusy hop flavors. This beer has become synonymous with the brewery and is often seen on tap lists across the city. 21st Amendment Brewery also produces a variety of other beers, ranging from lagers and stouts to fruit-infused brews, catering to a wide range of palates.

In recent years, the hazy IPA style has gained immense popularity not only in San Francisco but also nationwide. Local breweries such as Cellarmaker Brewing Co. and Barebottle Brewing Company have embraced this trend and have received accolades for their hazy IPAs. These beers are characterized by their cloudy appearance, juicy hop flavors, and smooth mouthfeel. The hazy IPA style has captivated beer enthusiasts, and it's not uncommon to see long lines forming outside these breweries when they release new batches of their sought-after hazy IPAs.

While these breweries and beers have garnered popularity, it's important to note that the scene in San Francisco is constantly evolving. With new breweries opening and innovative beers being brewed, the landscape is ever-changing. Each brewery brings its unique offerings to the table, allowing beer lovers to explore and discover new favorites. Whether it's the historic Anchor Steam Beer, the iconic “Brew Free! or Die” IPA, or the latest hazy IPA release, the most popular beer in San Francisco ultimately depends on personal taste and the ever-shifting trends in the craft beer industry.

The most popular beer in San Francisco is a subjective matter, as it varies from person to person. However, the city's rich brewing history, diverse range of breweries, and innovative beer styles ensure that there is something for everyone to enjoy. So, whether you're a fan of traditional brews, hop-forward IPAs, or experimental flavors, San Francisco's craft beer scene has got you covered. Cheers to exploring and discovering the perfect pint in the City by the Bay!