The next leg of my Californian odyssey found me in San Francisco home of beautiful houses, old hippies, tourists, an abundance of hills and one very big, very red bridge (oh, and there is beer here too).
While in San Francisco proper I took the opportunity to visit one of the oldest microbreweries in the US, Anchor Brewing Company. The tour of the brewing facility was widely touted as a tourist must-see unfortunately they also recommended booking months in advance. Due to my reluctance to schedule stops into my vacation (feels too much like work) I thought I would take my chances and drive down to the brewery to see what I could see.
Well, what I could see was nothing, well not nothing exactly, I saw the outside of the building and a guy sitting behind a desk. This guy informed me that I was not to proceed and not to pass go i.e. non-tour booking beer geeks such as myself shall not enter the premises so what remained behind the closed doors -rivers of beer navigated by giant steam-powered paddle boats steered by oompah-loompahs balancing hops in woven baskets atop their heads- remained a mystery. Though said desk bound guy did offer to fit me into the tour in a week …maybe next time.
So if you find yourselves in San Francisco sans your Golden Ticket to enter Anchor Brewing have no fear there are other sources of beer.
In particular you can visit breweries like 21st Amendment, Thirsty Bear Brewing and Southern Pacific Brewing Company and whet your palate at tap rooms like Toronado or Magnolia Brew Pub. Additionally, there are lots of little markets and beer stores tucked into San Fran’s neighbourhoods that boast pretty amazing selections, such as Ales Unlimited and City Beer Store.
Next up, I head north along the coast where I stumble into a couple of unplanned brewery visits…