My brewery day trip series has taken me to taprooms around the Bay, from Gilroy and the Peninsula to Martinez and Oakland’s Temescal district. Today, we’re headed to San Francisco neighborhoods to visit a few more.
Olfactory Brewing in the Dogpatch
Open since November in San Francisco’s Dogpatch neighborhood, this brewery hails from longtime friends Phil Emerson, Max Crango-Schneider, Trevor Allen and Bob Moyer. Emerson and Crango-Schneider met at UC Davis and ended up brewing together at Sacramento’s Sudwerk and, later, at Alameda’s Almanac Beer Co. Emerson, who was originally a food chemist, says the name Olfactory gives a nod to the sense of smell and its critical impact on taste.
The brewery makes a variety of lower alcohol, traditional styles along with mixed fermentation beers, with eight to 10 beers available at any given time. Pizzazz, an Italian pilsner created in collaboration with Temescal Brewing, is an especially fine beer — smooth, sweet and very drinkable. Another standout is their black lager, dubbed The Lamp Industry is Booming During These Dark Days, with beautiful roasted malt and chocolate notes.
The taproom also features several IPAs, hazy and West Coast varieties. The West Coast IPA, Grin Creeper, brewed in collaboration with Ghost Town, is quite tasty. The less hoppy beers are solid picks too and range from Phantosmia, their take on a Vienna Amber brewed without Vienna malt, to Twang, a California-style helles, and Velveteen, a Czech-style pilsner. I’m impressed that such a young brewery is turning out such clean brews.
The taproom space is industrial but appealing. Large windows bring in a lot of light, and there’s a long bar and handmade redwood tables all made from a single tree. They don’t serve food, but you’ll find news about occasional food pop-ups on their Instagram feed at www.instagram.com/olfactorybrewing/.
Details: Olfactory opens at 3 p.m. on weekdays and 1 p.m. on weekends at 2245 Third St. in San Francisco; olfactorybrewing.com.
Standard Deviant Brewing in the Mission
This brewery with a delightfully nerdy name was founded by Paul Duatschek, Mark DeVito and Dave Azzam in 2016. Duatschek was working in biotech, when he took his first plunge into home brewing, which eventually led to an internship at Magnolia Brewing. Meanwhile DeVito, who owned several San Francisco bars, was becoming intrigued by the idea of owning a brewery. The pair met through a mutual friend, who was taking turns crashing on their couches.
Lodged in a former auto repair shop, the taproom has a long central bar with the brewery operating behind it. Wooden picnic tables and benches and an outdoor parklet offer plenty of seating. You’ll find a shelf of games and several large TV screens tuned to sporting events. Empanadas, tacos, chips and similar light fare are available during the week, with pizza or barbecue on weekends provided by various food partners.
The brewers’ goal is to make the best craftsmanship style beers and focus on ingredients, especially local malt and hops. The 20 or so beers available reflect a wide range of brews from a Cuatro Lager, a tasty light Mexican lager, at one end of the spectrum and an 11-percent Nitro Bourbon Stout at the other. In between, there’s hefeweizen, Kölsch, English brown ale, black lager, saison and porter, along with pale ales and IPAs, such as Tree People IPA and Hazy Pale Ale.
Details: Hours for the brewery, which is at 280 14th St., vary by the day (closed Mondays). Find details at standarddeviantbrewing.com.
Laughing Monk Brewing in Bayview
Home brewer Andrew Casteel spent years working for nonprofits before deciding in 2016 that he wanted to walk a different path, one that involved Belgian beers and a San Francisco brewery.
Today, Jeff Moakler – Laughing Monk’s first brewer, now the director of brewing operations – still makes plenty of Belgian beers, but he’s added other styles to the lineup. When I stopped by the brewery, they were pouring Third Circle, a tasty tripel, and Evening Vespers, a dubbel. Holy Ghost is their terrific award-winning German-style pilsner. Fall Into Barrels is a saison aged in agave and gin barrels, and Bayview Sunrise is a fruit kettle sour brewed with guava, mango and lime.
You’ll find hop-focused beers too, such as Sister Christina, a delicious West Coast IPA made with Strata hops, and Farm to Hazy, a juicy hazy IPA brewed with Nelson and Superdelic hop varieties.
The taproom is in an industrial space with high ceilings and bench seating. Artwork by an artist who recently did one of their beer labels is showcased throughout the brewery. You’ll find board games and pinball here, as well as food trucks on weekends and trivia and craft nights on weekends.
Details: The brewery, located at 1439 Egbert Ave. in the Bayview area, opens at 4 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and noon on weekends; laughingmonkbrewing.com.
Know a local brewery or brewpub that’s knocking it out of the park? Drop me a line at [email protected] and tell me why you love them.
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