Food & Drink

The 11 best beer neighborhoods in SF, scientifically ranked

Joe Starkey

There's no shortage of beer in San Francisco. Water, sure. But not beer! So who's got the most good beer? Well, rather than whip out a ruler and measure... tap lengths?... we decided to do a little math, and with the help of this map and our little beer point system below, we came up with this list of the top 11 beer 'hoods in SF, ranked 11-to-one.

Point System:

1 pt for a brewery
1 pt for a beer bar
1 pt for a beer store
1 pt for a brewpub
1 pt for a homebrew store
2 pts for having a bar in 7x7's eight greatest craft beer openings of the last year
2 pts for having a restaurant in Zagat's "SF restaurants with amazing beer" lists
2 pts for having a bar in Serious Eats' "Where to Drink Great Beer in SF and the East Bay"
2 pts for having a bar in DRAFT Magazine's "America's 100 Best Beer Bars"
4 pts for being in Thrillist's "33 best beer bars in the country"
4 pts for being in Thrillist's "8 best beer bars in SF"

Anchor Brewing Co

11. Potrero Hill

Total Points: 3
1 brewery (Anchor Brewing Co.; +1), 1 beer store (Whole Foods Market-Potrero; +1), 1 beer bar (Sadie's Flying Elephant; +1)

T9. The Richmond

Total Points: 4
2 beer stores (Blackwell's Wine & Spirits, Healthy Spirits-Clement; +2), 1 brewpub (Pizza Orgasmica & Brewing Co.; +1), 1 homebrew store (San Francisco Brewcraft; +1)

Joe Starkey

T9. FiDi

Total Points: 4
4 beer bars (The Irish Bank, Murphy's Pub, Royal Exchange, Old Ship Saloon; +4)

Bar Crudo

T7. Western Addition

Total Points: 5
2 beer bars (Bar Crudo, The Page; +2), 1 beer store (New Star-Ell; +1), 1 in Zagat (Bar Crudo; +2)

Rogue Ales Public House

T7. North Beach

Total Points: 5
3 beer bars (La Trappe, Rogue Ales Public House, Church Key; +3), 1 in DRAFT Magazine (La Trappe; +2)

Joe Starkey

6. Dogpatch

Total Points: 9
2 breweries (Almanac Beer Co, Triple Voodoo Brewery and Tap Room; +2), 1 brewpub (Magnolia Brewery; +1), 1 in Thrillist's "8 best beer bars in SF" (Magnolia Brewery; +4), 1 in Zagat (Magnolia Brewery; +2)

5. Lower Haight

Total Points: 10
2 beer bars (ToronadoMad Dog in the Fog; +2), 1 Thrillist's "8 best beer bars in SF" (Toronado; +4), 1 in Serious Eats (Toronado; +2), 1 in DRAFT Magazine (Toronado; +2)

4. The Haight

Total Points: 11
1 beer bar (The Alembic; +1),  2 brewpubs (Magnolia Brewery, Barrel Head Brewhouse; +2), + 1 Thrillist's "8 best beer bars in SF" (Magnolia Brewery; +4), 1 in Zagat (Magnolia Brewery; +2), + 1 in 7x7 (Barrel Head Brewhouse; +2)

Joe Starkey

3. Tenderloin

Total Points: 14
2 beer bars (Show Dogs, Mikkeller Bar; +2), 1 in Thrillist's "33 best beer bars in America" (Mikkeller Bar; +4), 1 in Thrillist's "8 best beer bars in SF" (Mikkeller Bar; +4), 1 in 7x7 (Mikkeller Bar; +2)  + 1 in Serious Eats (Mikkeller Bar; +2)

Joe Starkey

2. SOMA

Total Points: 22
4 beer stores (City Beer Store,  +4), 3 beer bars (Pete's Tavern, Public House, Anchor & Hope; +3), 1 brewery (Cellarmaker Brewing Co.; +1), 2 brewpubs (ThirstyBear Brewing Co, 21st Amendment Brewing Co.; +2), 1 in Thrillist's "8 best beer bars in SF" (City Beer Store, +4), 2 in Serious Eats (City Beer Store, Cellarmaker Brewing Co.; +4), 1 in Zagat (Anchor & Hope; +2), + 1 in 7x7 (Cellarmaker Brewing Co.; +2)

Blair Heagerty

1. The Mission

Total Points: 44
13 beer bars (Zeitgeist, Walzwerk, Monk's Kettle, Gestalt Haus, Elixir, The Sycamore, Amnesia Bar, Shotwell's, Pi Bar, Rosamunde Sausage Grill, Bar Tartine, Abbot's Cellar, Schmidt's; +13), 3 brewpubs (Cerveceria de Mateveza, Southpaw BBQ, Southern Pacific Brewing; +3), 1 in Thrillist's "33 best beer bars in America" (Monk's Kettle; +4), 4 in Thrillist's "8 best beer bars in SF" (Abbot's Cellar, Cerveceria de Mateveza, Monk's Kettle, Pi Bar; +16), 3 in Zagat (Abbot's Cellar, Bar Tartine, Schmidt's; +6), 1 in Serious Eats (Monk's Kettle; +2)

Joe Starkey is Thrillist's San Francisco Editor and can't wait for everyone to tell him how wrong he is with really polite phrasing. Follow him on Twitter -- he does live in one of the 11 best beer neighborhoods in SF, after all.