5 SF Beers You Should Drink Right Now | San Francisco, CA

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September 15, 2014

5 SF Beers You Should Drink Right Now

This story is brought to you by the great people over at the Bold Italic. The Bold Italic is an online magazine, shop, and events hub in San Francisco. We celebrate the free-wheeling spirit of the city.

While September is in full swing, it’s still summer in San Francisco and a slew of local breweries are producing beers that fit the weather, vibe, and pallette of the city. These five brews are our recommendations for the local beers that you should be drinking at your next happy hour or Sunday funday:


The perfect beer for a SF Indian summer. Its profile skews towards a lager, but it’s a golden ale brewed with rice. The rice is prominent and washes it down round and proper. Tillie’s was originally brewed for restaurant Namu Gaji and not only does it pair excellently with Japanese food, it’s also the kind of beer you can drink forever (even after you’re filled with Smokestack’s killer BBQ at the Magnolia Pub in the Dogpatch).


Wow … just wow. Might be the best new beer at the best new brewery in the city. A unique approach to this pale ale sees Cellarmaker master brewer Tim Sciascia using mosaic hops in the boil and Citra hops in the dry hop. The result is a hop forward pale with an orange blossom aroma that almost hints of vanilla cream. It’s truly sublime and has to be enjoyed at the chic tasting room on Howard St. Better hurry though, Cellarmaker doesn’t have any flagship ales, so all of their brews are limited.


This is what saison is supposed to taste like. No bells and whistles, just a classic interpretation of the style. It’s brewed with rye, wheat, and barley and the saison yeast gives it the slightest sweet and sour tinge on the finish. The dry hops give it a fresh farmhouse flavor. Best part about it is that it’s not a seasonal, so it’s here to stay and all over town!


A killer post-bike ride beer. Ride through Golden Gate Park and soak yourself in a couple of these citrusy blonde ales in the sunny confines of Park Chalet’s massive outdoor patio. Tell me you don’t want to do that like … right now.


This all-organic ale is highlighted by the flavor of hibiscus flowers alongside yerba mate and bay leaves. A unique brew to say the least, it’s floral and slightly tart, unlike anything else in the city. It’s as beautiful a concoction as the South American butterfly it shares a name with and can be found at both Mission and Russian Hill tap rooms (get an empanada too!). The hibiscus essence carries this fine daytime ale the whole way and it has as much caffeine as half a cup of coffee. Yes please.


Yes, this is an Oakland beer (hence the bonus tag). But it’s one of the most well-balanced Bay area IPA’s. At 7.2% ABV, you’d expect a very bitter brew, but the lemon zest finish, bold flavor of citrus and it’s earthiness render it entirely drinkable.

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