49 Square Miles of Craft Beer

By Kirby Bennett

Congratulations to the San Francisco Brewers Guild (SFBG) for adding a whopping eight members to their roster in 2012! For a city that is only seven-by-seven miles, that’s quite a great growth spurt.

SFBG, which was founded in 2004, amended its by-laws last July to allow members “who are based in the city of San Francisco via business, wholesale, or brewing license, even if they don’t make craft beer within city limits.” This allowed contract brewers Almanac Beer Company, Triple Voodoo Brewing and Pacific Brewing Laboratory to join, and also opened the door for Pizza Orgasmica & Brewing Company and Shmaltz Brewing Company, which was founded (and still has a wholesale license) in San Francisco.

Learn more about contract brewing in: “Contract is Not a Dirty Word in Brewing.”

The guild also hired a full-time Executive Director, Brian Stechschulte, “to manage the organization and pursue some new initiatives that will bring greater recognition to their [San Francisco] brewers.” Brian believes the guild’s new amendment “accommodates the rapidly changing state of the industry, while maintaining the integrity of our mission.” Also joining the SFBG is MateVeza, which brews beer with organic Yerba Mate, Southern Pacific Brewing and Southpaw BBQ.

Brews on the Bay

On September 15, the guild celebrated its members and their fans at the 9th Annual Brews on the Bay festival. The festival takes place on the SS Jeremiah O’Brien, one of nearly 7,000 ships to invade Normandy on D-day in 1944, and one of only two operational WWII-era liberty ships in the U.S. today.

On the SFBG blog, Brian Stechschulte writes “It was a brilliant, sunny day as we welcomed over 1,400 attendees aboard the S.S. Jeremiah O’Brien. The event was a huge success and we’re extremely grateful for all the support from our member breweries, the ship’s crew, volunteers, and most importantly, those of you who attended.”

The festival included over 50 brews from guild members, local food trucks and live bands. With the guilds new members the beer selection at this annual event just keeps growing! Don’t be sad if you missed out this year, keep checking the SFBG website for tickets to the 2013 Brews on the Bay festival.

Meanwhile check out the phenomenal selections from all of the guild’s breweries:

Kirby BennettKirby Bennett’s love of craft beer started in 2002 when she was living in Amsterdam and discovered an amazing bottleshop called De Bierkoning. A long ways now from sipping La Trappe on the canals, she is currently the Craft Beer Program intern for the Brewers Association. She is a Cicerone® Certified Beer Server, holds a BA in English, dabbles in homebrewing, and makes a mean quinoa salad. She hopes to continue her career somewhere in the distribution world, then someday open a sustainable beer bar in whatever city she decides to settle in!