Fort Point Brewing is San Francisco
Happy Friday out there!
How was your week?
Two more days until my trip and I am still not ready!
I did get a lot of things accomplished for the baby shower yesterday, though, so that’s less to worry about. I still have a million things to do today, however.
I can’t wait to post some of the photos and recipes up from the shower, I’ve done a lot of creative things that make me want to show off!
Part 2 of my favorite breweries in San Francisco.
This one has a much different feel than Speakeasy. It’s smaller, more intimate, a little chaotic, and a lot of fun.
I woke up on Tuesday, not thinking that I was running that late. But the one day that I have to be somewhere is the one day that Braedon decides that he wants to sleep in.
I jump up, shower, do my makeup, grab coffee, and head to the Presidio.
I love the Presidio, it’s so pretty over there. It’s where we’ve gotten most of our family photos taken.
We pull into the parking lot, there is a girl sitting on a bench outside of something that looks like an old military warehouse.
She waves, her name is Casey and she is going to be my guide.
I’m actually prepared this time, I have a lot of questions and I start asking right away.
The company is fairly new, they officially started in 2014.
In 2015 they brewed 6 thousand barrels and hope to hit 12 thousand this year!
They just expanded with new fermentors because for the last couple of years, they have been producing the beer as fast as people were buying it.
If that doesn’t say how amazing their beer is, I don’t know what will.
Right now, they are self distributed, which means they have a lot of control over everything. And everything is there, in that warehouse.
They are now in Whole Foods across the Bay Area, as far north as Roseville and south as Santa Cruz.
Casey laughed at this and said, ‘We can only go as far as our trucks can take us.’
We walked into the brewery and I could already tell that this place could be my new home. I wish I were kidding, but I’m not.
It was small, several fermentors, a brew house, malt and hops everywhere, a few offices, and even fewer people.
You can tell that the people who are here really put their blood, sweat, and tears into this product. They all have a passion for beer making and this doesn’t feel like it is much of a job for any of them, but rather a way of life.
After seeing the bags of hops and malts, I start to ask questions.
They get their hops from Northwest hops as their primary source. And their malts are from all over the place
They definitely have more of a German feel to their beer than most of the breweries I’ve seen in this area.
The company was founded by people who knew beer, Justin and Tyler.
They worked for Mill Valley Beerworks and started forming their plan to create something that just sang praises to San Francisco and the history here.
They are currently on federal land, which means that they can’t have a taproom in house, but it also adds to their goal as a company.
The building was an old army motor pool in the 1950’s, which made the conversion to brewery very easy.
It was all open space and large doors.
Justin and Tyler did most of the conversion themselves. I love it when the owners really get into their work and make it theirs.
Their main brewer also worked for Mill Valley Beerworks.
They were having a home brew competition and Mike won it. This was his first experience in brewing, but it quickly became his passion.
He toured around Germany tasting beers, going to breweries, and really getting a feel of the culture.
When he came back, he had so much that he wanted to do.
They have tested every recipe over and over in order to dial into this flavor that they really want. They make their beers approachable, but always add their own little twist.
I feel like this is what San Francisco is all about.
On the outside, it’s approachable, but when you really get into it, there’s a twist, something to fall in love with.
Their 4 main beers are in cans, for the same reasons as Speakeasy stated. It’s much cleaner, environmentally sustainable, better for the beer, and have a total oxygen barrier.
However, they do not have a cannery on their site.
They use a service called The Can Van, which goes to the brewery 3-4 times a week.
I had never heard of anything like this before, I thought it was really cool.
I mean, seriously, there is a service for anything.
The mobile service is serving well for their needs right now, I think having a cannery in the space that they have right now would make it way too cramped.
Plus it goes back to their goal of really wanting to be rooted in San Francisco, by supporting another local business.
Another company here in San Francisco, Manual, designed their entire brand.
Most of it was inspired by the actual Fort Point.
The cans have a matte finish instead of a shiny finish, which makes them very interesting to look out.
Each of the can’s bottoms have the same design, but the top represents their name, type, inspiration.
They all have their own personality, on the outside and the inside.
Casey took me over to this giant monitor on the wall, they apparently control all of the temperatures by computer, this helps them to create a beer that is more consistent.
She walked away for a moment and I snapped a few photos.
It’s time for the tasting.
I mean, 10:30am is okay for drinking right?
It is for work.
We start off with their flagship beer, KSA.
It’s also their most popular beer.
Casey describes it as good for non-beer drinkers. Easy on the tongue, a little sweet, something to just sip and enjoy.
I smell it, it smells really sweet.
On first taste I get a great almost honey flavor, on the end it’s wheaty.
It’s a Kölsch Style Ale, with a mix of Munich and Vienna malts.
It’s a lot brighter than most Kölsch style’s that I’ve had in the past.
It’s only 4.6% ABV and 17IBU, so it’s almost completely the opposite of what I had at Speakeasy.
This was Justin’s recipe, he wanted it clean. He had come up with the concept while at Mill Valley Beerworks, but finalized it when they came over to Fort Point.
It’s Mike’s recipe.
It was originally called ‘Drinking in the Park,’ to give you the feel of drinking Dolores park on a sunny day.
This beer is wonderful.
It’s crisp like a blonde, but has a little bit of a hop to it.
Casey said that they made it session style, which explains the hop.
You get a wheat taste at first, with a hoppy and dry finish.
The Citra hops that they use gives this beer a citrus taste. But not bitter, like grapefruit. More like a tangerine.
It’s not that much stronger than the KSA though, it’s 4.7% ABV with 19 IBU.
What drew me to this beer at first was the name. I lived near Westphalia, Texas as a kid. The founders from Westphalia (Westfalia) Germany.
This beer was inspired by Mike’s trip to Germany.
You get a lot of baker’s chocolate taste and almost a roasted taste.
It has a chocolate nose, but a slight hop to it.
This beer is the least carbonated.
It feels lighter than most reds that I’ve had before. It’s 5.6% ABV with 16 IBU, so it is definitely restrained.
I’m currently drinking a glass of the Westphalia that I picked up from the Ferry Building on Wednesday.
I take a sip and it’s warm down my throat. It is definitely a beer for relaxing.
They used it as a base for a specialty beer called Manzanita. It was a collaboration with a German brewery called Friegiest.
This specialty beer is supposed to give you a feeling of hiking Mount Tam or, well any mountain where you are at.
They add in charred Manzanita during the wart process.
I’m excited to try this one soon!
It sounds like a campfire in a bottle.
This is their ode to San Francisco.
It’s a San Francisco IPA, which isn’t really a thing, but I’m pretty sure they are going to make it a thing.
It’s the most hoppy beer that they have, but not the most that I have ever tasted. It’s good, floral, sip-a-ble, not bitter.
They use Mosaic, Hallertau Blanc, Summer, and Centennial hops throughout the brewing process.
This beer reminds me most of San Francisco, not just because of the IPA craze, but because it’s sweet at first, then wheat next, and then a tiny amount of bitter. It is smooth and different.
From the outside it looks normal, but when you really get into it, it’s different and special.
It’s 42 IBUs, so definitely has more hop flavor, but it doesn’t burn your tongue.
Casey said that the fun fact about this beer is that it is gluten reduced. Something chemical happens during the process that really reduces the gluten and she has gluten sensitive friends who drank this and didn’t get sick or feel weird afterwards.
We finished up by speaking about their hopes for the future.
She said they really want to put on a festival, which would be cool, because they would really be able to show their passion to the world.
They want to ramp up production and keep growing and some point grow out.
They currently have a pseudo-tasting room at the Ferry Building, which is where I go. But they would love to open a better tasting room, where people can really sit, enjoy beer, and enjoy food.
With more production, they want more seasonal products. Especially a specialty IPA release every season, because this is San Francisco and we love our IPAs.
A lot of the people who work there grew up in the Bay Area and San Francisco history is a huge part of who and what they are.
It is their identity.
If you are ever in San Francisco, go to the Ferry Building and try these wonderful beers! Tell them that you heard about them from MomNoms!
So we leave in a couple of days, I have posts scheduled for you guys, and an inside look of some English establishments! Be excited!
Do you have a favorite beer?
Let me know below what it is! I’d love to try it!