A trip with my wife to The City is always an opportunity to check out breweries. I agree to look at art that seems to go on for ever (not that there's anything wrong with that) and in exchange, she agrees to go sample beers with me afterwards. Getting ready for this day I used the Beer Finder on my own Beer Diary... blog and did a search for breweries near the area we would be in.
As I browsed through my options I noticed a brewery I'd never heard of before and after scanning through what kind things the Yelpers had to say about it, I printed up a Google map and we headed North for art and beers at Southern Pacific Brewing.
Located on 620 Treat Ave. in the Mission district, SPB is housed in a 10,000 square foot warehouse type building near the old rail lines of the Southern Pacific Railroad. With an industrial feel from corrugated steel siding and an over sized commercial fan that hangs from a lofted ceiling, this onetime turn of the century machine shop really gives you the feeling of the history of the neighborhood. Their menu states that - "our craft beers are influenced by the Mission's industrious past - from the Southern Pacific's rail lines that crossed through the Mission to the Broadway Brewery that operated at 19th and Treat."
Side note: The Broadway Brewery was built in 1885 by Jacob Adams and his family after their first brewery burned down. They, along with the Schuster and Clarke families ultimately formed the historic Acme Beer and the California Brewing Assoc. Some of the original Steam Beer brewers.
We pulled up in front and were able to park immediately, a miracle for this city. At the entrance is outdoor seating at a dozen picnic benches where a small crowd of city dwellers in the twenty-something age bracket were enjoying the beer garden. Once inside I was amazed at the spaciousness of the place. Lots of room to move around and a large second story loft with even more seating. Past the loft and kitchen was the brewery but this day I wasn't able to get close enough to investigate the operation. I did get a glance of the brewers at work through the reflection of a big mirror that was leaning against an adjacent wall. I had to make the assumption that one of them was the head brewer for SPR, Andy French.
I ordered a sampler of the house beers and saw that they also had a nice selection of taps from the competition to choose from not to mention a full bar.
I tasted my way through seven of Pacific's beers while enjoying the sun with the others in the patio area. A crisp clean West coast style pale ale that had a pine and wood quality that was most enjoyable followed by two different IPA's although the earthy hop schedule was very similar for both. Then, an amber ale that was nicely balanced, a stout with cold pressed coffee flavors and finally a phenolic spicy Belgian Wit with a sweet finish that had been aged in Chardonnay barrels for six months, pretty good. Generally speaking, the beers were clean and well made but there were no moments of Wow! I ordered a pint of the pale at the regular price of only $3.00 (that price was a Wow) and was satisfied with the quality, drinkability and affordability as I sat outside listening to music from the 70's and 80's.
This was a great way to end a long gruelling day of art viewing. Did I say gruelling? I meant enjoyable.
Next time you're in the City, frustrated with the traffic and lack of parking and you want a good beer, I would highly recommend Southern Pacific Brewing. Cheers!