by Brian Stechschulte... May 16, 2014

Going-Upright---Triple-Voodoo-Brewing

In case you haven’t noticed, beer is booming in San Francisco. Fort Point Beer launched in the Presidio earlier this year. Then Triple Voodoo Brewing went from contract brewer to brewery owner in the Dogpatch. Just a few blocks away, Magnolia’s new brewery at Smokestack is ramping up production. On top of all that, at least ten more breweries are in various stages of planning and development.

So how many breweries can the thirsty residents of San Francisco support? That’s an all too common question these days. There’s no easy answer, but comparing our brewing past with the present, on a per capita basis, offers an intriguing perspective.

San Francisco has a rich brewing history. Over 100 different breweries of all shapes and sizes have operated in the city since the Gold Rush. Back in 1900, according to the Crocker-Langley city directory, thirty-four breweries plied their trade in San Francisco. The city’s population at that time was 342,782. That works out to one brewery per 10,082 residents.

In 2013, fourteen brick and mortar breweries were operating in San Francisco. Unfortunately, the number of breweries hasn’t kept pace with the city’s population, which according to one estimate topped 837,442 residents last year. As a result, there was one brewery per 59,817 residents.

Breweries-Per-Residents-Small

Of course a lot has changed over 113 years, like drinking habits and demographics, just to name a few things, but clearly we have room to grow. Regardless of the exact number, it’s an exciting time to drink beer. More choices and exciting flavors are on the way as our community of brewers continues to expand.