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Monday, November 8, 2010

S.F.'s Brewpub Explosion: Southern Pacific Brewing

Posted By on Mon, Nov 8, 2010 at 3:38 PM

click to enlarge Southern Pacific Brewing's 8,500-square-foot brewpub at 620 Treat could open as soon as February 2011.
  • Southern Pacific Brewing's 8,500-square-foot brewpub at 620 Treat could open as soon as February 2011.

To the north, the Oregon Brewers Guild lists almost 30 different breweries operating in the Portland metro area, thereby earning the city its nom de bière, Beervana. Down south, the San Diego Brewers Guild rattles off 25 distinct breweries operating in San Diego County. Yet, whereas this map pinpoints the dozens of breweries operating in the greater Bay Area, in San Francisco ― not counting Anchor ― the SF Brewers Guild boasts seven fellow fermenters. That's about to change, starting early next year.

San Francisco is poised to witness a rash of new breweries. Over the next five days, we'll give you the heads up on five gearing up to quench your thirst for local suds.

In the Mission, Southern Pacific Brewing is likely to be the first of this new crop to start brewing and serving fresh ales and lagers. S.F. native Chris Lawrence (former sales manager for Speakeasy) and Cal alumnus Anthony LaVia (Gestalt, Matador) got hops fiends salivating when word got out about their plans to open Central Market Brewing, but that deal fell through. That's when a friend with warehouse space at 620 Treat (near Folsom and 19th Street) brought an 8,500-square-foot space to their attention a year ago. Now it's all about lining up those ducks.

Look for this brewpub to offer indoor/outdoor seating for over 200. Though plans call for a full bar, former Speakeasy brewer Andy French will helm the 15-barrel brew system that once belonged to the Potrero Brewing Co. (2000-2002) to create more common styles at first ― pale ales, IPAs, lagers ― and ideally, more experimental and barrel-aged beers down the road, says Lawrence. The food offerings will lean toward pub grub (burgers, pizzas, salads), with the head chef TBD. But how hard could it be to find kitchen talent around here?

Lawrence says the name is borrowed from the old Southern Pacific Railroad line that ended at Treat, extra fitting given the area's industrial zoning. Ideally, it will be open in time for SF Beer Week, which kicks off Feb. 11, but don't hold your mug aloft just yet. We may have to wait until later in the spring pending permits and licensing.

For updates, either sit patiently outside 620 Treat or "like" Southern Pacific Brewing on Facebook .

Follow us on Twitter: @sfoodie. Follow Brian Yaeger at @yaeger.

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