August 5th, 2010

Secret, Local Nanobreweries

Elizabeth & Clara Street Breweries
Elizabeth Street Brewery Pub.jpg

Still searching for that quaint, neighborhood pub “where everybody knows your name?”

Say “Cheers” at a couple clandestine spots in the City: The Elizabeth Street Brewery and Clara Street Brewery. Limited to under 200 gallons of craft beer each year, these underground speakeasies are a celebration of homebrewing… the adventure of concocting both traditional and exotic brews. There are no rude bouncers or posted hours. Instead, there’s an ethos that if the door is open, walk on in. You’ll enjoy a serendipitous afternoon drinking beers and sharing laughs amongst friends.

Elizabeth Street Brewery Sign.jpgElizabeth Street Brewery, nestled in a renovated storage room, is a “pub for the people, by the people.” Homebrewing since 2003, owner Richard Brewer-Hay’s dream is to open a full-scale family brewpub in Noe Valley. (As for his name, you can’t make this stuff up.) He is currently brewing out of the ultimate man cave… a storage room renovated over a long weekend by the TLC version of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Each brew is named after a family member, including a tribute to his grandfather, Imperial Jack, recently featured at SF’s popular 21st Amendment brewpub.

Clara Street Brewery - Bryan.jpgClara Street Brewery is the brainchild of Bryan Hermannsson, a bioengineer and bone researcher with UCSF. He is captivated by the science of homebrewing… the complex flavors, aromas, colors and textures of beer. To share his passion, Bryan has offered to teach a Homebrewing 101 class in his lab– a garage he shares with an up-and-coming rock band and a creaky truck. Drop him an email at While Budweiser must brew the same lager each time, each of his creations is an exotic concoction. Spoiler alert: this week’s chamomile is a better beer than tea.

Put away your wallet. The only currency accepted is a clink of the glasses and a smile from a new friend.

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The Details:
   Elizabeth Street Brewery
   798 Elizabeth Street (x Douglass Street)

   Clara Street Brewery
Photo credit: Richard Brewer-Hey

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