San Francisco’s only home beer-brewing supply store has closed. San Francisco Brewcraft operated out of the space at 17th Avenue and Clement Street in the Richmond District for almost 30 years and sold home-brew supplies to several enthusiasts who went on to start their own Bay Area breweries.
“Everybody who’s still in the brewing industry in San Francisco has had some sort of relationship with S.F. Brewcraft. The culture of craft breweries in San Francisco, many of us met there and started there. We were all super-obsessed, and all came up together in the same group. We all built real breweries. We gotta buy on a bigger scale now,” Local Brewing Co. founder Regan Long told The Chronicle.
Photo Credit: San Francisco Brewcraft/Facebook
San Francisco Brewcraft helped hone the skills of brewers that went on to establish well-known local craft beer brands like Harmonic Brewing, Speakeasy Ales & Lagers, and Fort Point Beer Co.
“The modern craft beer movement grew out of the creativity of home-brewing in a lot of ways,” Jesse Friedman, co-founder of Almanac Beer Co. in Alameda, told the Chronicle. San Francisco Brewcraft opened in the mid-90s, and the craft beer scene has exponentially expanded. The Brewers Association claims in 1995 there were just over 850 breweries in the U.S. By 2021, there were more than 9,200.
Greg and Barbara Miller bought Brewcraft from its original owners in 1999 before selling it just before the pandemic to Suket Mahal. The Chronicle spoke to the store’s longtime manager, Andre Sanchez, who says the decision to close was purely financial, and online beer supply stores have gobbled up most of the business. However, Sanchez claims that the store was about a passion for beer-making, and its premise was never to make a ton of money.
Brewcraft Manager Andre Sanchez. | Photo Credit: San Francisco Brewcraft/Facebook
Some believe that the number of home brewers has died off over the past few years because of the saturation of craft beer and the huge selections available at nearly every market or corner store. “Today, if you want a jalapeño mango pilsner, you have multiple to choose from on the shelves at beer shops. The modern craft beer movement grew out of the creativity of home-brewing in a lot of ways,” Friedman told The Chronicle.
With San Francisco Brewcraft now closed, Sanchez recommends that people who need home brew supplies visit Oak Barrel Winecraft in Berkeley.