As we’ve mentioned before, one type of common non-technical startup that can be found in San Francisco is the independent microbrewery. Last week we decided to check out one such establishment in SOMA, the 21st Amendment Brewery. We got there a little early for happy hour, and we wanted to check out the brewery to see the process for ourselves, so we first went to the back and caught a glimpse of several of their signature beers fermenting in the back through a window on the upper floor.There was also this highly amusing painting hanging on the wall depicting many of the prominent San Francisco independent brewers, vaguely in the style of “The Last Supper.” It was so wide I couldn’t catch the whole picture here. The quote hanging on the back wall is the popular misquote of Ben Franklin’s: “Beer is proof that god loves us and wants us to be happy.”
We did of course sample the local inventions. Avi wanted to try several of the beers to get a real test of the brewer’s skills, so he got a flight, featuring the flavors of a watermelon wheat ale, a beer infused with red wine, a darker stout with coffee, a belgian golden ale, and a full-bodied Oktoberfest (I got the full version, foreground).
Overall we were quite satisfied with the selection and the tastes. It was an excellent precursor to the next restaurant we went to in our excursions throughout the city that day, a hole-in-the-wall Mexican place. More on that next!
This #LaborDayWeekend, we thought we would celebrate the #SanFrancisco way. It is well known that SF has the highest concentration of start-ups in the world, especially in areas of technology. Of course, we at Nowcado fall into this category, but you may not have realized that San Francisco is also a great place to find a totally different kind of startup – microbreweries! Having a beer is a typical part of standard Labor Day events, so in the spirit of supporting our fellow entrepreneurs, we decided to check out a few such establishments in the city, and the products they had to offer.
As with any startup, the key to success is differentiation from your competitors, and understanding what appeals to your customers. It was fairly obvious to us that these brewcrafters had it down to a science. Everything from the catchy, unapologetic names of the beers to the unorthodox ingredients made sure to leave a lasting impression – there were too many intriguing options to try them all (though we certainly tried)! Most remarkable is the diversity of the styles, from Belgian lagers to tripels, custom IPAs, wheat, barley, or even oatmeal ales, infusions with chocolate, citrus, herbs and spices, and several styles we had never even heard of before. Each new beer is “tested” with the brewery’s customers, like any great startup product, and refined by adding or adjusting ingredients based on feedback over several weeks. After the brewer (and customers) are satisfied, the beer will start to be distributed to the various stores and restaurants where that local brewery’s products are available. So if you’re an avid beta tester of new products, don’t forget to check out the new products at your local microbreweries.