Nearly seven months after opening their San Francisco Presidio brewery, Fort Point Beer Company already has much to boast: a 325 barrel output system, collaboration beers with the likes of Mikkeller and Freigeist, and an ongoing slew of tap nights at local San Francisco bars that showcase the brewery’s unique flavor.
The latest event was last Thursday, July 24, at the Ave Bar off Ocean in SF’s Ingleside neighborhood. Fort Point featured four beers on the Ave’s tap system along with local brewery, Cerveceria De Mateveza. On tap were Fort Point’s Villager IPA, Westfalia rotbier, KSA Kolsch style and Park – all readily available offerings from the brewery.
Nights like last Thursdays at the Ave are common for Fort Point. After opening their brewery in January on Old Mason Street, a rocks throw from the Golden Gate Bridge, the brewing outfit has lined up multiple events per month at local bars to feature their beers.
“We’re really busy this month, we have one [tap night] every week,” Mike Schnebeck, head brewer of Fort Point, said.
The events not only give Fort Point the opportunity to get their beer out in the city, but give Schnebeck a feedback loop to know how bars and drinkers are responding to the beers.
“I’m always interested in what people think,” Schnebeck said. “It’s nice because these beers mean something to me and taste a certain way, so it’s cool to see how different people interpret them.”
Categorizing Fort Point’s beers has proven to be difficult, as all of their beers blend different styles together and take unique approaches to traditional beer genres.
The brewery’s Westfalia is a perfect example, clocking in at 5.6 percent alcohol and delivering notes of caramel, molasses and smooth sweet textures. A German rotbier style, the Westfalia is very balanced, smooth and pushes the genre boundaries of its taste into scotch ale territory.
Their recent collaboration with Sebastien Sauer of Freigest produced a beer inspired by their Westfalia, but brewed with charred manzanita wood chips and smoked malt.
As Fort Point’s beers make appearances throughout the Bay Area, putting a face to the operation producing the beers is very important to their grassroots approach.
“For me, it’s cool to meet people that are involved in the making of the beers and establishing a relationship” Schnebeck said. “It’s nice that we can go out and hang out with people and try out beer together.”
“We’re really committed to quality in our brews and in our interaction with the public. We want to show people that working with a local company can be rewarding in many ways.”
Fort Point is regularly featured around San Francisco bars, including Hopwater Distribution, and posts events to their Facebook page. They will also be pouring at the San Francisco Brewers Guild event, Brews on the Bay, Saturday, September 13.