Babes and Beers: 3 New Family-Friendly Breweries

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Craving a craft beer but kicking it with a few underagers? Time to check out one of these newly opened San Francisco breweries, each of which take happy families as seriously as their hops. All three of these new spots offer early dinners (some with tempting kids menus)—the perfect excuse to hit happy hour and still make it back home by for bath time.
Sunset reservoir Burger

Photo credit: Sunset Reservoir Brewing Company

Sunset Reservoir Brewing Company
Outer Sunset recently got a lot cooler with this brand new, super family friendly restaurant and brewery. The owner, a mother of four daughters, is always happy to see families coming in. It is not a problem to hang out here with fellow families and a crew of kids. Lunch or early dinner are the best times to accommodate large parties and exploring toddlers. And Sunset Reservoir offers a menu for kiddos that they can keep and color during the meal. For $9 you could get spaghetti and veggies, or a choice of cheeseburger, chicken tenders or fish served with fries.

Sunset Reservoir Photo credit: Sunset Reservoir Brewing Company

Don’t expect an extensive beer list though, as the place is just getting started and only offers five house-made options. Try their Sour Wheat made with their own sourdough starter; it tastes like a liquid piece of bread. Another sweet thing about this place is the dessert menu, designed by Devil’s Teeth Baking company—a local favorite. Our vote goes to the “beer tiramisu” a perfect mix of cream, beer infused biscuits and coffee.

Insider tip: On the first floor, you’ll find unisex bathroom with a changing table.

1735 Noriega St.
San Francisco, Ca
Online: Sunset Reservoir Brewing Company

Smokestack with kid
Photo credit: Thomas R via Yelp

After a long wait, Magnolia Brewing company, born in a Haight Street basement sixteen years ago, finally opened its own pub in the trendy Dogpatch neighborhood. Smokestack is split into two areas: the bar on the left and the eatery with long wooden tables and benches on the right. Families love this rustic-chic brewpub for its relaxed atmosphere. The spot is spacious, which makes it easy for toddlers to walk around and for strollers to be put aside. This brewery also offers two great distractions: an open kitchen where your little one can observe how a butcher works and gets the barbecue meat ready; and from a back deck (and through a child-safe rail) they will be able to overlook the brewing areas.

smokestackPhoto: Smokestack

The menu here is quite simple, you choose a meat and add a side if you want. Customers love the brisket and the chopped pork. For kids, make sure to ask for a non spicy version of the meat dish you want, and as a side you could get rice, beans or macaroni salad. Everything is delicious and cooked to perfection, though keep in mind that the portions are small and the prices on the high end. As far as beers, if you want to be surprised try one of the varieties stored in a wooden barrel. They are served room temperature, and with less fizz than usual. Smokestack is conveniently open from 11:30 a.m. until midnight. When coming with a lot of kids, early lunch and dinners are encouraged as the place is more likely to be empty. Note that they do not have high chairs, booster seats or changing tables.

2505 3rd St.
San Francisco, Ca
Online: Smokestack

Barrel Head BrewhousePhoto: Barrel Head Brewhouse

Barrel Head Brewhouse
A great new addition to NoPa, as it is the first and only brewery in this hood. Opened a year ago, Barrel Head is an interesting addition to the micro brewery scene in the city, as it offers a great variety of original brews. You’ll find some Mexican, German, and English style house-brewed beers. If you can, try to get a table in the brewing room. You’ll sit in front of the big tank where the beers are brewed, and maybe even see the master brewers in action.

Photo credit: via Barrel Head Brewhouse Facebook page

Dinner here begins at 4.30 p.m., right in the middle of the “hoppy hour” during which you’ll get $2 off almost any alcoholic drink. Brunch and early dinner are the best time to come with the family. There is no kids menu, but if you ask for it they’ll typically put together a grilled cheese sandwich. The place does not have a ton of extra space, so squirmy kids may not make for the best guests. we found this place more appropriate for young kids and snoozing babies as opposed to toddlers. Note that after 8 p.m., the brewhouse becomes more of an adult only place.

1785 Fulton St.
San Francisco, Ca
Online: Barrel Head Brewhouse

Have you been to any of these new breweries? Any tips to add for families? Tell us in the comments below! 

—Charlotte Burgoyne