Brewery Name: Standard Deviant Brewing
Type of Brewery: Retail Brewery
Location: San Francisco, CA
Facebook: Standard Deviant Brewing
Background: In my forever-expanding goal of visiting all craft breweries in San Francisco proper, my latest quest brought me to Standard Deviant Brewing. It's nestled into a really fun part of the city that is home to some top notch beer bars like Zeitgeist and not far from some other spots like Black Sands. I had heard about the concept of pinball clubs in San Francisco, but didn't realize until I arrived that Standard Deviant takes part in this fad. It adds a level of fun to an already very laid back setting that includes giant Jenga, food trucks, simple beer names, and a very social setup.
Growlers: Yes! And I believe all beers are available to be growlered. They sell full and half sized growlers of their own in case you come empty handed.
The Beers: With half pours at three bucks apiece, I couldn’t resist trying all eight beers they had on tap. They modestly name most of their beers only by the style, which is an ode to their focus on experience and not on gimmicky names or marketing. There is definitely a German-style vibe to a lot of their offerings, but it's a decently large spread for such a modest style list. Here are a few of the highlights:
Vibe: Standard Deviant does an amazing job of feeling like a local destination. This is the type of place I'd love to live a bit closer to, and would absolutely be a regular at. It's also the type of setting that would appeal to any craft beer fan who has dreamed of opening a brewery of their own.
The face of the building doesn't attempt to mess with the natural facade of their industrial-style building. A massive garage door is the way in and out, and other than a small sign streetside, it's relatively indistinguishable. That huge doorway opens up into a seating area comprised mostly of wooden picnic tables that you're free to move around to fit your group and a massive solid wood bar. I don’t know this for certain, but I’d like to think that the bar (and art hanging behind it) are some sort of redwood or sequoia cut from the coast. Pictures fail to do this sort of thing justice but a single piece of wood that big is really impressive in person.
The "single big room" feel includes a wall of kegs, a clear sightline into the brewing section and cooler, and access to all sorts of games. Oh, and pinball. While pinball isn’t something I've ever really paid much mind to, it's clearly a popular hobby for many. They've got a handful of machines that are available for play and are also used for pinball club events that the brewery hosts.
I visited late in the afternoon on a Saturday and the place was packed, but it seemed to be mostly locals who weren't in any hurry. The resulting vibe was extremely low key for how many people there were. The staff didn't seem to be fazed by the massive amount of people and were constantly attending to empty glasses, offering their recommendations, and asking how we liked our beers whenever they came by.
Dogs: Yes! And unequivocally. This section is very often unclear to me, and I try to be ambiguous if I'm not sure, but dogs are welcome at Standard Deviant!
Price ($ to $$$$$): $. Some of the best craft beer pricing I've come across in San Francisco. All beers are offered at $6 for a pint and $3 for a half. I didn't notice any posted pricing for growlers, but, based on the pour prices, I have to assume it's at least fair.
Food: No food from Standard Deviant other than a chip rack, but they're seemingly always pairing up with some sort of food truck or local kitchen. The day I visited, a local BBQ joint had set up a grill and was offering ribs, pulled pork, and all sorts of other goodness.
Final Thoughts: What a great local spot. The beer is designed to be simple and satisfying. If you're looking for an uppity bar with all sorts of flavors and alternative brewing methods, this is not your spot. But if you want somewhere you're guaranteed to enjoy drinking a bunch of solid craft beer, Standard Deviant is it.
Drink With Us
Three friends. Three corners of the country. One passion for beer.
Heady Topper. Focal Banger. What Could Be Better than a Trip to The Alchemist?
The Hills Are Alive (with Incredible Beer) at von Trapp Brewing
Get Out of the City and Into Woods Beer Co.