Presidio-based brewery Fort Point Beer Co. has been given the green light to add a new, smaller brewing operation and a family-friendly restaurant and taproom to the Mission headquarters of bag manufacturer Timbuk2. Planning Commissioners approved the project yesterday in a 4 to 3 vote, and Fort Point hopes to be up and running sometime next fall.
Timbuk2, a 20-year-old company located at 20th and Shotwell, invited Fort Point to cohabitate this summer, filling extra space and helping to drive business. Currently, Fort Point’s beers are available to customers in widely-distributed cans and on draught at bars, but the company’s direct-to-consumer presence has been limited, with just a small taproom in the Ferry Building.
“Manufacturing in San Francisco is really difficult,” says Justin Catalana, who founded Fort Point with his brother Tyler in 2014. For both his brewery and Timbuk2, “being able to sell products directly to consumers offsets the high cost of operating here.”
During the approval process, some neighbors voiced complaints regarding the number of bars in the neighborhood. Shotwell’s bar, the Homestead, and Southern Pacific, a large, 21+ brewpub with a full liquor license, are nearby.
“There was some concern from some in the neighborhood that this would be raucous and rowdy place,” says Catalana, who emphasizes that children will be welcome in the all-ages space. “I’m sure it’ll be busy at times, — but that’s just not us.”
After what he describes as a lot of neighborhood outreach and letters of support from local organizations like CUESA, SFMADE, and 826 Valencia, “Ultimately, the planning commission thought this project would help benefit local manufacturing,” Catalan says.
Stay tuned for more on the brewpub as it proceeds: In terms of beer, expect “a lot more variation,” than has been typical in cans, says Catalan. “We’ll be using it a little more as a research and development brewer.” Visitors to the taproom can also stick around for the “bonafide kitchen and food menu,” which is still being devised.