Beer and whiskey fans, it’s happening: Seven Stills, the buzzy local brewery and distillery, is tapping the barrels at its massive new flagship location in Mission Bay, which officially opens today. An ambitious 22,500 square feet, the facility is the largest for an independently owned distillery in San Francisco, and the only one in the city that combines a craft beer brewery and spirits distillery in a single space. Known for pouring both craft beer and strong whiskey, Seven Stills specializes in hazy IPAs, a murky-looking style that’s been trending, and also uses those brews as a starter to make its whiskey.
The brewery’s new flagship is pouring beer, whiskey, and cocktails; serving a full food menu; and hosting tours and tastings, as well as private events. The facility is in the same complex as Adobe, and a 15-minute walk (or stumble) to Chase Center, the new home of the Warriors, and not much further to Oracle Park. It promises to be a destination for beer and whiskey nerds, a convenient after-work hangout for software engineers, and a hub for sports fans, all within a rapidly developing neighborhood. “We’re ready to get slammed on game days,” confirms co-founder Tim Obert. “And already booked for so many tech parties.”
The big industrial space is decked out with high ceilings, black beams, and copper accents. There are two bars — a full bar and another one that specializes in whiskey — as well as an indoor dining room and outdoor beer garden. An open staircase connects lounges on the first and second floors (upstairs won’t open until December) complete with couches, screens, pool tables, and a view of the scene. There are a couple of secluded corners set up with long tables for private parties. Altogether, the space can hold upwards of several hundred people. That’s just the front of the house — a big glass window into the warehouse reveals two huge copper pot stills, imported from Scotland, and, further back, 14 gigantic fermentation tanks.
For sports fans who want to soak up all that beer and whiskey, the food menu should be a home run — Obert is already confident the bestsellers will be the burger, with double-stacked patties and caramelized shallots, and the fried chicken sandwich, which features spicy slaw and “fancy mayo.” The menu builds on the options at the brewery’s other two locations in the Mission and Outer Sunset, but the flagship has added even more options, with butter-chicken poutine, fried avocado tacos, seared salmon, and grilled tri-tip. The Seven Stills whiskey even makes a direct appearance in the whiskey-glazed wings and a sauce for seared salmon.
It’s a whole new look for a couple of local brewers who still bring their dogs to work and wander around in flip-flops. Co-founders Tim Obert and Clint Potter, college buddies who came through the brewers’ program at UC Davis, started making beer out of Potter’s backyard in 2012. Originally in the Dogpatch, they were in the Bayview for six years, before closing that facility to open the Mission Bay flagship. Obert says they’ve expanded from 4,000 to 22,500 square feet, and wound up raising $11 million in order to make the move. Seven Stills joins the big Australian brewery Little Creatures, which recently opened a 6,300-square-foot taproom in the neighborhood near the stadiums. But as a couple of locals, still making their own beer and whiskey and running their own business, Seven Stills hopes to get a better turnout — as the home team.