San Francisco, the promised land of craft beer, has attracted a friend from down under: Australian brewery Little Creatures will open a Mission Bay microbrewery and restaurant this summer.
The brewery has secured a plum spot adjacent to Oracle Park and easily accessible to Chase Center in the bottom of the very sleek (and very expensive) One Mission Bay condo development. It’s joining a cadre of already popular, nearby breweries in the South of Market area including Black Hammer, 21st Amendment, Cellarmaker, and a huge new operation in the works from Seven Stills. Recently, a planned Mission Bay outpost of San Diego’s Ballast Point (owned by beverage giant Constellation Brands) was scrapped in April.
San Francisco’s location (1000 A, 3rd Street) is just one in Little Creature’s expanding empire. After it was purchased by Lion (a subsidiary of Kirin) in 2012, more breweries have popped up in Asia and Australia, with another planned for London. The company’s expansion to San Francisco coincides with a power shift for local craft breweries: hometown hero Anchor Steam was purchased by Sapporo, Petaluma’s Lagunitas was gobbled up by beer giant Heineken, and Magnolia Brewing is now owned by Colorado’s largest craft brewery New Belgium Brewing.
Unlike many NorCal brewers, Little Creatures was built upon hop-driven pale ale, rather than high-alcohol IPAs (many of its beers hover at around just five percent abv). When the Western Australian brewery opened in 2000 in Fremantle, it quickly became known for its American pale ale before expanding with pilsners, session ales, an XPA, and more. (Fun fact: The name is a reference to the unpredictable little organisms (yeast) that ferment beer and make each brew unique.)
In Mission Bay, the tap list will include a selection of special, local beers brewed onsite, plus the brewery’s signature brews (like the aforementioned pale ale) that’ve been imported from Australia. In addition to beer, there’ll also be wines on tap, with selections from America, Australia and New Zealand, and cider.
Design will be handled by Avroko, the design firm behind other Bay Area hits like Single Thread and China Live. It’s divided into three spaces: the main bar and restaurant with 24 taps, a retail area and cafe with cans and growlers for purchase, coffee, and pre-packaged food items to take away called the Canteen, and the “brew lab,” a small private dining room and education space with six taps.
When it opens later this summer, Little Creatures will be operate daily from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.