Hop To It

Southern Pacific, the Mission's only brewery, opens

Slowly but surely, San Francisco is becoming a beer town again.

The evidence is mounting: a cicerone here, a beer garden there–and now, with the opening of Southern Pacific in the Mission, a new brewery.

Chris Lawrence and brewer Danny French have transformed a former machine shop on Treat Street into an 8,500-square-foot brewpub. It's a soaring, expansive space soon to be overrun with a million birthday gatherings and happy-hour hordes.

French is currently brewing six beers, producing about 465 gallons weekly. On a warm afternoon, we'd happily sip Southern Pacific's California Blonde, a golden ale that's mildly hopped and majorly, pleasantly floral ($4 a pint).

When the fog rolls in, the Porter is like a warm blanket, toasty and rich, with notes of coffee and chocolate ($5 a pint).

The pub fare is traditional: burgers, pizzas, fried things. But beer makes its way into many of the dishes–the Blonde in a brine for the pastrami, served on rye with pickles ($11); the Porter added to a dry salami on the charcuterie plate; and the Pale Ale spiking a caramel sauce that adds a bittersweet note to the vanilla ice cream float.

Southern Pacific Brewing, 620 Treat Ave. (at 19th St.); 415-341-0152 or southernpacificbrewing.com