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Mikkeller Bar

Not Rated.
Mikkeller BarMikkeller Bar
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26 Reviews
Reviews: 26
Visits: 126
Avg: 4.4
pDev: n/a
Taps: 40
Bottles: 5
Cask: Y
[ Bar, Eatery ]

34 Mason St
San Francisco, California, 94102-2806
United States
phone: (415) 984-0279

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @mikkellerbarsf

Place added by: MasterSki on 07-17-2013

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Place: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 26 | Visits: 126
Photo of Gavage
4.6/5  rDev +4.5%

The atmopshere here is a bit dark, despite the light woods and brick walls. Definte warehouse feel here. A U-shaped bar seats about 20. Some tables and benches are available for dining. There was about 40 beers on draft and a decent number of bottles. The beers I had over two trips were all fresh and tasty. Service was mellow which fit the vibe of the place.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.49/5  rDev +2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Everything about Mikkeller bar was about what i was expecting it to be - swanky hip modern decor, very crowded, very expensive, very interesting and appealing taps, bottles and food.

The Tenderloin location is convenient to City Beer/Cellarmaker - the hip space results in a pretty trendy environment, but it really only took a few minutes to land two seats at the bar. I didnt really explore the sour room in the basement.

I definitely respect the sophistication of the tap system which allows variable temperatures depending on the beer - not something you see very often. The tap list was a little hard to navigate - with oddly named beers from Mikkeller clogging the visual field and very expensive de struise pours occupying much of the Belgian selection.

The bottle list was strong, with a heavy focus on sour/wild ales. An impromptu gueuze sessions consisting of 3F, Hanssens, Cantillon St Gilloise was a nice touch for the evening.

Food seems strong - surprisingly not opting to go for small/large plates of eclectic euro fare, but instead focusing on a few sandwiches and a good selection of house-made sausages. The reuben was excellent.

I enjoyed this place, but it's certainly going to turn a lot of people off.

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Photo of GRG1313
3.21/5  rDev -27%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 3.25 | service: 3.25 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5

This is somewhat of a "nonevent" for a beer place. In fact, it's much more a high end bar that happens to have a cool vibe and neat "Mikkeller art" on the wall. The selection of beer, even Mikkeller, is nothing special - in fact, probably worse than most places. There are only 3 beers made special for the S.F. Mikkeller bar - otherwise, you can find everything else on your store shelf.

Very high end bar feeling and good food served "high end." However, this is a place sure to disappoint if you're going for the beer. Just my opinion.

This place has a world-class rating which I don't understand coming from beer people. This is one of the worst beer places I've ever been! Very cool and high fashioned if you want to take a date for a drink and hip dinner; but nothing as a beer place.

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Photo of orangesol
4.33/5  rDev -1.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Stopped in here for dinner last night, had some pretty high expectations for this place after hearing such great things over the last few months. Atmosphere was hopping. People all over the bar area enjoying themselves, we lucked into a table so we got seated really quickly, it got really busy over the course of our visit. Service was a little hit or miss. Our first guy was good but then he completely disappeared and we then were served by another guy who was stretched pretty thin and only came around once or twice. Quality was as I expected it would be, top notch. Selection was awesome. Tons of beers on-tap, all served at the correct temperatures, and a top notch bottle list to accompany it. I was able to get a Double Chocolate Bomb! on cask from Prairie that was left over from the night before and then I got a bottle off the list, great all around. Food was really good, I just wish there were a few more options. Prices were definitely high across the board so be prepared to pay a premium. Overall an awesome beer bar, albeit a pricey one. I would definitely return next time I am in town.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.53/5  rDev +3%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Visited a couple of times during their soft opening period. Was extremely busy around opening time (5-8 pm) but thinned out a little later on in the evening.

Tap list was very long - about 40 strong (?) or so and featured mostly European breweries with only about 7 or 8 of the taps being Mikkeller beers. There were also a few American taps, including a couple of local SF-area beers, Stone IRS, Old Rasputin and a few others.

Atmosphere is really cool. Open concept, modern and trendy. Service was also excellent, especially considering how busy it was. Service was also helpful and knowledgeable. A touch pricey.

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Photo of LittleDon
4.54/5  rDev +3.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

Mikkeller Bar is a stark contrast from the Tenderloin neighborhood of which it sits on the border. It's dark and cool on the inside. Hip and modern with a clientele to match, it's nothing like the seedy urban decay, with it's junkies and prostitutes, that wait outside the door. The beer selection, both quality and variety, is fitting of the name. Lots of small local brews, everything served in the correct glass, and (as one reviewer already mentioned) at the right temperature (i.e., not overly cold, like many places). The food is passable bar food, as is the service. Besides the environs, the only other negative points are common ones: it can get crowded and loud. All-in-all, and IMHO, probably one of the two best beer bars in SF (the other being City Beer Market). Would I go back? Of course. I'd try to avoid late night and weekends because of the neighborhood (which I've been told by some locals is not overly dangerous if you look like you know where your going) and the crowds.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.25/5  rDev -3.4%

Just out of the Financial District bordering the Tenderloin sits the Mikkeller Bar in a very unassuming spot.

Inside is very large, with a good sized taplist that features a good amount of Mikkeller products, and some other interesting items as well. Cellarmaker beers can be found here as well sometimes, and some other other local offerings such as Magnolia.

Great attentive service, with a full decent kitchen. May not have the great amazing beers on tap but pretty close though, and the bottle list is fairly solid as well too. A good worthy stop.

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Photo of mothman
4.07/5  rDev -7.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.75

Nice bartenders that help you find a beer you'll like. Very patient. Lots of Belgian beers to pick from. Prices are a little high on some things but that was to be expected. Worth it to check it out.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.8/5  rDev +9.1%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

The Mikkeller Bar in SF is fast becoming one of my favorite “destination” spots. It’s accessible, albeit in a ‘gritty’ part of town, classy enough for out-of-town visitors yet still approachable for locals. Sure, since its Mikkeller, you are going to pay a premium—but their prices are comparable with pints at most places I’ve been to lately, and certainly on par or better than what you’ll find at the nicer spots nearby. The service has gone from impeccable to even better. I don’t know if this is part of the Mikkeller experience but on my last visit I asked for a description of a beer and the server, without even being asked to, gathered two tasters—one for me, one for her. We both sipped and discussed what we were drinking, and she based subsequent recommendations for my party on that conversation. How cool is that!

Bottom line is, as long as they keep doing what they’ve been doing then I’ll keep going back for more. Nicely done.

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Photo of indianabeerman
4.26/5  rDev -3.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Went on a Friday evening place was packed. Service was very good. bartender was very knowledgeable also took the time to help us thru our beer selection. Food was very good. atmosphere was great. only complaint was it was pricey.

here on vacation 1st week of may

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Photo of amano_h
4.8/5  rDev +9.1%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

I can't say enough great things about Mikkeller Bar and every time I go I'm amazed that I have no problem finding a seat. Whereas I'm not a huge fan of Mikkeller's beers, it's very difficult to not love a [ghost] brewery / bar that makes all the right friends in the form of Hill Farmstead, Stillwater, Three Floyds, Cascade Brewing and actually brings it with them everywhere they go.

The average beer drinker might come here and scoff at the 7-8 dollar pint prices for beer they've never heard before, which is absolutely fine for the now over-saturated demand for quality craft beer. Mikkeller Bar always seems to have two or three beers that you either a. never see on tap or b. can't get elsewhere because Shelton Brothers haven't actually started distribution yet. Oh and good news if you're actually a Mikkeller fan, btw; Mikkeller Bar SF actually gets all their super-limited releases (e.g. BA Vanilla Shake, Beer Geek Speedway) on TAP when each respective brew is released while supplies last.

And the sour room. A quick tip to anyone thinking about visiting it; you can actually order anything that they have in the sour room from the main bar upstairs, even when the sour room is closed. Yes, the price tag on some of the brews downstairs might be a little daunting, but if you're obsessed enough with craft beer to know what some of the brews they're keeping downstairs are, you're probably going to shell out 4x SF minimum wage for a bottle of Peche'n Brett since you didn't want to stand in line for two hours at Healthy Spirits. Or maybe you'll shell out close to double that for a bottle of Fou' because you were too drunk to realize they had it cheaper at City Beer five blocks away. Either way, the sour room is amazing, and not a secret as well-kept as people think it is.

Finally the food. Whereas Mikkel's Evil Twin brother (get it? *wink wink*) in Brooklyn employs some sort of gourmet chef to pair some of the harder to find brews that flow out of his walls with even more obscure finger food from Scandinavia, Mikkeller Bar has an amicable selection of finger food and light lunch options; I particularly thought the fish taco was prepared well for an establishment that is so decisively beer-centric, and my friends all seemed to like the fries.

Oh and a caveat, the bartenders do seem a bit snooty, yes. But they really know their stuff when it comes to anything craft beer, and do seem to carry a slight tendency for know-it-all-ism, which is totally fine as most beer geeks seem to lean toward this sort of temperament. You might, however, not find this at all to your liking if you're the type that likes to walk up to a bar counter to order Pinot Grigio. Just a thought.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.21/5  rDev -4.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

A quick stopover in San Fran my wife and I stopped in early afternoon 8/4/14 and it was pretty quiet with just a few tables occupied but people were starting to come in. Everything was new and "hip" and looked nice inside unlike the area outside, pretty rough area for a posh beer bar. 40+ taps served over three temperatures for different styles and a great bottle list of stuff from all over. The server was a young girl but she clearly had been well trained and could answer any questions I could think of. We had a charcuterie board and it was solid, nice meats and cheeses. Downstairs wasn't open but I have a feeling it would be if we stayed for a few hours, bartender said the whole place would be packed by 5. I suppose for American standards its pricy but I just landed from 6 weeks in NZ and Australia where everything costs a fortune and things seemed reasonable to me. I wish I had more time to explore the tap list but we were quite rushed, I'd go back in a heartbeat if I found myself in San Fran again.

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Photo of DeanMoriarty
4.74/5  rDev +7.7%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Man i've been wanting to hit this place since I heard it had opened last year. Huge fans of Mikkeller - their beer, artwork and style are second to none in my humble opinion. We finally found ourselves in SF for mine and my wife's 12 year anniversary - super hyped!

Located just off Market on Mason Street (outskirts of the Tenderloin), you would almost walk right past it if it weren't for the lit up Mikkeller sign on the side of the building. Very unassuming from the outside, but once you step inside you are greeted by a rustic yet refined look and feel to the joint. The back wall left alone in all brick, the clean and simple European minimalist design, and walls adorned with Keith Shore artwork let you know that you are definitely at a Mikkeller bar.

Their draft system is clean, efficient and gorgeous stainless steel placed perfectly within a quad bartop that is powered by the Flux Capacitor draft system that keeps each beer style at its proper serving temperature - meaning your BA Imperial Stouts aren't served as cold as your IPA's, your Wild Ales served at proper temps to bring out the ultimate amount of funk and unique characteristics, and to assure that your Pilsner is served cold and crisp to pair perfectly with a sausage sandwich and crispy double fried french fries. Genius!

Quite an eclectic crowd - my wife and I heavily tattoo'd and casually dressed seated right next to business men in suits and ties and women dressed up for a night on the town in nice dresses and heals - it all works out quite well somehow. There is open bar seating and reserved seating as well, which can be a bit tricky - where there was open seating (first come first serve) our first night in, the next night it was reserve seating. I think this is a little confusing for the guests, but we were able to get seated within our first drink both nights.

We were fortunate enough to get a full tour of the inner-workings of the bar by Cellar Master Ford, who showed us the renowned Flux Capacitor system, where they cellar the kegs on deck, their cask system, and answered any questions we had with enthusiasm and a smile on his face. I tried my best not to geek out too hard! We also had tremendous service from our beer server Natalia, who not only had knowledge of all the beers being served, but knew about the cheeses we paired with our beers as well (names, origins, and types of cheeses) - as most know, you often get a blank stare when asking your server what cheese are in front of you when they are brought to the table.

Mikkel was in town for a dinner/beer pairing in the Tivoli Sour Room (reserved for special events - located downstairs) so to honor his visit, the bar had 42 taps of all Mikkeller beer on tap. It was beyond amazing. Beers I never thought I would try on tap were literally at my fingertips. 7 Spontan varieties, 5 Beer Geek varieties, Black Tokyo Horizon, just to name a few. I was blown away!

Overall we had extremely high hopes and left the bar far from disappointed. In fact we had a better experience than we could have imagined. Special thanks to Cellar Master Ford, and one of the finest beer servers in the business (and i've been in this industry for nearly 20 years) Natalia. The two of you along with the rest of the staff are top notch and have a true passion for good beer and proper hospitality. We can't wait to visit again.


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Photo of BenHesk12
3.9/5  rDev -11.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

Mikkeller is a super-hip beer bar and eatery in the tenderloin/market street area of SF. The atmosphere is low-light, very loud, and always crowded. The selection of beer is good but pricey. On my first visit I had a $10 10z to OL beer which was amazing, and a $6 Mikkeller IPA which was good. I had the pork sandwich which was smokey and delicious. If you want to pay top dollar for a big city vibe bar, this is the right place. If you want to enjoy multiple beers and food be prepared to spend at least $50 per person. The crowds and price will prevent me from coming here more than a few times a year, but if youre in the area it might be exactly what you're looking for.

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Photo of Piglet_rulz_da_yard
4.29/5  rDev -2.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Great spot at the edge of the Tenderloin. The food is excellent - try the house sausages. Excellent selection on tap and a solid bottle list. Particularly good stout selection. The Sour room downstairs was a great add. It tends to get busy/noisy on the weekends and service is typical SF slow. Overall, a must go.

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Photo of jellikit
4.64/5  rDev +5.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Atmosphere: chill. Slightly dark. Brick walls. Nice art. Clean.
Quality: fantastic. Beer poured through a high-tech tap. Food is fresh and tasty.
Service: friendly and informed.
Selection: wow. What else can they serve...?
Food: tasty. Had the charcuterie plate. Yum.
Price: reasonable for Cslifornia.

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Photo of surfcaster
4.81/5  rDev +9.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75

Just a short walk from the Union Square.

First of all--this place does beer right. 40 taps. Multiple serving temps--4 I believe and perfect glassware. Had my first Alpine Nelson on tap--just phenomenal. Two local cask ale options. Servers were knowledgeable and helped folks who needed it and could chat local and regional all night. Took a big group there and there was something for all.

Looks pretty new and a little warehouse like. They had some food but didn't try. Not open real late.

Will definitely go back when visiting.

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Photo of pants678
5/5  rDev +13.6%

Pricey, yeah, but a rel eclectic selection for everyone. Didn't have anything to eat but I did get a de Struise stout and an Ichtegems grand cru. Service was snappy, glasses and temps all tailored, seating ample. Zero complaints.

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Photo of Dodgerrigo77
4.06/5  rDev -7.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3.75

Nice lookin place, beer was a lil pricey, but somebody has to get those euros from the tourist. Place to go maybe twice a year if your local. Lots of yuppies & tourist, neither my cup of beer;(

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Photo of JonahNW
4.75/5  rDev +8%

Rad bar. Great design, good food, amazing tap-list, and the sour room downstairs is excellent. You pay for all this niceness, of course, sometimes to extreme degrees: I spotted three 750 ml bottles of 1998 3F Geuze in the sour-room fridge a couple months ago, going for $150 a pop ... which crazily almost kinda-sorta seemed reasonable, but I've gone off the geuze deep end.

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Photo of Tazmaniandavis
4.75/5  rDev +8%

Mikkeller Bar is a great place to get great beer. Although it's in a shady area of SF (Tenderloin), once you get there the bar is very nice on the inside. I usually try to go during non-peak hours so I can avoid the crazyness of the weekend crowds. The beer is stellar and the staff is friendly and knowledgeable. They have some pretty decent snack offerings as well.

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Photo of jhines18
3.27/5  rDev -25.7%
vibe: 1.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 1.25 | selection: 4.75

Way too packed. Doucey crowd. If you are a twenty five year old in finance this is your bar. If you care about beer and are excited about the beers on tap don't waste your time. You won't get served and its packed with assholes who know nothing about beer

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Photo of joshklein069
4.7/5  rDev +6.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

I've been to Mikkeller's SF location at least three times since it opened (also been to the locations in Copenhagen) The atmosphere is great, clean and simple decor but comfortable. The standout here is the tap list, 42 really really great taps, mix of local, California and european beer. All the beer I have tried is in top condition, this place brags about its tap system and ability to pour draft at three temperatures (like Church Key in DC) and rightly so. In the cellar is a sour room with some rare Cantillon and Drie Fonteinen to note. looks like a mock up of the Copenhagen bars, a bit strange looking to most Americans I bet. Overall one of the best Beer Bars I have been to.

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Photo of buzzword
4.11/5  rDev -6.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75

The build-out of this space was very tastefully done - simple, good layout, and has exactly what a pub of this type needs: a few booths, some shared common tables, plenty of bar space, and counter space for standing/eating/drinking. The beer is served thoughtfully and tastefully, with three different operating temperatures for their incredibly elaborate tap system. I really like the fact that there is no chalkboard tap list, but I also dislike the self-perpetuating need for printed matter that serves this cause. I'm torn on this. Chalkboards have their place, but the high end feel of this place would not be served by a chalkboard in this man's opinion.

Foodwise, I do realize that most avowed beer drinkers, unlike myself, are probably not vegetarians. The menu, however, does include a nice (albeit expensive by comparison to more authentic offerings elsewhere) tofu banh mi, and a cabbage 'tenderloin entree' that I have yet to try.

The service staff is well informed and polite. While I was able to navigate the beer menu comprehensively, the waitress did suggest some beers that were running particularly low that we should - and did - try while they were available. On that note, the beer selection was good, though the taplist they posted for the first night of the soft opening did not include some of the rarities I was hoping to sample - fou' foune for example. Apparently some of those will become available when the Tivoli Sour Room opens downstairs. Speaking of downstairs, the restroom seems a bit of a hike when you've already had a few high ABV beers.

TL;DR - Nice space, good beer, good food, well-informed service. I'll be back for the grand opening, and hopefully the fou' foune keg isn't kicked by then.

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Photo of TominSF
2.75/5  rDev -37.5%
vibe: 1 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 4

I have to agree with jhines. I was excited to read about this place, but the excitement ended as soon as I walked in. Food-court decor, abysmal service, every beer served in the same small (.25L) chablis glass, ignorant crowd, high prices. A week ago I was enjoying a IV Saison at Cafe Belgie in Utrecht, NL -- this was certainly a letdown!

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Mikkeller Bar in San Francisco, CA
96 out of 100 based on 26 ratings.