The Monk's Kettle

The Monk's KettleThe Monk's Kettle
The Monk's KettleThe Monk's Kettle
Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

3141 16th St
San Francisco, California, 94103-3334
United States

(415) 865-9523 | map
monkskettle.com

Notes:
PLACE STATS
Average:
4.38
Reviews:
78
Ratings:
56
pDev:
11.19%
View: Place Reviews
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Ratings by BrewerB:
Photo of BrewerB
Reviewed by BrewerB from North Carolina

4.8/5  rDev +9.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4
I'm not a claustrophobic person but I do get the "this place is kinda small" feeling everytime I walk into The Monk's Kettle. Not sure if it's the guy at the door in charge of admission, the entryway, being immediately greeted by the end of the bar, or the lack of seating space. Like some other reviewers, I do wish this place were bigger.

The quality of beers you'll find here is first-rate. You won't find a single macro adjunct lager in the entire bunch.

Bartenders here are very knowledgeable, taking the same approach to beers that a sommelier would with wine. They're adept at recommending beers based off your tastes and palette, are attentive to your needs (empty glasses) and are good at remembering repeat customers.

The bottle selection is immense and well documented. Menus classify beers by style and you'll be hard pressed to find any beer style that isn't well-represented. For special occasions, they've even got a special menu of harder to get, small issue batches.

Though I've not been blown away by the small sampling of food I've had, I think more menu exploration would gain me a larger appreciation of their culinary treats.

Beers here are $1-$3 more than you'll find them around the city but I've never regretted paying a little extra for an hour or two at Monk's Kettle.
Mar 18, 2011
More User Ratings:
 
Rated: 4.26 by vfgccp from New York

Jun 22, 2021
Photo of jophish17
Reviewed by jophish17 from Georgia

4.28/5  rDev -2.3%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25
More of a trendy bar in a city where beer is usually reserved for dive bars. Top-notch quality, proper glassware and a strong selection of local beers. Food was pretty good although pricey. Overall a nice piece to grab a pint with friends.
Aug 21, 2019
Photo of heymikew
Reviewed by heymikew from California

4.34/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4
Probably has the best quality beer of the many places to get craft beer along the 16th Street corridor. This is more of a "trendy" place (the rest of the places are dives) and the prices reflect that.
Jun 12, 2019
 
Rated: 4.56 by Richie_C_Johnson from Minnesota

Feb 16, 2018
 
Rated: 4.38 by VashonGuy from Washington

May 30, 2017
Photo of RobJDay
Reviewed by RobJDay from Massachusetts

4.68/5  rDev +6.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.75
Really good experience here trying some new beers and having a quick meal. The service was excellent. The bartender knew a lot about the beer he was serving. My only knock is how small it was - but that happens
Jan 27, 2017
 
Rated: 4.38 by ha-sheem from North Carolina

Jan 17, 2017
 
Rated: 4.31 by John1985 from Tennessee

Jul 05, 2016
 
Rated: 4.54 by cherche from Washington

Jun 17, 2016
 
Rated: 4.75 by Beer21 from Florida

May 31, 2016
 
Rated: 4.39 by billab914 from Virginia

May 05, 2016
 
Rated: 4.56 by StoutSnob40 from California

Mar 19, 2016
 
Rated: 4.06 by BarrytheBear from Wisconsin

Mar 07, 2016
Photo of mactrail
Reviewed by mactrail from Washington

3.48/5  rDev -20.5%
vibe: 1.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.25
I will grant that this is a place with plenty of interesting beers that seem to be chosen more for weirdness and rarity, which will please many. For those who pursue the top 500 list, you can get a nip of Fantome Saison, Sucaba, and Abyss if you're willing to pay the price. I objected to the $8.75 pirce for the 10 oz American Pale ale from Santa Cruz, but you can get a whole pint of Firestone DBA for the same price, so you can say it's just San Francisco.

The other nice thing is the wall of glassware between the tall carved back bar endpieces. But the noise is so deafening with people yelling over the sound system. It's so cramped and uncomfortable, no matter how good it looks, I drink my one beer and get out. The food is also lovely and they seemed to be selling a lot of the $17 burgers. The fried chicken wins the beauty award. You can see the food menu as well as current beers online, which is also a plus if you're looking for a reason to visit on any given day. But go when it's warm enough to sit at the few sidewalk tables-- though the time I noticed empty seats was a damp, chilly evening.
Feb 07, 2016
Photo of frasergrove
Reviewed by frasergrove from California

4.41/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5
Tiny corner spot near 16/Mission in SF. Some outside seating, some funky bar seating as well as booths inside. The beer selection (while pricy) is great...same goes for the food. Nice people there and a good vibe...but your wallet may hurt if you stay for too many!
Jan 24, 2016
 
Rated: 5 by carniwhore from California

Jan 13, 2016
Photo of amano_h
Reviewed by amano_h from Oregon

4.86/5  rDev +11%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75
The Monk's Kettle pretty much ruined the Mission District bar crawl for me, simply because there's really no other place worth visiting in the Mission District after you've been (and have been promptly seated at) to the Monk's Kettle.

Where to even begin. The food at Monk's Kettle is out of this world; I've never once been disappointed with their Monk's Daily Sandwich, and the charcuterie board is a home run if you're just stopping by for a few casual drinks late in the afternoon. If you end up staying for dinner, like I usually end up doing once I see the lines forming outside, their trout is a delightful combination of juicy and chewy (two adjectives I don't commonly associate together with fish), and I double dog dare anyone to NOT fall in love with their duck confit. It's impossible, I swear.

The beers. By now everyone has that one friend who is absolutely bonkers about craft beer. When I say absolutely bonkers, I mean that this one friend is the one that drives four-five hours to a different state for bottle releases, will look his nose down at you for drinking an IPA out of a nonic pint glass, and publicly shame anyone who thinks Blue Moon is a "craft beer." Monk's Kettle is kind of like that annoying friend, except he has an ulterior motive to be nice to you in that he wants your money. So imagine that the one beard-toting, hop-sniffing, pot-belly-having, brewery t-shirt wearing friend suddenly had some sort of a lightning epiphany and decided he wanted to share all of his prized possessions with you (in exchange for money) and you pretty much have the Monk's Kettle.

For those of you that speak beer, the Monk's Kettle is one of two places that I can count on to carry Russian River Brewing Company's Pliny the Elder on tap at any given day of the year. They also have around 25+ taps of beer, primarily from CA (Cellarmaker and Firestone Walker being the usual suspects) with some other choice curations from around the US and Europe. They also have an extensive, yet somehow rotating bottle list as well which includes a vintage ($$$) sour/stout selection; a very curious selection of hard-to-find (albeit grossly marked up) Belgian beers with the likes of De Dolle Brouwers, Brasserie De la Senne, and Oud Beersel; and for extra brownie points, they also serve the original Leipziger Gose here as well.

If by some chance you're that one absolutely bonkers guy and are still sporting a resting meh face even after reading the above paragraph, Monk's Kettle is also a long-time participant of Pliny the Younger Day (February); on top of that they regularly have themed tap events, like hosting a vertical of all the years and variants of Deschutes' the Abyss, for example.

My advice for any beer-oriented guy or gal looking for a good time in the Mission District would be to shut up and let Monk's Kettle take your money.
Jan 07, 2016
 
Rated: 4.69 by bouncepass from California

Dec 20, 2015
 
Rated: 4.79 by Claytonis from California

Dec 15, 2015
Photo of tshanahan
Reviewed by tshanahan from California

4.85/5  rDev +10.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75
Always have a definitive beer geek list to salivate over. Went for the sour fest earlier this year. West Ashley, Cantillon, Spontaneous Cheer, etc on tap. Prices are a bit high. Their staff is well trained though and the place is really well kept.
Oct 14, 2015
 
Rated: 4.5 by bostonbeans from Massachusetts

Aug 15, 2015
 
Rated: 4.38 by jloomis from Florida

Jul 24, 2015
 
Rated: 4.35 by Brown120 from Pennsylvania

May 23, 2015
 
Rated: 4.25 by mayorQuimby from Tennessee

May 13, 2015
Photo of Motchy
Reviewed by Motchy from Australia

1.55/5  rDev -64.6%
vibe: 1 | quality: 2 | service: 1 | selection: 2 | food: 1
Wowwww! Never have I seen a place with such a stupid table policy. We were denied a table to sit at 10:30PM on Friday and were asked to stand around the full bar whilst 3 tables remained spare..

We left and didn't have a beer that time, though I came earlier in the day and the waiting staff were terrible as we'd only ordered a pretzel so that we could sit outside, it was a bit absurd.

Such an odd place, good beer selection but god awful people you'll have to deal with. You can do better for the area
May 13, 2015
Photo of HookemHoos
Rated by HookemHoos from Virginia

3.2/5  rDev -26.9%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 1.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75
The service was awful. They had a good selection of beers, but nothing that you couldn't find in other, less pricey bars in the same neighborhood.
May 07, 2015
Photo of Jackolope
Reviewed by Jackolope from California

2.08/5  rDev -52.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 1 | service: 1 | selection: 4 | food: 2.25
If you like being talked down to and unparalleled levels of pretension than go to this place. If you enjoy sharing beer with friends AVOID THIS PLACE like the plague. Me and my friend were basically asked to leave because our friend wanted to join us for a beer after we had finished our mediocre food. He came at the end of our meal and sat down next to us, I gave him a sip of my beer and that was enough for the host to come over and explain, "We don't just let people come in here and eat and drink..." It was so absurd I couldn't tell if he was being serious until he made it clear that he wanted us to finish up and leave. Why? I'm still guessing. Mind you it was a Tuesday at 9pm and there were a handful of open tables. When I called management the next day to see if this was some kind of joke my concerns were not taken seriously. If you are in SF there are literally dozens of establishments within walking distance that have comparable selections and MUCH Friendlier service. Hell I'd even say Zeitgeist has friendlier service and they essentially pride themselves on being gruff...
Apr 14, 2015
Photo of Rilesmiles
Reviewed by Rilesmiles from Wisconsin

4.44/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4
Small place, but cozy. Had heard great things about the tap list but was sort of underwhelmed. Was looking forward to trying west coasters that I can't get in Wisconsin but found that the list wasn't very west coast-centric, which is fine. I suppose my expectations set me up for it, but I didn't see much that I can't find at the good places in Madison and Milwaukee. I did enjoy a Salvation, among others, but didn't see the whales that others speak of seeing on the menu.

Service was very good. Excellent wait staff.

Food was good but nothing special. I would order something other than the relatively basic chicken sandwich I ordered.
Mar 23, 2015
 
Rated: 4.66 by toronadotornado from California

Mar 18, 2015
Photo of JamLand
Reviewed by JamLand from District of Columbia

4.68/5  rDev +6.8%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75
A cool, cafe feel to the place. A place to grab a great pint and some great food. The service was very friendly. Amazing selection while we there, including '10 and '11 Abyss. I can't verify much variety with the food because everyone I was with ordered the burger, which was excellent. Plenty of street parking in the area, if you rent a car while visiting SF.
Mar 15, 2015
 
Rated: 4.36 by brywhite from California

Feb 25, 2015
 
Rated: 4.26 by Spaceman_Jer from Colorado

Feb 15, 2015
Photo of erha2
Reviewed by erha2 from New York

4.65/5  rDev +6.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4
Super friendly staff. I guess it helps when you bring over some Heady and Sip of Sunshine from the East Coast. No, they were great before I even offered those beers. Tap list still had most of the sours available from their SF Beer Week sour event the day before. Only remember a vintage Lost Abbey Framboise de Amorosa being unavailable the day after. Got to try a lot of Rare Barrel offerings along with Cellarmaker/Sante Adairius I see a Dankness.
Feb 12, 2015
 
Rated: 4.33 by Fogindex from California

Dec 24, 2014
 
Rated: 4.43 by MichaelLamb from New York

Dec 23, 2014
 
Rated: 4.43 by SimcoeKid from California

Dec 19, 2014
Photo of jimh67
Reviewed by jimh67 from Georgia

4.3/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4
Way different vibe than Tornado. Sat outside-great people watching- never really saw the inside.
Had a Pliny and a nelson! Very good. Worth the trip. easy on/off back to east bay- near on ramp to I80
Dec 18, 2014
 
Rated: 4 by Kishanti from California

Nov 29, 2014
 
Rated: 3.93 by SeeingMeansMore from Oregon

Nov 10, 2014
The Monk's Kettle in San Francisco, CA
Place rating: 4.38 out of 5 with 134 ratings