Popular SF brewpub Mikkeller Bar, one of two U.S. outposts of cult-famous Danish brewery Mikkeller, is shutting its doors at 34 Mason Street in the next week after nine years at the edge of the Tenderloin — two years after it appeared to close the first time.
The closing is set for the second week of October, so there may still be a few more days of beer taps flowing.
You may recall that SFist reported back in May 2020 that Mikkeller Bar was shutting down permanently. At that point in the early pandemic, like many bars and restaurants in town, the bar had closed up shop, laid off employees, and was selling off its inventory of beer.
But it wasn't actually a permanent closure, and the bar bounced back and reopened in April 2021, also getting licensed to sell crowlers and beers to-go. It turns out, though, that the past year and a half haven't brought in business enough to sustain things.
"Mikkeller Bar San Francisco was the second Mikkeller Bar we opened and the start of our entire operation in the States, so that place means something very special to us and it is of course very sad to have to say goodbye," says founder Mikkel Borg Bjergsø in a Facebook post. "But we will still be present in the US and continuously strive to make great beer and great experiences."
Mikkeller San Diego is "restructuring" as well, and the company says it will keep its tasting room and brewing operation there.
Mikkeller was founded in Denmark as a "ghost" brewery in the mid-aughts by Bjergsø, quickly gaining a cult following and leading to the opening of the first Mikkeller Bar in Copenhagen. U.S. locations in the craft beer capitals of San Francisco and San Diego soon followed in 2013, and the company now has brewpubs in London, Paris, Stockholm, and across Europe and East Asia.
Mikkeller is well known for its wide range of beer styles and especially its sours, and experiments like its cocktail-inspired Øl Fashioned — a barleywine (high-proof beer) that was aged for three years in bourbon barrels with cherry bitters and orange bitters.
The San Francisco brewpub was also a beer geek's dream, with 40 beers on draft at all times, stored in three separate temperature-controlled cold boxes, each with their own pressure and custom carbon dioxide systems.
The bar was in a converted nightclub space at 34 Mason Street, and was decorated in Scandinavian style with a lot of blond wood.
It remains to be seen if another bar or restaurant will want to snap up this space.