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Where to Enjoy March Madness and Craft Beer

Photo coutresy of The Royal Exchange

While beer and basketball go together like, well like beer and baseball, there’s often a tradeoff between watching games in a sports bar, which can have a lot of TVs but few craft beers, and going to a brewpub or a serious beer bar which can have a great selection of brews but limited or no access to TVs. To help you plan out where to drink in the March Madness, here’s our list of places to watch the NCAA games and enjoy great beer:

Kezar Pub

A longtime Haight District favorite for serious sports fans to gather, Kezar has over 20 beers on draft including a smattering of local brews. Most seats in the bar have good viewing. The pub’s web site lists the game schedule. 770 Stanyan Street. 

Hi Tops

Castro’s addition to the sports bar scene, Hi Tops has a great tap and bottle selection, plenty of high-top tables and stools, well-placed TVs, a second bar in the rear, and you simply can’t go wrong with a place that serves a pork chop on a stick. 2247 Market St.

Note: If High Tops gets too crowded, slip a few doors west on Market Street to SliderBar. This casual restaurant has a super selection of local craft drafts which currently includes four from Almanac. There are a few screens above the bar that will be showing the games.

The Royal Exchange

This downtown Irish-themed San Francisco landmark has 32 beers on taps, American pub food and 17 televisions. It’s open on weekdays only. They also take reservations. 301 Sacramento. 

Public House

This spacious and modern SoMa sports pub is connected to AT&T Park and has 22 big screen TVs, a solid food menu from chef Traci Des Jardins, a stellar bottle collection, and 24 beers on tap including several cask ales. It’s an excellent overall venue for enjoying the games. 24 Willie Mays Plaza.

The Original Columbus Café

Don’t let the name café throw you, this North Beach institution was designed to cater to Depression-era longshoremen. Columbus has 23 microbrews on tap, and one of the best happy hours in the city with two for one drafts from 4-8 pm, seven days a week. It has a decent selection of food as well. 562 Green Street. 

Rogue Ales Public House

Forty taps pour a cornucopia of craft beers at this North Beach location. Although there are good food options and decent views of TVs, Rogues can get crowded, so get there early if you’re planning a visit. 673 Union Street.

The Republic

This upscale Marina District space boasts thirteen screens including an 82-inch monster, an extensive selection of drafts, and a menu of locally sourced, grilled and comfort food. Making a reservation and securing a booth will make this a prime place to enjoy great food and beer while keeping an eye on the game. Note that The Republic is closed Mondays and Tuesdays. 3213 Scott Street.

The Brick Yard

This upscale Cow Hollow sports bar has plenty of TVs, fourteen beers on tap, and some healthy local food choices on the menu. They take reservations. 1787 Union Street. 

Jasper's Corner Tap & Kitchen

There’s exceptional food, comfortable seating and eighteen draft beers at this downtown taproom. They take reservations. 401 Taylor Street. 

Pete’s Tavern

Pete’s is a mammoth 20,000 square-foot sports bar in SoMa. It’s got a decent selection of beer and sandwich/burger-based pub grub. Pete’s is a great choice if you have a lot of people in your party. 128 King Street.