clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The Jackson Brewing Company Loomed Above Western SoMa

New, 2 comments

Welcome to The Landmarks, where Curbed takes a look at one of the many San Francisco landmarks, listed either locally or on the National Register of Historic Places. Landmarks will be chosen at random, but do drop us a line if you'd like to see a certain landmark highlighted

The massive Jackson Brewing Complex has been looming at the corner of Folsom and 11th since 1907. As one of San Francisco's many early breweries of yesteryear, Jackson was founded back in 1859. The towering complex stopped functioning as a brewery during prohibition, and was listed as Local Landmark #199 in 1990 and in the National Register of Historic Places in 1993.

Jackson Brewing Company was started back in 1859 by veteran brewers Thomas Green and Jacob Lyon. Back then the brewery was located on First Street between Howard and Folsom. In 1867 the partners sold the brewery to William Frederick, who moved it to Mission and 11th. Frederick also built his own house on the same block.

After Frederick died in 1885, his wife and sons ran the brewery. His widow purchased land at Folsom and 11th that was home to the existing Star Malt House. The Jackson Brewery expanded on that block in 1905, but the whole thing was destroyed by the 1906 Earthquake and Fire.

Immediately after the earthquake the brewery built a small building at 351 Eleventh to house their offices (which was recently remodeled into swanky office space). By 1912 construction was underway on the new brewery buildings, including a malthouse, brewhouse, cold storage cellars, bottling house, power plant, wash house, offices, stables, etc. They were designed in the Romanesque Revival style, complete with rounded arches and massive stone foundations.

Jackson Brewing Company was pretty popular until Prohibition, when the restrictions forced the brewery to close. At that time, it was the last remaining family-owned and operated brewery dating from the city's 1850s origins. The complex is one of the last remaining turn-of-the-century brewing complexes of its type, composed of a series of low-rise brick buildings, each with its own purpose and use. By the 1940s, the last Frederick sibling had died and the complex was subdivided and sold off.


In the 1970s the top two floors of the main brewhouse building at the corner were converted into one living space, while the rest was used as a commercial warehouse. The complex was listed as Local Landmark #199 in 1990 and in the National Register three years later. In 1993 the brewhouse was converted to seven condo lofts & a 2,000 sq.ft. restaurant (now Thai restaurant Basil Canteen).


· Local Landmark #199 [SF Planning]
· National Register #93000284: Jackson Brewing Company [Noe Hill]