Hamm’s Heinous History Herein

VatRat1 reminds us of Hamm’s beer and it’s SF past:

The Hamm’s brewery in San Francisco opened in 1954 at 1550 Bryant Street, close to the Seals baseball stadium. The brewery closed in 1972. In the early 1980’s, the beer vats were rented out to punk rock bands, and it was a used as music studios until the building was renovated and turned into offices.

Don’t believe him? Well check out this amazing article from foundsf.org, detailing the Austin thrash band Millions of Dead Cops (MDC)  moving into the abandoned San Francisco factory in the early ’80s and repurposing the actual beer vats as living, practice, and punk show spaces.

Dave, lead singer of MDC, described the tanks as being 40’x 10’x 10′, able to house half a dozen to twelve people each, with ten or twelve vats on each of the four floors. At any given time 30 or 35 vats would be in use. Soon people started living inside the building’s hollow walls on little ledges, sometimes fixing them up quite nicely. With the bands’ energetic activity the space became a crash pad and a scene landmark for visiting out-of-town punks and punk bands, the site of after-concert parties and band practice sessions.

The article seems to indicate that the Falstaff Brewery, a couple of blocks away from the Hamm’s building, was the actual site of this crash pad. Still pretty amazing.

More at foundsf.org. Be sure to check out that awesome video, too.

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12 Comments on “Hamm’s Heinous History Herein”

  1. redseca2 Says:

    I visited that building back in the day. The vats were coated with a black rubber like lining and you entered through a Captain Nemo like round hatch on the corridor wall. Sort of non-existent lighting. I looked at a couple floors only by flashlight and they didn’t bother with things like windows. A real slasher movie feel to the place with load noises coming from…somewhere.

    There were a many floors of them and the Owner dude really didn’t know what to do with the building but he would be happy to sell you a full floor for $50,0000.

  2. That’s awesome! A much better use for the space than brewing the watery swill that is Hamm’s beer.

  3. Anus Presley Says:

    What VatRat posted is from Wikipedia
    Search “the Vats S.F. Punk”….the real story is way more sordid than what you’ve cobbled together here. Way. Read the stories on Tribe and shit. Long live the Vats.

    Oh and beer-hate trolls are pathetic, Doktor whatevs…there is a difference between sipping your trendy ales at Toronado and scraping together enough for a 12er of the cheapest shit you can get, yuppie little snob.

  4. kwk Says:

    MDC, Dolores Park, 1983:


    Of course you were there, right?

  5. kwk Says:

    Ty again without the html, you have to cut/paste:


  6. Sharif Says:

    Much of this was also covered in the book ” Gimme Something Better” a history of Bay Area Punk by Jack Boulware. Some pretty good story about the “Vats”

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