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Old 11-03-2013, 10:34 PM
 
22 posts, read 38,592 times
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Hello all,

I'm a transplant from Chicago moving to Berkeley for a job with UC Berkeley. I am young and am into micro brews. I'm not a beer snob or anything but I do enjoy micro breweries and finding local beers. I've always heard the bay is a good beer area. What are some good tap houses, breweries, and such I should check out when I move on out? I'll be living in Berkeley. Are there any there specifically I should check out? Cheers!
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Old 11-03-2013, 10:59 PM
 
Location: Baghdad by the Bay (San Francisco, California)
3,530 posts, read 4,538,385 times
Reputation: 3145
Lagunitas has the best variety of IPA-style beers you will find. Their brewery in Petaluma has live bands on the weekends, free tours, 15 or so varieties on tap and BBQ oysters on the patio. It's a religious pilgrimage if you like beer.

Russian River makes one of the best beers in the world--Pliny the Younger. Pliny the Elder is also incredible.

Bear Republic is awesome with many varieties. Signature is Racer 5 IPA

Anchor Steam is the signature beer of San Francisco. their other varieties are top notch, too. they have a great tour at their place on Portrero Hill.

Speakeasy is popular on tap at areas around the Bay

Magnolia is another one with a wealth of craft beers available both at their brewpub and in locations all over.

21st Amendment is great-with a brewpub near the ballpark.

Pyramid has a brewpub in Berkeley.

Trumer is even brewed in Berkeley, though I don't know if they have any local presence beyond that.

Sierra Nevada is not far away, in Chico.

Many other micros and small brew pubs exist in the East Bay, as well. I'm less acquainted with East Bay brewers, but I see them pop up on tap handles in SF all the time.

Probably the best beer bar in the Bay Area is Toronado, in Lower Haight. If a beer is any good, they have it on tap.

Also, one of the hottest beer towns in the country right now is San Diego. Any good beer bar in the Bay Area will have a good selection of San Diego beers.

Enjoy!
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Old 11-03-2013, 11:15 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
5,587 posts, read 6,945,668 times
Reputation: 5118
The Trappist in Oakland [\thread]
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Old 11-04-2013, 12:24 AM
 
1,593 posts, read 3,175,404 times
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Almost every bar in the area including skeezy ones will have at least a couple local-ish craft brews on tap. If you want to visit breweries, and there are a lot, the best closest one in my opinion would be Drake's in San Leandro: Drake's Brewing Company - San Leandro, CA

Another good one, although not quite as recognized yet, is Linden St. in Oakland: Linden Street Brewery | Port of Oakland, California
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Old 11-04-2013, 12:30 AM
 
Location: Baghdad by the Bay (San Francisco, California)
3,530 posts, read 4,538,385 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 04kL4nD View Post
The Trappist in Oakland [\thread]
Second The Trappist.
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Old 11-04-2013, 04:08 AM
 
340 posts, read 466,211 times
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I don't know Berkeley so well, though Jupiter is a fun beer garden.

Oakland

Trappist: Prototypical Belgian-style beer cafe. Twenty-five taps, solid bottle selection with a lot of Belgian and Danish stuff. Laid-back atmosphere and some surprisingly good food. Clean lines and well-kept space.

Trappist Provisions: Small, boutique bottle shop and 8 taps. Upscale coffee shop atmosphere. Good for a beer and the Chronicle.

Hog's Apothecary: 35 taps of all fresh, local beer. The Beer Director does as much brewery-direct sourcing as possible, which means it's coming directly from the brewery, rather than sitting around in distributors warehouses. Menu is nose-to-tail pork stuff, but it's less impressive than the beer.

Beer Revolution: About 50 taps of mostly local stuff, but be wary of dirty lines (and the bar in general). Trappist does better w/ imports and Hog's does better w/ local, so I see fewer reasons to put up w/ the smell. Still, the front patio on a warm Sunday is a fun spot.

Cato's is great for a family-friendly, locals hang-out spot, Duende has a solid draft list and Telegraph is a hip, no-frills beer garden atmosphere.

San Francisco

Everyone is going to say Toronado, and while it's SF's oldest and most famed beer bar, multiple other places do everything it does better.

For a divey, rock-n-roll atmosphere, Zeitgeist's outdoor patio is way more fun than Toronado's cramped interior.

For Belgians and locals, Monk's Kettle pours their beers without the sneer and smell.

For Danish, sours and generally hard-to-find beers, Mikkeller Bar is top notch.

For carrying beers to-go, City Beer is the spot.

For a six-pack for hanging out in Dolores Park, Cerevezia Mateveza is a great place.

For house-brewed beer in a gastropub atmosphere, Magnolia is hard to beat.

There are a number of places I haven't been to (La Trappe, Church Key, Rogue, etc.), so I can't comment on those.
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Old 11-04-2013, 04:10 AM
 
340 posts, read 466,211 times
Reputation: 414
As for breweries, there are a lot of obvious, well-known ones, but keep your eyes peeled for these and you won't regret it:

Sante Adairius
Rare Barrel
Moonlight
Faction
Cellarmaker
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Old 11-04-2013, 09:03 AM
 
Location: Baghdad by the Bay (San Francisco, California)
3,530 posts, read 4,538,385 times
Reputation: 3145
Quote:
Originally Posted by CirclingLogan View Post
I don't know Berkeley so well, though Jupiter is a fun beer garden.

Oakland

Trappist: Prototypical Belgian-style beer cafe. Twenty-five taps, solid bottle selection with a lot of Belgian and Danish stuff. Laid-back atmosphere and some surprisingly good food. Clean lines and well-kept space.

Trappist Provisions: Small, boutique bottle shop and 8 taps. Upscale coffee shop atmosphere. Good for a beer and the Chronicle.

Hog's Apothecary: 35 taps of all fresh, local beer. The Beer Director does as much brewery-direct sourcing as possible, which means it's coming directly from the brewery, rather than sitting around in distributors warehouses. Menu is nose-to-tail pork stuff, but it's less impressive than the beer.

Beer Revolution: About 50 taps of mostly local stuff, but be wary of dirty lines (and the bar in general). Trappist does better w/ imports and Hog's does better w/ local, so I see fewer reasons to put up w/ the smell. Still, the front patio on a warm Sunday is a fun spot.

Cato's is great for a family-friendly, locals hang-out spot, Duende has a solid draft list and Telegraph is a hip, no-frills beer garden atmosphere.

San Francisco

Everyone is going to say Toronado, and while it's SF's oldest and most famed beer bar, multiple other places do everything it does better.

For a divey, rock-n-roll atmosphere, Zeitgeist's outdoor patio is way more fun than Toronado's cramped interior.

For Belgians and locals, Monk's Kettle pours their beers without the sneer and smell.

For Danish, sours and generally hard-to-find beers, Mikkeller Bar is top notch.

For carrying beers to-go, City Beer is the spot.

For a six-pack for hanging out in Dolores Park, Cerevezia Mateveza is a great place.

For house-brewed beer in a gastropub atmosphere, Magnolia is hard to beat.

There are a number of places I haven't been to (La Trappe, Church Key, Rogue, etc.), so I can't comment on those.

I'm holding on to this list. It's great. Zeitgeist is excellent, as you note, but also "sneery". I haven't been to Mikkeller yet.

Church Key is the real deal on atmosphere, great North Beach location and friendly, knowledgeable staff. However, I can't really recommend a place that so carefully uses water to measure a glass for exactly 10 ounces so they won't "over pour" my $7.00 Sculpin.
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Old 11-04-2013, 07:55 PM
 
Location: Boulder Creek, CA
9,197 posts, read 14,910,844 times
Reputation: 6345
Devil's Canyon Brewing Company


Quote:
The 2013 SF A-List results are in and thanks to you, Devil’s Canyon Brewing Co. was awarded “Best Beer Bar (Finalist).” We came in 5th place by popular vote out of of 34 contenders.
Congratulations to all of the great craft beer locations throughout the Bay Area that were nominated and a extra thank you to everyone who voted.
More details and the complete list at SF A-List
Devil’s Canyon Voted Top 5 SF Beer Bars : Devil's Canyon Brewing Company
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Old 11-09-2013, 05:25 AM
 
Location: San Leandro
4,576 posts, read 8,276,585 times
Reputation: 3248
Any where on the west coast will have top notch beer culture. The soil is ideal for hops and pot.
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