The Happiest Hour: Forge Handcrafted Pizza
There’s a beer for every moment and a bite for every palate during happy hour at Forge.
Welcome to The Happiest Hour, our new blog highlighting the best after-work food and drink deals from local restaurants and bars. Did you catch our first one, at Orinda’s Barbacoa? We’re continuing the series with Belgian beers and wood-fired beer bites.
When to go: 2–9 p.m. Mon., 2–6 p.m., Tues.–Fri.
What to order: “Burning Oak” black lager and slow-cooked pork ribs with jalapeño honey slaw.
How much? $4 draught pints, $4 house wines, $8–$10 pizzas (Mon.), $4–8 happy hour bites (Tues.–Fri.).
The enthusiastic staff at Forge Handcrafted Pizza proves that when something is fresh, it doesn’t need to be complicated—it just needs to be delicious. From the restaurant’s pistachio pesto twists to its oven-baked wings, all of Forge’s food is made from scratch and cooked in a wood-fired oven.
Each bite of the $8 Margherita pizza offers a different combination of torn basil, fresh mozzarella, and savory-sweet tomato. The real secret, though, is in Forge’s fluffy-chewy crust, drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with salt, and fired to oozing hot perfection. Dry-rubbed with brown sugar, cumin, smoked salt, and cayenne, the sweet and spicy ribs pose a worthy wood-fired rival.
But the real gem of this intimate joint comes through the 150-foot-long lines that bring 10 local and craft beers from keg to tap. Only $4 during happy hour, each brew is expertly chosen by a passionate member of the staff. The first Thursday of each month, Forge puts on Meet the Brewer, an evening featuring a local brewer, three of his or her beers, and food-pairing suggestions (February’s event welcomed Black Diamond Brewing Co. of Concord).
Three of Forge’s taps rotate weekly, pouring anything from a double IPA to a Belgian quad, and three remain the same, offering local favorites such as Linden Street Brewery’s Burning Oak Black lager, a light-bodied beer with a deep flavor that is roasty and slightly sweet. That leaves the tenth tap for Ryan’s Choice, a surprise selection made by supervisor and beer guru Ryan Scott. House red and white wines provide an alternative for the beer-averse, but if you’ve never tasted its taps, Forge dares you to give them a try. Gather around a table, pull up a stool, or slip out to the patio and kick back the day with quality options that are outstanding in their simplicity. 345 Railroad Ave., Danville, (925) 855-1700, theforgepizza.com/danville. Also in Oakland: 66 Franklin St., (510) 268-3200, theforgepizza.com/oakland.
Watch: From raw dough to pizza in less than three minutes.