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Sip Scene: Tapping In

A new Walnut Creek taproom offers plenty to drink.


Alejandra Saragoza

Beer lovers, rejoice: There’s a new taproom in town. Tucked away in a nondescript area of Walnut Creek, Rotator Taproom pours 21 craft brews from around the East Bay (and beyond) in a minimalist yet hip space.

Guests can sit downstairs at the wood-top bar or communal tables, gather with friends in the loft, or sink into plush couches and chairs in the lounge. There’s even a game room offering darts, foosball, and billiards.

Childhood buddies Ryan Westerman, Jeff Stephens, and Marc Trapani hatched the idea to open Rotator as a way of giving back to their hometown, and as the name implies, the beer list changes often. On our visit, we sipped a guava and passion fruit–laced sour from Costa Mesa’s Barley Forge Brewing Co.; a crisp, hoppy IPA from Santa Rosa’s Russian River Brewing Company; and a creamy, Mexican-inspired barrel-aged stout from Salt Lake City’s Epic Brewing Company.

And while Rotator doesn’t offer any grub, you can bring in outside food or order a snack from nearby Pinky’s Pizza and Pub, which will deliver straight to the taproom at no extra cost (and give you a 10-percent discount).

1415 Pine St., Walnut Creek, (925) 952-4578, rotatortaproom.com. Open daily.

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Happy Hour Bar & Bites at
The Cooperage

Monday through Friday
3pm – 5:30pm


This isn’t your typical happy hour. This quintessential neighborhood spot offers high-quality craft cocktails on tap and tasty bites. Menu features: $10 cocktails on tap, $5 select beer & wine, $1 oysters, $7 bacon cheeseburger sliders, $7 crispy beer battered shrimp sliders, $9 sashimi-grade ahi tuna tartare. 

32 Lafayette Circle, Lafayette
​Reservations: www.thecooperagelafayette.com or 925.298.5915

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