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First Bite: Danville Brewing Company

The food and drink menus defy description.


Nicholas Boer

“Gastropub” doesn't quite capture the creative spirit of Danville Brewing Company; the place is more about refined American classics like beer, bison, and beef chili than about precocious culinary experiments, such as Himalayan salt-dusted pretzels injected with foie gras or some such nonsense.

But after enjoying chef Jourdan DeSanctis' grass-fed burger featuring a fresh-baked brioche bun smeared with a tangy roasted tomato relish, British-style Baker’s Bacon, and a side of thick, skin-on house fries, I thought the term “brewpub” fell short. The name needed to connote craft beer—brewmaster Matt Sager's fine selection includes a creamy coconut stout and a complex, well-balanced double IPA. But “tavern” sounds too gloomy for the gleaming space, and “kitchen” makes me think of cold milk.

The beauty of this, um, company, is that it has no faux machismo; dishes such as boneless buttermilk fried chicken with truffle honey are civilized enough for date night (although the 3 to 6 p.m. “hoppy hour” can get a wee rowdy). So, I give up. Just know that when it comes to burgers and IPA, “DBC” knows its ABC's.

200 Railroad Ave., Danville, (925) 217-4172, danvillebrewing.com. Lunch and dinner daily.

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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