We Love the Nightlife: Best Places to Grab a Craft Beer
Here are some of our East Bay beer picks.
Craft beer is taking over the scene as beer aficionados and newbies alike seek out increasingly diverse offerings from local and regional breweries. From bars and pubs to “biergärten,” the East Bay has got you covered when it comes to sipping a frothy brew.
Moxy carries beer from Walnut Creek’s own Calicraft Brewing Co., so support a local brewery while getting your beer buzz on. They even serve vegan Buffalo wings alongside spicy chicken wings, so carnivores and herbivores alike can be satisfied. moxybeergarden.com
Only open for tastings Fridays and Saturdays, The Rare Barrel produces solely sour beer, many of which are one-offs that you can only taste on site. Due to the involved process, sour beer is not often a commonly brewed style, making it difficult to find. Unique selections include a sour saison “Grainsta’s Paradise” and a golden sour “Happy Place.” therarebarrel.com
Visit E.J. Phair Brewing Company’s Concord Alehouse to sip on their medal winning strong ale “Shorty’s Revenge.” However, it’s hard to go wrong whether it’s one of the alehouse’s own brews or one from their rotating guest selection. They even have live music, so check their website for updated events. ejphair.com
Local favorite Pete’s Brass Rail has served up an impressive 2,197 different brews over its 27 years, but they are currently serving up 20. Join their Connoisseur Club and get 50 cents off every beer. Serious drinkers can keep track of the beers they have consumed and end up on their “Wall of Fame;” there are even people who have drank 1,200 beers! petesbrassrail.com
Alongside German hefeweizens, you can find unique California brews from Livermore’s own Altamont Beer Works. First Street Alehouse is the home of the largest publicly displayed beer can collection in the U.S., so clearly they take beer seriously. On Thursdays, they even have a special “Pint Night” in which you can keep your glass! firststreetalehouse.com
Modeled after pubs in Belgium, The Trappist gives you the opportunity to explore Scandinavian, Dutch, and Belgian styles along with local options. The front and back bars offer different beer selections, so make sure to check out both! With beer choices that include things like “Russian River Damnation,” how can you go wrong? thetrappist.com
With colorful graffiti on the walls and 12 drafts on tap at a time, Telegraph combines urban living with comforting classics. Bay Area breweries – Line 51 Brewing, Almanac – match up perfectly with the beer garden’s selection of burgers and buttermilk pancakes. telegraphoakland.com
Brotzeit Lokal’s waterfront location is the perfect setting to enjoy two of life’s greatest pleasures: sunshine and beer. Nosh on some Bavarian favorites like wurst, sauerkraut, and wiener schnitzel – all prepared with the California mindset of farm-to-table. Their menu pairs nicely with a mix of Californian and German craft beers. brotzeitbiergarten.com
Local gems are often found in the most unlikely of places – the Hop Yard itself resides in a strip mall. But every week, the Hop Yard invites a different brewer to stop by and show off their goods during their Brewery Night celebration. Upcoming breweries include Bear Republic (famous for their “Racer 5 IPA”), Sierra Nevada, and Kona. hopyard.com
Ø L Beercafe and Bottle Shop provides 18 taps and hundreds of meticulously chosen bottles, which you can drink in the store or take home to enjoy. And since the store has no TV, it’s all about the drinking instead of the game. Just FYI - Ø L is the Danish word for beer, in case you were just as confused as I was. beer-shop.org
Though it isn’t a dedicated beer establishment, Corner’s Tavern offers a great selection of beers in the center of downtown Walnut Creek. With local favorites such as Drake’s Brewing Company’s IPA and 21st Amendment Brewery’s ‘Hell or High Watermelon’ on the menu, there is something for every beer drinker’s palette to enjoy. cornerstavern.com