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We Love the Nightlife: New Brews and a Cocktail Crawl

Berkeley gets its first mead brewer; drink your way through Uptown Oakland; Barrel Aged donates to Shelter Inc.; and more nightlife happenings.

Saturday, it appears, is the day to be out and about this weekend. With a new beer release at Ale Industries, whiskey ship, and IPA festival to choose from, let me know which one you select so I can make up my mind. Also, stay tuned for cocktail crawls and the Bay Area’s first meadery.



Photo by Joel ValenciaSaturday Happenings

Yup, it’s the beginning of the month, and you know what that means: Ale Industries is throwing open its doors for its monthly First Saturday Artist Market. In addition to hosting local artists and craftspeople, the brewery will release its East Bay IPA, and donate $1 from every pint sold of California State of Mind to Opportunity Junction, this month’s selected charity. Also, don’t miss delicious eats from Tasty Zombies, live music from Bullywest and Io & the Echoes, and more. Saturday, April 6, 2–7 p.m., 975 Detroit Ave., Concord, (925) 470-5280, event website.

Also on Saturday, Hayward’s The Bistro will host IPA fest, its 16th annual celebration of all things hoppy. The Main Street pub will tap more than 70 West Coast IPAs, and offer a number of Hop Rhizome varietals for sale. A $30 entrance fee will get you a six-ounce tasting glass and five tasting tickets, with additional tasting tickets available for $2. While you’re tasting, judges will be sampling the beers, and winners will be announced at 4 p.m. If you get a little beer-ed out, you can also enjoy barbecue and live acoustic music. $30, Saturday, April 6, 11 a.m., 1001 B St., Hayward, (510) 886-8525, the-bistro.com.

As if Saturday weren’t exciting enough, you can also sample from hundreds of different whiskies and scotches at the Whiskies of the World, held on the SF Belle Hornblower Yacht. You can check out my full write-up on the event, along with expert advice for tasting, here.

As the farthest thing from a closet football fan, I can admit I’m not the biggest follower of other things like college hoops, but for all of you basketball fans (or those that still have high hopes of winning their office brackets, cough cough my coworkers cough cough) Livermore’s the Vine is screening the Final Four games. On Monday, April 8, catch the action on the giant 30’ screen, while burgers, pizza, sliders, and other food items are delivered to your table or couch. Monday, April 8, 6 p.m., 1722 First St., Livermore (925) 447-2545, vinecinema.com.



Cocktail Crawl

Those dining crawls are all fine and good, but when East Bay Dish shared news of a cocktail crawl, I suddenly found myself a bit more interested. Localite Tours soft launched its Retro cocktail tour, an eight-block walking excursion through Uptown Oakland. On the tour, you’ll sample cocktails from some of the city’s top watering holes, taste a few snacks to keep those sobriety levels in check, and learn the history of some of the area’s most recognizable landmarks. Tickets are $65, and the tours run Thursdays, from 7–9:30 p.m. Check out the website for more information.


Berkeley Gets Meaded

First came an all-sour beer brewery, and next on the horizon for Berkeley is a brewing space devoted to mead. No longer an old timey drink that conjures up images of knights and ancient steins, the honey-based brew is poised to make a comeback at The Mead Kitchen, and upcoming project from brewer Dan Cook, who has been brewing mead for the past 14 years. According to Berkeleyside, Cook is currently fermenting and aging his brews—which utilize honey from two local beekeepers—at Urbano Cellars, and has a liquor license pending with the state. Initial plans are to offer two varieties for East Bay distribution as early as May, with a possibility of further distribution throughout the Bay Area. I’ll keep you updated as I hear more, since I’m dying to try it.


Barrel Aged Gives Back

One of my favorite off-the-beaten path cocktail joints, Barrel Aged, isn’t just generous with its pours. The Martinez restaurant and cocktail bar generously donated $3,005 to Shelter, Inc., from funds it had raised through sales. Way to go, guys! The restaurant just launched its new spring menu, and frequently hosts spirit education classes on the weekend. Check out its Facebook page for more information. 823 Main St., (925) 228-7795, barrelagedbar.com.


Tribune Tavern

Ethan got a sneak peek of Tribune Tavern, the upcoming project from Chop Bar’s Chris Pastena, and it sounds pretty sweet. Located in the Tribune Tower, the restaurant will devote an entire section of its kitchen to its bar program, helmed by Paul Christensen, formerly of Plum Bar and Haven. What does one do with an entire section of a kitchen? Why, make housemade tonics, sodas, syrups, and bitters, of course. Look for a grand opening next Wednesday, April 10. 401 13th St., Oakland, (510) 452-8742, tribunetavern.com.


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