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We Love the Nighlife: October 11–17

A fresh bar hits Uptown Oakland; Berkeley welcomes a sour beer brewery; the circus gets a boozy spin; and more nightlife happenings.

One of the participants in SF Craft Spirits Carnival


Since I'm flying out to Hawaii this weekend, I'll be missing some pretty entertaining looking events, but I'm pretty sure no one is feeling bad for me. On my checklist for when I get back: drinks at the new Fauna in Oakland and sampling Ale Industries' Fall Down Brown, if only to figure out how smoked pumpkins taste in a beer. Everyone please hold down the nightlife fort in my absence.


photo from Eater SFFlora gets a friend

The team from Oakland’s Flora recently opened an adjacent bar, appropriately named Fauna. The 22-seat watering hole features art deco décor, taxidermy (fittingly), hand-crafted cocktails, draft beer, and a few televisions. While it sounds like an excellent spot to wait for a table at Flora, after falling in love with Plum Bar, Fauna also seems like a perfect destination for pre-show or post-dinner drinks. Or don’t leave—the bar also has its own special menu of small plates. 1900 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, floraoakland.com.

New brews in Berkeley

Well, not quite yet. But there is a new brewery in the works. The Rare Barrel, which will only deal in sour beers, recently announced it would be moving into Berkeley. The owners cited the city’s cool weather as one of the primary motivating factors, since the lower temps (compared to this side of the tunnel, where the 100-plus degree days never seemed to end) are ideal for aging the sour brews. The Rare Barrel team, composed of father-and-son Brad and Jay Goodwin and Jay's friend Alex Wallash, is currently in the process of securing a building permit, and hopes to start construction soon. Since I went to college with two of them, I’m hoping to hear back soon about approximate up-and-running dates, but Gaucho pride only gets you so far. therarebarrel.com.

Also…Commonwealth reopens

In other beer news, Oakland’s Commonwealth Café & Pub is back up and running after a fire knocked it out of commission back in July. In Conord, Ale Industries is currently smoking sugar pie pumpkins for its seasonal Fall Down Brown ale.

Redux lounge goes gourmet

Our very own Ethan Fletcher has interesting news on Redux Lounge, which bills itself as the East Bay's newest premiere hotspot. I, for one, had no idea the nightclub served food at all, but Fletcher reports it will be introducing a new restaurant concept next week. Expect a pizza joint by day (it was open during the day?!?) and fusiony bistro by night. While I can’t imagine eating lobster tail while a couple grinds on the dancefloor nearby, I wish Redux the best of luck. 1411 Locust St., Walnut Creek, reduxlounge.com.

A spirited carnival

If you feel like popping into the city, this weekend marks the launch of the inaugural San Francisco Spirits Carnival. More than 25 regional distilleries from the newly formed California Artisanal Distillers Guild, and countless others from out of state, will descend upon Fort Mason, giving you an opportunity to try unique vodkas, gins, whiskeys, and more before you buy. And don’t worry , you’re not seeing things—Cirque du Soleil–esque performances will be going on throughout the event. $125/day or $200 for both, Saturday, October 13–Sunday, October 14, 2–5 p.m., Fort Mason Festival Pavillion, San Francisco, craftspiritscarnival.com.

One final Oktoberfest

They may have wrapped up the festivities in Germany, but that hasn’t stopped Moraga from throwing a final Oktoberfest bash. This Sunday, stop by Hacienda de las Flores for a live German band, Bavarian dancers, bratwurst, strudel, and, of course, beer. Families can also partake in pumpkin painting, chalk drawing, and bouncy houses, so don’t say I never include events for people with kids. Sunday, October 14, 3–7 p.m., 2100 Donald Dr., Moraga, event website.


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