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Bay Area Beer Timeline

A blow-by-blow of delicious craft beers in the Bay Area, in chronological order, of course.


1969-1979: Anchor Steam Beer, San Francisco

Anchor Steam brewing operations creates several of the award-winning beers that are still crafted at their Mariposa Street outpost today.

1983: Buffalo Bill’s, Hayward

Buffalo Bill’s goes down in American brewing history as one of the first five brewpubs to ever open its doors. The brewpub is still alive and brewing, although Buffalo Bill himself sold the company in 1994.        

1986: Triple Rock, Berkeley

Brothers John and Reid Martin opened Triple Rock while they were in there 20s, and began what was to be the fifth brewpub in America. The brewery is still going strong at their Berkeley location, with new and interesting brews like single hop beers serving to educate a thirsty public.

1987: The Toronado, San Francisco

Dark, stuffed to the gills with the flannel-shirted adherents of true craft beer, the Toronado is one of the United States premier beer bars and always has been.

1987: Pacific Coast Brewing, Oakland

Brewing beers in 1980s equipment from Great Britain in a location that was constructed in 1876, “Pac Coast” turns out a darker, stronger beer on average.

1987: Pete’s Brass Rail and Car Wash, Danville

No Crap on Tap is the unofficial motto here, and the Danville brewpub has enough variety (20 rotating craft brews on tap) to keep the pickiest connoisseur happy.

1989: Drake’s Brewing, San Leandro

Founded by Roger Lind and now operated by Triple Rock’s John Martin, the craft-brew superstar still churns out terrific Ales with a smattering of Stout and Porter, keeping the Bay Area Brew torch burning since its opening day.

1993: The Hopyard, Pleasanton

Located on the site of what used to be one of the biggest hop farms in the world, this Pleasanton alehouse is a great place to try a local brew, and it has a second location in San Ramon.

1994: Black Diamond Brewing, Walnut Creek

Started during one of the roughest times for craft brewing in the Bay, Black Diamond operated as a successful brewpub in downtown Walnut Creek until owners moved operations to Concord in 2004 to become a full-time production brewery.

2002: Pyramid Brewing, Walnut Creek

Pyramid turned out one of the first widely known craft brews in America in 1984, but their Walnut Creek outpost only opened its doors in 2002, quickly turning into a spot constantly packed with both beer dabblers and beer experts.

2005: E.J. Phair, Concord

JJ Phair opened up his brewhouse and restaurant off of Todos Santos Plaza in Concord. The concept proved so successful that they opened up a new production brewery, tap room, and restaurant in old town Pittsburg this fall.

2007: The Trappist, Oakland

Popular is an understatement for this once pocket-size bar (now with a back bar that helps the after-work crunch) that serves over 100 Belgian, Dutch, Scandinavian, and U.S. beers.

2009: Linden Street Brewing Company, Oakland

Pumping out wholesale beer for the purpose of serving Bay Area watering holes with excellent craft brewin’, Linden has already caused a boatload of buzz among Bay Area beer aficionados.

2009: Ale Industries, Concord

Bringing great beer way out past the tunnel, Ale Industries’ whimsically named beers (Orange Kush, Rye’d Piper) is served at a wide variety of East Bay and San Francisco locations known for carrying good beer.

2010: Beer Revolution, Oakland

This funky but fun specialty beer bottle shop and tasting room in Jack London Square carries an insanely comprehensive collection of suds, including more than 500 bottles and 14 rotating brews on tap.


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