According to the California Craft Brewers Association, California is the birthplace of the craft beer movement, so it’s no wonder that the Bay Area has an abundance of craft brewers creating cutting edge flavor profiles, experimenting with traditional European styles, and designing taprooms that are welcoming, kid-friendly, and food-focused. Many are located near BART stations, providing a transit-friendly solution for exploring some new brews.
Added bonus: SF Beer Week runs Feb. 10 to 19, 2017, and many of these taprooms are participating with site-specific events and crafting special brews. Visit their websites for more information.
Photo from Ale Industries.
Situated near the Fruitvale Station is up-and-coming Ale Industries, a serious brewing business with some pretty unusual brews. Founders Morgan Cox and Stephen Lopas implement sustainable and eco-friendly brewing techniques like water conservation, and they barrel age many of their offerings. Super-casual taproom filled with enthusiastic fans and the simply curious. No food, but no problem bringing it in.
Photo from Farm Creek Brewing Company.
Don’t be surprised if a member of the Janinda family pours your beer as husband-and-wife owners wear many hats at this inviting family-owned and operated brewery. Farm Creek Brewing Company, which only opened a few months ago, is one of the friendliest taprooms around. They have a solid beer list with a lager, stout, and a few IPAs. Kids and dogs are welcome and food can be brought in.
Photo from Woods Beer Co.
Though Woods Beer Co. has expanded to San Francisco and Treasure Island, their Uptown Oakland location is where the magic happens. The taproom is large and includes a beer garden with requisite fire pits and plenty of interesting (Yerba Mate!) house-brewed beers to bring you back. Empanadas, live music on weekends, and a polished atmosphere than the average taproom make the place more than just a space to drink beer.
Photo from Old Bus Tavern.
Old Bus Tavern sits on the outer edge of Bernal Heights, serving up some great house-brewed beer, cocktails, and food. It’s a fun, casual place on the south-east side of San Francisco where you can not only enjoy one of the establishment’s five house-made seasonal ales and saisons, but also try several other local brews on tap, all accompanied by a menu that defies stereotypical taproom bites. We’re talking salmon crudo, octopus with grits, and grilled NY strip.
Photo from Standard Deviant Brewing.
Housed in a former body shop in San Francisco, it should be no surprise that food trucks pull up in front of this newly opened brewery and taproom. Three industry veterans run Standard Deviant Brewing, and the partners split their time between the bar and the barrels. Pinball machines and picnic tables fill the large warehouse space, and the ten or so taps include German-style Kolsch, hoppy IPAs, and a great saison.
Photo from Temescal Brewing.
This bright, sunny brewery in Oakland’s Temescal District offers a great selection of seasonal sours and saisons, in addition to the typical assortment of ales and stouts. Lots of rotation and lots of fun flavors to sample with free popcorn. Bring a group of people and hang out in the large outdoor patio. Every day brings a different food truck, so check their website if you’re curious about the day’s offering. Dog and kid friendly.