Bay Area beer culture has exploded over recent years. Now it rivals that of its neighbors to the south, San Diego. You can still get your piney, hop-heavy, West Coast style IPAs with IBUs through the roof. But, if a fruity juice bomb is more to your liking there are plenty of breweries that can do a New England style IPA that will make you feel like you’re sitting on your porch in a cozy sweater watching the leaves change from green to red.
In this series, we are going to cover breweries all across the Bay from San Francisco to Berkeley– and everything in between.
Fieldwork has exploded over the years, opening multiple locations across the Bay from Napa down to San Mateo. People can’t get enough of this ridiculously juicy beer. Their flagship location is located in North Berkeley near several other breweries. That area makes for a great afternoon of brewery hopping.
Unless the beer is stated as West Coast style you can almost guarantee any IPA you get is going to be cloudy, and will drink more like an orange juice than a Double IPA. We’re willing to bet, beers like Pulp and St.Thomas will convert those in your life that say they “Don’t like beer because it’s too bitter.” With an outside patio and plenty of board games, Fieldwork is the perfect place to spend an afternoon.
Located in the heart of San Francisco, this small brewery does a wide range of styles– and does every one of them well. Whether you are in the mood for a rich, full bodied pastry stout that drinks more like a milkshake than a beer, or if you looking for an ale that is light on calories but not on flavor, Cellar Maker has you covered.
Their flagship, Coffee & Cigarettes is a can’t miss for stout fans. With heavy notes of coffee (and light notes of cigarette) you surely won’t forget it. If you are lucky enough to be there when one of the pastry series is on tap, be prepared for an overload of sweetness straight out of Candy Land. Dobis and Double Dobis are two of our favorite juice bombs with rich notes of papaya and mango. They are truly a treat for your taste buds.
With locations all across the city, there is never a bad time to go to Seven Stills Brewing. Spending the day at the beach on the West Side of the city? Stop by their Sunset Taproom and enjoy a delicious flatbread. Going to a Giants or Warriors game? Then go to where the magic happens, their flagship taproom in Mission Bay.
One of Seven Stills’ hits include Eight Pounds Per BBL, which boasts a ridiculous 8 pounds of hops per barrel. This beer is part of their Hype series and wreaks of hoppy dankness while drinking scarily smooth. If someone in your group isn’t a beer fan, Seven Stills offers the best of both worlds, as it is also a distillery.
Rounding off Part One of our Bay Area brewery guide is Drake’s Brewing Co. Their taproom, Drake’s Dealership, is located in the heart of Oakland. It offers an extremely large outdoor seating area with multiple fire pits as well as a robust food menu. What goes better with delicious beer than wood fired pizza? The answer is nothing!
If you are looking for those hop-heavy West Coast IPAs, look no further. Flagships like Best Coast IPA and Denogginizer will hit your palate with such a hoppy punch you will think Mike Tyson hit your taste buds. With 32 beers on tap, great food, and spacious outdoor seating, there really isn’t a reason to ever leave Drake’s.