Category Archives: Bay Area

Bay Area Breweries

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company – Berkeley Torpedo Room

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Sierra Nevada Brewing Company crafts their ubiquitous beer in Chico, California, of course. But the Craft Beer Gods smiled upon Berkeley greatly when Ken & Co. launched the Torpedo Room on West Berkeley’s hipster/yupster-friendly Fourth Street.

We love Sierra for many reasons – innovation, consistency, freshness – but perhaps most importantly convenience (can you tell we’re from New York?!). You can find Sierra practically everywhere you turn, and for a fairly reasonable price! Similarly, if you happen upon the City of Berkeley, you know you’ll find the freshest and finest Sierra craft beer at the Torpedo Room each and every visit. Many of Sierra Nevada’s beers are available only in the Torpedo Room or up in Chico, so feel free to try a bunch! They offer generous tasters for as little as a couple-to-three bucks and change each. Pair a beer flight with a local artisanal cheese plate!

While there is no brewing performed on premises (yet), all of Sierra Nevada’s latest and greatest flow from the multitude of taps at this Beer Mecca extension. We topped off our latest trip with one of Sierra’s year round offerings – Hop Hunter IPA, brewed with hop oil distilled right in the fields of the brewer’s Chico farm. That’s farm-to-bottle freshness right in Berkeley! CHEERS!

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Hop Dogma Brewing Company

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El Grenada, California is a pretty relaxing and peaceful place all right. It’s located on the Pacific Coast just north of beautiful Half Moon Bay. Life seems pretty sweet here from the looks of it. There’s an old western post office across the street from the beach, a beachy gourmet sandwich shop and one of the best breweries on the Pacific Ocean – Hop Dogma Brewing Company.

Hop Dogma swung its doors open on the 4th of July in 2013 after founders Ethan Martini and Dan Littlefield took their “hobby business” into the San Francisco Peninsula brewery big leagues. They are known for brewing small batch, hop forward “adventurous” ales, and we couldn’t agree more with their reputation for brewing quality beers made with the freshest ingredients. Grab a sandwich from across the street and get comfy in this superb ocean view craft beer bar!

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We may be in a little over our heads at Hop Dogma! Beer flight on deck = Waddell Creek Saison, Kara’s Kolsch, Here’s You’re Hefe, Pyros Prost (American Rye with chili peppers), Cornshucker Cream Ale, Walk to Me Pale Ale, We All Grin for Lupin IPA and last but not least Fides in Fermento. CHEERS!

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Bear Republic Brewing Company

Established by the Norgrove Family in the historic heart of Healdsburg, Sonoma County, California’s Bear Republic Brewing Company ranks among the 50 largest craft breweries in America!

This buzzing and central brewpub offers mighty fine ale and incredible Cali fresh fare – try the Bodega Bay crab sandwich and all their 14 fresh beers on tap!

21st Amendment Brewery

21st Amendment Brewery was founded at the dawn of the Millennium, in 2000, by Shaun O’Sullivan (former Assistant Brewer at Triple Rock Brewery in Berkeley, California) and Nico Freccia. They’ve grown by leaps and bounds over the years and in 2015 transformed the old Kellogg plant in San Leandro to an impressive state of the art East Bay brewery!

And in case you’re wondering, “What’s in a name?”, 21st Amendment takes theirs from the 1933 Amendment to the United States Constitution that stuck a fork in Prohibition, which lasted nearly 13 years in America. CHEERS!

New Bohemia Brewing Company

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New Bohemia Brewing Company takes inspiration from Prague, the Bohemian beer making capital of old. Today’s Czech Republicans still down more beer per capita than any other (cheers!).

Brewmaster Dan Satterthwaite and NUBO partner Mike Hochleutner build on traditional European brewing methods with a wide range of deliciously fresh craft beer, all brewed on site in a sweet 3.5 barrel PDX Kettlewords system – she’s a beauty! NUBO Brewing is worth a trip to sunny Santa Cruz, California any day in our beer book. Check them out!

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Sante Adairius Rustic Ales

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Sante Adairius Rustic Ales was founded by Adair Paterno and Tim Clifford in Capitola, California, along the coast of Monterey Bay just south of Santa Cruz. It’s gorgeous here all year round! Home to 70 wineries, Santa Cruz also serves as a hub for beer making (and beer drinking!). This is our third visit to Sante Adairius Rustic Ales. Can you tell we’re fans?!

Paterno and Clifford describe SARA as “an expression of our many years of beergeekery, the rabbit hole of tasting every beer we could get our hands on, and trusting we could contribute to the canon of those beers on the highest esteem.” We’ll drink to that! CHEERS!

Beer flight on deck = Anais Saison, Simpleton IPA (brewed with Simcoe and Galaxy hops) and of course the Vanilla Joe (brewed with Verve Coffee and vanilla beans)!

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Beermaking in progress!

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BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse

BJ’s Restaurants (Ticker: BJRI), a $1.2 billion publicly traded restaurant and brewery chain, is a place we want to hate but have to love. Founded in 1978 in Santa Ana, California, by a couple of deep dish pizza guys, BJ’s started brewing craft beer in 1996 (the same year they listed on NASDAQ) in Brea, SoCal. Today they operate over 150 locations. Our beer flight on deck today = Temple of Stone IPA (collaboration with Stone Brewing Company), Stout, Red Ale, and Hefe. Cheers!

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When life gives you peaches, make beer!

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Fieldwork Brewing Company

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Welcome to Berkeley, Fieldwork Brewing! Fieldwork was founded by Barry Braden and Head Brewer Alex Tweet in February 2015 in emerging, post-industrial West Berkeley, California. Tweet brings Ballast Point and Modern Times brewing experience to Fieldwork “with a focus on exceptional, honest beermaking” – amen brother!

Every beerski we tried was truly exceptional, indeed, every one! Our first beer flight on deck = Morning Time Breakfast Stout, Hot Chocolate Stout and Coconut Milk Double IPA (brewed with 100 lbs. of coconuts!). We’ll be back soon!

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Southern Pacific Brewing Company

Southern Pacific Brewing Company was founded in 2012 by Chris Lawrence, who converted a 10,000 square foot former machine shop near the old Southern Pacific Railroad that ran down Harrison Street in the early 20th Century into a shiny “new” 15 barrel brewery.

The brewing equipment cast aside when Potrero Brewing Company went belly up was been given a new lease on life under Head Brewmaster Andy French. French brews “clean, dry, true to style beers.” We’ll drink to that! CHEERS!

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Southpaw BBQ SF

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Southpaw BBQ brings together plenty of southern comfort, finger lickin’ good bbq and a few house brewed beerskis. Head Brewer Phil Cutti cut (lol) his beer teeth at SF Brewcraft in the mid-90s, where Steve and Mike Bruce (founders of Speakeasy Ales & Lagers) sharpened his brewing skills. Beer flight on deck = Big Bad Leroy Brown, Sour Brown Ale and Pale Ale. Not pictured here but definitely our favorite on this warm summer day in San Francisco is the staff brewed Lemongrass Hefe…get it while it’s hot (outside)!

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This efficient 7 barrel brewing system is tucked into the corner at Southpaw BBQ, allowing them “to bring beer crafting into an accessible community setting.” We’ll drink to that! CHEERS!