The Best Local Bay Area Brews

 September 17, 2014
Posted by jenn

Beer is on the rise in Northern California and is continuing to grow. Local flavors and community support is becoming more and more important to folks. There is a sense of pride when it comes to local handmade and crafted goods.

My good friend just recently became a cicerone. A cicerone is a professional beer taster who can provide advice on beer and food parring as well. I asked my friend to provide a best of list of local bay area beers.

Faction Brewery located in Alameda: amazing views of San Francisco! Their tasting room is open Wednesday – Sunday 12-6pm

Altamont Beer Works is located in Livermore and uses a play off the Northern California lingo such as, “Hella Hoppy IPA” and “Hella Lite”. Their tasting room days are Wednesday to Sunday with various hours. Watch out for the “Hella Hoppy IPA” at 9% Abv.

Cellarmaker Brewing Co. in the SOMA district of S.F: They are open everyday except Monday. They also offer food to pair with their delicious beers. My favorite beer is “Coffee and Cigarettes” which is a lightly smoked porter. YUM!

Fort Point Brewery in the Presidio of S.F.: They don’t have a tasting room currently yet you can find their beer at many local ale houses. They are a small batch brewery that pushes bold flavors.

Drake’s Brewery in San Leandro: Drake’s makes great beers, that’s a fact! Not only can you find their beers all over the bay area, you can visit their Barrel House. The Barrel House often has food trucks providing good snacks to munch on while drinking.

Ale Industries in Oakland: They have limited hours for their tasting room yet you can find their beers around time. I was blown away by their Rye’d Piper, you must try it.

Mead Kitchen in Berkeley makes artisan mead. They don’t have a tasting room but you can find their mead around town and ale houses and restaurants. Mead is not like drinking wine and not like drinking beer but someplace in between. I definitely suggest you try it.

Heretic Brewing based in Fairfield: Known for making interesting flavor combinations that elevates the flavor. They have a taproom yet you can find them in many places, even 7-11. My favorite beer: Gramayre. SO GOOD!

And of course no beer list could be complete without some more common breweries: Russian River Brewing – The Pliny the Elder is amazingly tasty. Last but surly not the least: Bear Republic Brewing – Everyone know Racer 5.


Is there a beer that you like or brewery that you don’t see here? We would love to hear about it.