Let me start with the bad, of which there is very little.
Itís a little pretentious. Sometimes hard to get a seat or find a place to chill while waiting for a seat. Its not the best value around. Itís just a little too far from my house to walk.
Now the good, the Trappist is freaking awesome in terms of beer and decor and vibe.
I love the glassware and adore the staff.
I like the food the menu and the set up a lot.
Along with beer revolution and the tornado across the bridge, it is in the wholly trinity of bay area beer bars.
This place is great, if sneaky expensive. If you like this place and ever find yourself in Worcester, MA (or vice versa, I supposse) go check out the surprising Armsby Abbey, which actually does the Belgian-Beer-meets-slow-food-California thing better.
The ambiance and service here is second to none. Very classy with friendly bartenders. The selection is fantastic too. The only other place in the bay area that even comes close to matching their Belgian selection is Toronado. Itís easily accessible via public transit. What more could you ask for? My only complaint is that they donít open until 4 pm.
In an odd part of town. Zacharyís pizza place wasnít too far from here, and I actually expected this place to be on that side of town. I am not an Oakland resident, so I donít have any valid/constructive way of giving any type of opinion on location. Plenty of parking across the street. My brother and I got there as soon as it opened. Fairly nice tap selection. The ambiance was perfect. The place is fairly slender. I didnít really venture off into the back, other than to take a piss, but from what I can tell the place was rather small. The bartender was FAST, and as soon as I finished my beer I was asked what I wanted next. Bar heavily favors Belgians (hence the fíin name), but given that, there were some nice beers on tap that werenít Belgian beers. Nice wood paneling on the insider with a fancy bar area. Regulars seemed like they didnít care too much about being beer geeks, which was cool (I call them regulars because the bartender was fairly familiar with them). Overall, great experience, and Oakland was a much nicer town than I expected (I only saw a little bit of it).
A little too expensive, and gets a little too crowded, but if you come when itís not packed itís a great place to spend some time. I love the wide Belgian assortment, and the cheese platter is delicious!
...well, went down on a Friday night, and it was wayy too packed. The back room was boiling hot, people standing everywhere pretending to know about the beers they were drinking. They had the correct glassware, lots of cool beer memorabilia, and interesting things to look at. Need to go back when itís not soo packed. Good selection of belgian beers. Pretty sweet place.
nbutler11 (356) Cambridge, England | November 2, 2009| Updated July 3, 2012
Reminds me of Europe in the best way. Very unsuspecting location in northern Oakland around Koreatown. A nearly perfect interior -- wood paneled and very sophisticated. It depends on the day, but their tap and bottles lists have the most reach I hever ever seen in the US. So glad I donít live near this place because it would absolutely wreck me. The clientele and staff vary to the same degree, but when this place is on thereís no beating it.