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 don’t 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 there’s no beating it.
Knowledgeable bartenders, great options, and a nice atmosphere. Now that they’ve opened the back room every day, the overcrowding is not an issue. The crowd is a pleasure, especially compared to the folks at a couple of the other premiere beer bars in the Bay Area. Not a lot of Frat types or stumbling drunks.
Wow, wow. Beautiful, stately decor here, an incredibly impressive bottle and tap lineup, very friendly bartenders, and just a great experience stepping into a place like this, even on a quiet Sunday evening. Draft list included: Allagash Confluence, Bockor Rouge, RR Damnation, Drakes Bass Ackwards, Nogne Tiger Triple, Saison Dupont, etc. Countless things to session. Ridiculous bottle selection: huge array of Belgians, Mikkeller, Struise (Pannepot Gran Reserva, $100 a pop!), Lost Abbey, Russian River, etc. Damn impressive place. Look forward to checking it out on a busier night, hopefully soon.
In all my wildest dreams would I ever think of finding an exquisite Belgian beer bar in Oakland ... but here it is.
A small, dark and wonderfully inviting place with a book for a beer menu (or is it a beer menu in a book) with a wide variety of styles. And it’s a short walk to the BART Station as well.
A must for any Bay Area pub crawl.
ajm (202) Los Angeles, California | July 16, 2009| Updated February 21, 2010
The day I went was just after it appeared on the RBSG itinerary. This may be the reason why the taps were uninspired, or it may just be the season (summer). Ambiance is like that little New York bar where detectives meet and only about 16 people have access to the ’back room’. I have since been back though and love it. The bottles are even better and the tap lines are clean as a whistle. Also every beer has the precisely corresponding piece of glassware, which is absurd.
gail (10) San Francisco, California | July 7, 2009| Updated July 8, 2009
The great news about the Trappist is that as of earlier this year they remodeled and opened another room, to be made available during the previously too-crowded times. The earliest reviews reflect a much smaller area.
They take beer seriously, have a charming but un-stuffy ambiance, and the great Belgian and American beers that rotate through the taps here are often stunning. (To say nothing of the library of bottle-conditioned Belgian treasures.)
Disclosure: I know and like the staff and owners, and jI ust finished a Cicerone certification prep class taught by one of their bartenders (she’s also a BJCP judge) and attended by two others. That’s a lot of hardcore beer knowledge, in a group of hardworking and friendly people.
No meals served here but the cheese plate is a nice taste treat.
Another one of my favorite places. Excellent selection of Belgian ales, all served in proper glassware. Walking (staggering) distance to BART. The only downside is that the place is kind of small. It’s worth it, though. Definitely a must for anyone living in or visiting the Bay Area.
Convenient location in downtown Oakland with usually ok parking. Nice interior, but very narrow and small, can get crowded very quickly. Specialized in Belgian beers, however they typically have a couple American craft brews on tap. They serve each beer in the proper glassware, very classy. They have limited food options, mainly cheese plates but these are very good. I enjoy going here even though it is out of my way a bit.
Stopped in on a weekend afternoon. The place was about half full, with a couple open tables in the back, and a couple open stools at the bar. Luckily the bartenders weren’t too busy and it was easy to strike up a conversation about beer. The two young women both knew exactly what they were doing. I was very impressed with their knowledge about various Belgian styles and beers, and their impeccable serving technique. The place itself definitely feels new, and this clashes a little with the worn in Belgian wood look that they are going for, but in a few years it’s going to wear in quite nicely. The beer is split between a draught list up on a high chalkboard, and a thick leather binder showcasing a vast array of bottled offerings. Though most Belgian brewers’ ranges are a little shallow, with only several offerings, the amount of different brewers represented is astounding. The draught list would be enough on it’s own though, with stuff that I’ve certainly never seen anywhere else, and they update a list of it every week on their website. While nothing is cheap, you’ve got to consider what you are buying. Many bottle prices are barely marked above what you would find in many retail shops. They had three Russian River sours available for only a dollar more than retail price. Adding to the value is that every beer is served properly, with most in their own glassware. I’ll definitely be stopping in every time I’m in the east bay.