Grape & Grain - San Mateo

Taps: 8 | Bottles: 100
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  • AMBIANCE 4/5
  • SERVICE 8/10
  • SELECTION 12/15
  • FOOD N/A
  • VALUE 6/10
  • OVERALL 17/20
brokensail  (1374) Dublin, California | December 25, 2014
This place brings back some memories. Firstly, it’s just a couple doors down from what used to be one of my favorite Chinese restaurants (Pierre’s), which is now out of business. The hospital and medical buildings were also some frequent visits back in the day, being a terribly asthmatic kid.

Anyway, it’s a cool little bar with a handful of bottles offered as well. The draft list is not terribly big, but there is a good variety and pretty solid quality to the list. They do half pours, but no tasters. Pricing is kind of on the high side on some beers (up to $9). But overall, it’s a good little bar. They also have a bunch of wines here as well if you don’t want beers.
  • AMBIANCE 3/5
  • SERVICE 8/10
  • SELECTION 11/15
  • FOOD N/A
  • VALUE 6/10
  • OVERALL 18/20
t0rin0  (1529) Do Not Resuscitate, California | December 27, 2013
Visited December 26, 2013.

I’d heard about this place a few times but never manage to make it over when I’m in town. Actually, since high school the only reason I ever go to down town San Mateo is for the old B Street Music shop (which isn’t actually on B Street anymore, but that moved over a decade ago. Shows how much I actually come here) so it’s not all that surprising that I haven’t been in. I’m glad that I did finally check it out. I could see being slightly more of a regular here, as in maybe once a month or so. The set up is kind of sad with a small L-shaped bar that seats maybe 5 on one side. There were no seats on the other side but I’m guessing that is because they want to take orders there. There are a few tables too but only a few. There is a large shelf prominently displaying a lot of Fou Foune bottles (empty) as well as a bunch of other popular beers. The only full bottles are the wine bottles. I never even thought to look at the bottle list but I can only assume they have some Cantillon on menu.

They have a modest eight taps but they’re all good or at least interesting. I saw Faction on the list and assumed it would be hoppy and thus ordered a glass but it turned out to be their dubbel. It was quite good, even if it was a bit light in color. The people sitting next to me were interested to try the Cedar Plank pale ale from Ballast Point so against my advice they bought a half glass anyway. Suckers. That brings up an interesting point though: they sell half glasses. I also spotted some taster glasses though I didn’t ask if they do flights.

Prices weren’t out of control: $6ish per glass, but more than I’d like to pay for a beer. No idea on bottles. They also have a small food menu that ranged from $4 to $8, mostly snacks like some charcuterie or a bowl of olives. The service was very friendly and he seemed to know the group that was at the bar next to me that opened a growler of something or other and showed me the Fifty Fifty / Healthy Spirits collaboration beer.

As mentioned before this place is a little depressing since it’s so open and you can hardly get any patrons in there but aside from that it’s a pretty cool place and I’ll be back.

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