I could not beleive that this was a beer store - so many taps that I lost count, plus endless bottles jam packed for SF beer week when we were there, for a Lost Abbey and Firestone Walker event. Great crowd, amazing vibe. Best beer store I have ever visited.
Visited on a Friday afternoon in November 2015. It’s a couple of blocks from Jack London Square, has security on the door at 3pm and looks like a converted house with bars on the window and a small deck out front that catches the afternoon sun just right. Step into the dark interior and it strikes me as the place Toronado so wants to be. Loud music, a huge and interesting tap list and a good range of bottles in the fridge. Seems they have a delivery of Pliny at 2.30pm every Thursday that’s gone in 24hrs.
Service was good, prices decent. A great bar and worth the trip over the bay.
I try to make it to the east bay at least once a trip to the yay, usually also hitting either Drakes or Berkeley (Triple Rock and Jupiter). These guys have a ton of random stuff on tap at all times. Pretty neat. They also have a lot of bottles to pick from. There are some food options close by but they dont serve food here. My only real complaints about this place are how busy it gets and the fact that there is one toilet for all hundred and something people that squeeze into the place.
This has easily become one of the best places for beer in the Bay Area. Huge taplist, crazy rotation, and tons of interesting stuff. Prices are quite reasonable, staff is very friendly, and the ambiance is great. One of my favorite places to visit.
Bustlin’ crowd on a stinking hot day in late September. Great selection with many new beers to try. A lot of bottles to peruse through as well. No nonsense bar crew and pretty much a hectic feel to the place. I had a good time here.
Very interesting place, and definitely the go to spot for local beers on tap. They devote a large fraction of their extensive tap list to small brewery northern California beers, some of which I have never seen anywhere else. Also have a row of coolers opposite the bar with "priced to go" beers. Prices are decent, selection is no better or worse than any of a bunch of other places in the area. They do carry some Russian river, but surprisingly few other North Bay beers. I was hoping to score some Marin, no such luck. Bar itself is cramped and grimy, which is part of the vibe, I guess. There is a patio with long picnic style tables as well when weather permits. Don’t go here looking for a whale, but if you want to try a selection of interesting locals that have yet to make the big time, this is your place.
Visited late afternoon on a Monday. Located in Jack London Square area of downtown Oakland, easy to find just off of Broadway. Parking is street, and I would imagine could get limited at times. There is an outdoor patio you walk across to enter, with table seating. Interior is a long bar on the right hand side, with tables and bottle coolers to the left. Narrow room, though space to maneuver. Beer selection, both on draft and in the coolers is incredible. Draft is 50 or so very well chosen drafts with a focus on top craft producers throughout the world. The bottle selection is even more impressive, with 8 cooler doors of crazy beers. Local and sought after national. Really good vibe, beautiful day on the patio. I wish I could have bottle shopped. I ended up visiting twice during my week in Oakland.
88 = ★★★★ (best in area, a must for locals and visitors)
I only use the total score, not the component parts.
First things first: ambiance-wise, this place is a hole. Uncomfortable, packed with a rather loud crowd, seating sketchy, not very nice smelling either. The patio was decent, but it was very hard to maneuver. Sometimes took a long time to get beers, though they seemed to know what the beers were about. Great selection: lots of quality beers in bottle and keg, and a few hard to find beers as well. I would definitely go back, though it’s not the kind of place I would want to hang out in for long.
Located a short walk from the 12th St Oakland BART station, which only took 15minutes to get to from Central SF. Beer shop meets bar concept. I suppose I could loosely liken this to a rock bar inside, but it’s obvious with all the beer everywhere what the true focus is. Nowhere near as much of a dive as Toro SF. Crazy selection of 47 taps, the details of which are crammed onto a tiny blackboard above the bar. Real local focus i.e. I didn’t recognise half of the beers on. Amazing to see 2004 BFM Bon-Chien on draft! Lots of fridges opposite the bar full of interesting bottles at decent prices. Fridges separated into beer style, which always helps. All beer can be taken out or drank in for a nominal $1 extra. Small, but nice outside area at the front is also great on a sunny day. Staff were really friendly and knowledgeable. This really is one of the best places to drink good beer anywhere!
GT (672) San Diego, California | February 17, 2012
Crazy dive bar cum bottle shop that is pretty hardcore craft beer. The ceiling is decorated with brewery flags and dried hop vines. The taplist when I was there was a Firestone Walker and Lost Abbey/Port tap takeover. 13 Lost Abbey beers on tap and another 10 from Firestone Walker and Deschutes. Tons of other local beers. Service was very good considering over 200 people were packed into this beer store sized room. Glassware was nice, keg rotation looked rapid. Outdoor seating area is a big plus. Very sociable place. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a room with as many hard core beer people in my life.