Visited on a Thursday afternoon..It was not very hard to find since I read some other reviews..Nice crowd of people in a big dark barrel room..Went to the bar and ordered a sample of everything they had on tap and then ordered another taster of the barrel aged beers.Grabbed as Growler as well..Very nice beers and one of the best sours I have had..badass place
Have been here several times over the years and I thought I had already rated them, but no. Easy to find, off the 880, behind Walmart. Stopped by on the way back from a camping trip, Lagunitas was a zoo scene, had stopped at Moylan’s on the way up, so we figured the food looked good and the beer is always good (plus I’m a San Leandro native). Parked our truck an trailer over by Walmart and headed over with our big dog and found a table. The table service was already over so I headed in to get a couple of beers before ordering, Robustito and a special IPA, Triplicity. There was a duo playing music on the patio and a fairly good size crowd. One of the servers came over and we ended up getting our food through him, talking about beer, and he dropped off a couple of the sours they had on tap to try (Grandpapa Roy’s Peche and Too Many Candles). Food came, prepared out of a cool retro trailer parked out back, and was good, so i’d say overall, this place always delivers. I was impressed by their sours, looking forward to more. I did pick up a bottle to take, Papa’ Roy’s Peche. Corked sour 500ml for 18.99. Price seemed a little steep for a 500, but have not seen it anywhere else.
The scene of the crime: RBSG Grand Tasting 2009. Really generous and good-natured hosts, trusting us with glassware, bathroom use, and access to their walk-in fridge which was stocked. Great people. Warehouse is danker than even AleSmith’s - looks more horror movie-like and less tourable, which I enjoyed. Will go back to revisit the madness.
Time for some re-rates now with the new Barrel House up and running! I’ve been excited for this opening for a while since I’m a pretty big Drakes fan. The location hasn’t changed. It’s still behind the Walmart in an industrial park in San Leandro. It’s not hard to find right off of 880 on Davis street. Just drive like your going to Walmart and it’s in the buildings right next door. It’s also reasonably close to the BART station, you just have to take a short bus or cab ride from there. Anyway, the ambiance is really nice now. The Barrel House has a nice patio and a large interior with some tables and benches amidst the many barrels filled with beer. It reminds me a bit of Lost Abbey with the industrial park setting, warehouse type location, and barrels of aging beer to peruse. I just wish they had some stools at the bar. They have about 20 of their regular beers on tap and usually 3 or 4 "strong" beers like Denogginizer and 3 or 4 barrel aged selections including bourbon, brandy, and various wine aged stouts, sours, and barleywines. The selection is outstanding. I imagine there’s going to be a huge rise in Drakes presence on the RB database, since most of the barrel aged brews are one offs. You can also get growler fills, bottles, and even kegs of the beer to go. Their regular brews are all above average, especially the IPA’s, of which they make many. The barrel selections have been hit or miss so far. Some are outstanding (a merlot barrel imperial stout I had recently) and some have been not so good (a pinot aged sour) but it’s still an exciting place to do some tasting. They do serve sample sizes for a small fee. The service was good, although I haven’t been here when its been busy yet. Overall, this place is a must if you are a local or visiting from out of town.
Stopped at the new Tasting/Barrel Room. A bit hard to find, but there is plenty of parking. A really amazing tasting environment, looks great with plenty of taps and bottles. Kegs to go. Sample sizes, full pints, half pints, growlers. Plenty of barrel aged beers and draft beer that you can’t get elsewhere. A few beers from Jupiter and Triple Rock as well (all owned by the same people). Great prices. I’ll be back every trip up north.
Pretty cool place with a great number of taps, basically an open warehouse door inviting you to come inside or side at one of the few picnic tables. Nominally three barrel aged beers on tap, but two were out when we were there. Otherwise, this is what a tasting room SHOULD look like at a small microbrewery in my opinion. As for food - they supposedly have trucks sometimes, but I hope you like pretzels, or else grab something at the Togo’s down the way.
(Visited 08/2014): Drake’s is located off the Nimitz Freeway on Davis Street, basically hidden behind a Walmart. Parking is available in any of the lots in the complex, as well as in a garage.
Once you do find it though it is easy to spot, being a large blue warehouse with a large logo sign and fermenters outside. The barrel room was closed during my visit for First Friday, so they had pouring stations and the garage doors open to serve beers. There was a cool festival atmosphere as a result, but I wasn’t really able to see anything other than the outside.
As for the selection, there were about 12 beers available for the event, including First Friday (which was sold out), Aroma Flora, Aroma Coma, 1500, Pork Pie Rye, Discovery Vienna Lager, Blonde, Hefe, Porter, Omega and Double IPA. All the beers I tried via the token system in use that day were good.
Service during the Friday late afternoon event was good at the pouring stations.
I did not have food on my visit, although there was a food truck there for the event.
All in all I was happy to stumble on a visit during First Friday and would like to visit again on a normal day to check out the rest of the operation. Regardless I had a good time.
Been here a number of times over the years, at both the brewery and the new barrel house tasting room. The grand tasting for RBSG 2009 was also here.
The brewery side is only open on Fridays for their open house. Its been a few years so I dont know if they still do it this way but it used to be that you paid $10 or $15 and got a glass and 3 or 4 drink coupons. Full pours only, no samples. They also have a BBQ going and sometimes some music as well.
The barrel room has seating, bottles to go, does samples as well as full glasses, and sells growlers too. There are always at least a half dozen barrel offerings on tap as well as a half dozen regular beers on tap. No food served but you can bring food in or have it delivered.
Prices are reasonable, service is pretty good, nice place to stop and have a beer or a couple ticks. About a mile walk from the BART station in San Leandro if you want burn off some calories. Otherwise there is plenty of parking at the Walmart and Home Depot next door.
Visited the barrel room on a Friday early afternoon on a nice day. A little hard to find as gps gets you close, but not quite there as you can’t see it. But there is a sign off the last turn in for Drakes and a couple of other businesses and it says in smaller print, ’behind wal mart’. We then drove around the back to see it. Industrial area, air traffic over head, functioning facility with a ramp/patio with outdoor seating and a large roll up door that opens up to more seating, a decent number of mixed barrels stacked 4-5 racks high and a nice long stand up bar with many taps and a chalkboard listing beers, some description and pricing. Sample, full pours, growlers and bottles to go. Fair pricing and some great one off draft only offerings. Only got to try 4 beer samples and wish I could had tried some more. Worth a stop for sure.