On the East side of Lake Merritt, between Merritt Bakery and a tattoo parlor, Portal is a slender bar that opens up to a roomier outdoor patio with picnic tables (sit out there), sunbrellas, and a view of the lake. Drinks-wise, there're 15 tap beers, mostly but not entirely Californian, and at least one cider (Crispin), while eats-wise small plates include pickled things, salads, and frites, as well as mini-burgers and something called “garbage bread,” which could be/definitely 1,000,000% will be just the ticket after a few rounds.
A Downtown standby that's been around since 1988 (when it was one of the only games in town), Pacific Coast Brewing is the kind of place you could bring your dad to watch a football game without it being weird. The brewpub has 24 selections on tap, up to 10 of which are done in house -- try the uber-dark Leviathan or the BBA Sour Cherry Mermaid’s Revenge, which the brewmaster wants "served at his funeral." The menu offers a standard mix of fried things, sandwiches, and beer-battered fish tacos.