Food & Drink

The 11 Best Beer Bars in Oakland

Published On 05/07/2015 Published On 05/07/2015
Courtesy of The Trappist
The Trappist
David Weisman
Portal Oakland
Flickr/Steve Kocino
David Cheung
Brotzeit Lokal
Courtesy of The Good Hop
David Weisman
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1. Beer Revolution 464 3rd St, Oakland, CA 94607

Affectionately called Beer Rev, what this beer bar/bottle shop lacks in frills it makes up for in selection. The smallish, narrow bar offers 50 rotating taps, which could include anything from a Hoparillo Triple IPA, to a Dust Bowl pilsener, to Caldera Mogli barrel-aged porter from Ashland, Oregon. The coolers are stocked with 100+ bottles to drink at home or in either of two seating areas: 1) inside, where you'll get punk rock vibes and limited seating (it’s less crowded in the afternoon), and 2) outside, where you'll find picnic tables and people-watching. Pro tip: pick up a burger from Annex Burger next door.

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2. The Trappist 460 8th St, Oakland, 94607

Housed in an 1870s Oakland Victorian, TT's a cozy shrine to the Belgian pub, with tin ceilings, barrel tables, and innumerable European beer signs, none of which exhort you to "Go for the gusto."

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3. Portal 1611 2nd Ave, Oakland, CA 94606

From a former construction manager who got some chef training on the side comes Portal, an American pub/beer garden out in Oakland. The menu is no-frills, offering up a variety of comfort food-esque dishes, like homemade pasta, pan seared salmon, beer-marinated chicken, and burger sliders. On top of that, Portal has an impressive beer menu (25 options!) and even does brunch.

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4. Brotzeit Lokal 1000 Embarcadero, Oakland, CA 94606

Sausage and seaside views -- need we say more? Owned and operated by an Oakland-born husband and wife duo, Brotzeit Lokal is an authentic German biergarten that marries dockside dining with house-made, Bavarian-inspired fare. The eponymous sausage platter -- featuring two links, crunchy sauerkraut, spätzle, and a warm, buttery bretzel -- is the heavy-hitting favorite of both brunch and dinner services, but an extensive list of light bites makes the rest of the menu just as solid. The outdoor patio, sporting bright picnic tables and warm Christmas lights, makes for a convivial ambience (especially if you happen to have a dog; the spot is totally puppy-friendly).

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5. Grand Tavern 3601 Grand Ave, Oakland, CA 94610

A neighborhood spot that calls itself a gastro-pub (but doesn’t have the pretentiousness that the term implies), Grand Tavern is located on the bottom floor of a renovated house where it slings a handful of draft beers -- including local favorite Linden Street -- and bottles. The menu features burgers, lamb shepherd’s pie, and vegetarian-friendly small plates, most including seasonal, local ingredients. For the non-beer drinkers, GT has a killer cocktail and wine list. Oh, and addictive hand-made potato chips. If you can, snag a seat by the fireplace.

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6. Diving Dog Brewhouse 1802 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94612

It's BYOF(ood) at the Diving Dog Brewhouse, where all the focus is on that nectar of the gods we call beer. With 32 beers on tap and much more in bottles, you never have to try the same brew twice. But if you're feeling more adventurous, the bad boys at Diving Dog will provide the equipment, ingredients, and recipes for you to brew your own beer on site.

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7. Pacific Coast Brewing 906 Washington St, Oakland, CA 94607

Though Pacific Coast Brewing Co. serves pub fare food, the TLC goes into the beer selection. With 24 taps, eight of which devoted to its own beer, Pacific Coast Brewing is constantly trying to introduce its patrons to the best the beer world has to offer. And it's also the only brewery we know with stained glass AND a juke box.

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8. Good Hop Bottle Shop 2421 Telegraph Ave #102, Oakland, CA 94612

The Good Hop has 600 bottled and canned beers. We really don't know what we can add which would incentivize you more. Oh. Well there's the 16 seasonal beers on tap. And there are the monthly beer and cheese pairings. And there's the "Meet the brewer" nights. The Good Hop is really one-upping itself.

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9. Analog Oakland 414 14th St, Oakland, CA 94612

Beer and sandwiches are what's on offer at this simple downtown Oakland spot. A small, but well-curated beer list features the likes of craft brewing all-stars Ommegang, Ballast Point and Old Rasputin. Meanwhile, the sandwich menu is split into carnivorous paninis and quirky vegan twists. On the decor front, Analog keeps things old really old school: the dining room's outfitted with a jukebox, VHS tapes, and 1980 Nintendo.

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10. CommonWealth Cafe and Pub 2882 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

If you’re tired of craft beer and just want a Guinness, and maybe check out a soccer game, and perhaps something warm to eat, you will find that at the CommonWealth. The homey neighborhood pub has a dozen or so beers on tap --Fullers, Drake’s, Linden Street -- and a British-heavy bottle selection. Pair that pint with English pub fare any time of day, except late at night: they will kick you out at 11pm.

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11. Lost & Found 2040 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94612

L&F's a beer garden from the people behind The Layover Music Bar and Lounge that has a huge selection of local and European craft beers and comfort food like instant ramen "Cheetos" or spicy Korean wings, all of which can be enjoyed on their 7,000sqft outdoor patio.