Where to Find Craft Beer in Berkeley

Close your eyes, place a finger on the Berkeley map, chances are there’s a craft beer on the block.

Berkeley is more than Bear Territory (Go Cal Bears!). It's also Beer Territory, with some of the West Coast's top craft brewers well-schooled in the ancient alchemy that turns water to beer.

Downtown Breweries

When Triple Rock opened in 1986, there were only four other brewpubs in America. It is the only one still independently owned by its founders and using its original brewing equipment. That equipment is putting out some of the best ales on the West Coast, complemented by a kitchen dishing some of the finest fare in town. Many travel great distance to quaff Triple Rock's hoppy IPAX and mischievous Monkey Head.

New to the scene is Olfactory, with a super cool taproom steps from BART in downtown Berkeley. And just up the street in the heart of downtown Berkeley, Jupiter benefits from the same ownership as Triple Rock and offers one of the finest heated outdoor beer gardens this side of Berlin. Don't sleep on Jupiter's brick oven pizzas which go quite well with over 20 beers on tap.

West Berkeley Breweries

The west side has a fast-growing urban wine scene, making perfect sense that some amazing beer is also being brewed there. (You have heard the old saying, "it takes a lot of beer to make great wine," right?) Gilman Brewing takes the Belgian bus with a rotating menu of sours, IPAs and saisons. The chill warehouse setting and friendly staff make guests feel right at home. And Trumer Pils is a West Berkeley icon, brewing a perfect Pilsner since 2004 -- and a new taproom to welcome thirsty guests (see below)!

overhead view of Rare Barrel Charcuterie board and four craft beers

Top Taprooms in Berkeley

For a free speech taproom, it's Berkeley Freehouse. Giant archival black & white photos of Mario Savio and civil rights legends grace the walls of this historic building where craft beer fuels good conversation and spirited debate. Indoor and outdoor seating make it a versatile choice no matter the season.

Brewed in Berkeley, Trumer Pils produces a crisp pilsner with hop-forward aroma that has earned a wide and devoted following. The brewer credits Berkeley's California Sierra snowpack water as a key ingredient! Now open: The Trumer Taproom, serving Trumer's flagship pilsner along with a rotating variety of other European beer styles.

There are 16 taps and Trumer plans to have at least a dozen in operation. The gleaming beer barrels behind the counter are bubbling away, fueled by Sierra Nevada-sourced mountain water. Big screen TVs, indoor and outdoor seating, and a tasty food menu featuring charcuterie, sandwiches, salads and Solano Avenue's Squabisch pretzels extend the good vibes. The menu also includes a select wine list and non-alcoholic beverages, and branded merch (apparel, hats, glassware) is available. Dog-friendly, too. Prost!

a man and woman enjoying craft beer in Berkeley

Learn more about craft breweries and beer bars in Berkeley.

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