Situated east of San Francisco Bay, Berkeley is known for its diverse culture and exciting attractions. Home to the oldest brewery in California, Triple Rock Brewing, Berkeley has celebrated a legacy of craft brewing since 1986. The city’s handcrafted ales have earned national acclaim at competitions across the country, while its seasonal beers have delighted locals with their unique flavor combinations.
Whether you’re a beer connoisseur, a newbie, an IPA, or a sour lover, Berkeley has something for you! Continue reading to know the six top breweries in Berkeley!
1. The Rare Barrel Brewery
While most breweries brew classic beer styles, The Rare Barrel Brewery is focused and committed to producing sour beers that are worth to wait! As sour beers take a year to develop, The Rare Barrel Brewery’s mission is to make the best sour beer through patience and precision for the community to enjoy. Once found, it will be called “The Rare Barrel.” The brewery features a cozy warehouse-vibe tasting room and an outdoor open beer garden perfect for enjoying a barrel-aged sour while basking in the sun. Not a bad fan? Don’t worry; they offer a selection of guest beer from Berkeley’s best breweries and serve wines, cider, and kombucha to satisfy your palate.
- Crowd Favorite: Ensorcelled, Wild Ale, 7.8% ABV.
- Highly Recommended: Home, Sour Home, Wild Ale, 5.8% ABV.
- Fun Fact: The Rare Barrel Brewery organized an annual search party for the “Rare Barrel” from their cellar. The hunt will be participated by sour beer enthusiasts and experts.
Hours: Open Mon-Thur 3pm-9pm, Fri 3pm-10pm, Sat 12pm-9pm, Sun 12pm-7pm
Address: 940 Parker St, Berkeley, CA 94710
2. Fieldwork Brewing Co.
Brewing since 2014, Fieldwork Brewing is one of the largest breweries with eight locations across San Francisco Bay. With its main taproom in Berkeley, this brewery offers creative craft brews, great food, and an inviting space for a fantastic beer experience. Fieldwork Berkeley features cozy indoor and outdoor dining space with string lights that gives a romantic feel during the evening and are perfect for those weekend date nights.
Its phenomenal “Adventure series,” which includes 57 beer styles, offers a glimpse of different spots and tastes worldwide. The series does not only feature creative brews, but an aesthetic visual can design. They offer flights up to six selections and crowlers to bring home.
- Crowd Favorite: Pulp IPA, 6.9% ABV.
- Highly Recommended: King Citra, IPA, 8.7% ABV.
- Hop-py Note: A dog-friendly brewery
- Fun Fact: Fieldwork Brewing founders planned on specializing in crafting sour beers but later opted to try different styles.
Hours: Open Mon-Thur 12pm-10pm, Fri & Sat 11am-11pm, Sun 11am-10pm
Address: 1160 Sixth St, Berkeley, CA 94710
3. Triple Rock Brewing Company
Triple Rock Brewing Company is America’s fifth brewpub and the oldest brewery in California that opened its door in 1986! It was formerly named Roaring Rock Brewery and Alehouse until 1989. It is housed in a former historic UC Glass building and offers indoor and outdoor dining, a rooftop garden, and good-tasting brews. Within their 36 years of brewing, Triple Rock continuously create different beer styles from their three standard brews, Red Rock Ale, Black Rock Porter, and Pinnacle Pale Ale. They also serve elevated pub grub marrying 21st-century flavors and classic dishes to satisfy its local and loyal fans. They also offer wines, ciders, cocktails, and non-alcoholic dishes.
- Crowd Favorite: IPAX, 7% ABV.
- Highly Recommended: Bug Juice, Pale Ale, 5.5% ABV.
- Hop-py Note: Triple Rock Brewing allows those below 21 years old on the taproom after 7 pm if parents or guardians accompany them.
- Fun Fact: Triple Rocks’ founders have a great fascination with rocks and initially named their unique beers related to rocks and minerals until they ran out of names and moved on.
Hours: Open Tue & Wed 12pm-10pm, Thur & Fri 12pm-11pm, Sat 12pm-10pm, Sun 12pm-9pm, Mon Closed
4. Jupiter Brewery
The hidden gem in downtown Berkeley, Jupiter Brewery offers an out-of-this-world place with a cozy home perfect for those looking for savory foods and house-brewed beers in a picturesque atmosphere. Housed in an 1890s old and rustic two-story building, this brewery features a heated outdoor beer garden with fairy lights and a fire pit at the center, best enjoyed during summer with a cold beer and live music.
Aside from a great beer selection, the kitchen dishes out delicious brick oven pizza and other food grub to complement its brews. Jupiter Brewing is also a favorite venue for private and corporate events as one of the unique taprooms in Berkeley.
- Crowd Favorite: Quasar IPA, 8.5% ABV.
- Highly Recommended: India Pale Ale, 7% ABV.
- Hop-py Note: Jupiter only caters to group reservations for 25 persons and above.
Hours: Open Tue-Thur 4pm-10pm, Fri & Sat 12pm-12am, Sun 12pm-10pm, Mon Closed
5. Gilman Brewing
Gilman Brewing is an award-winning brewery that bags 30 medals (10 of which are gold) from different regional and national beer competitions! Once an automotive and repair shop, this brewery gives off an industrial vibe with its wooden furniture, high ceilings, and garage doors, offering an open and bright atmosphere. Indulge in its small batches of craft beers, from its award-winning farmhouse-style Saison and refreshing IPAs to more classic beer styles. Their firewood pizzas and bar snacks are served seven days a week, and you can enjoy them at their expansive outdoor patio or taproom. Whichever you choose, just make sure to grab a cold pint or a flight!
- Crowd Favorite: Antifreeze, IPA, 8% ABV.
- Highly Recommended: Autoshop, IPA, 8.7% ABV.
- Hop-py Note: Gilman brewing also hosts food trucks on their outdoor patio, allowing guests to bring their food.
- Fun Fact: Gilman Brewing is awarded California American IPA Brewery of the Year (2019) and California American Saison Brewery of the Year (2018).
Hours: Open Sun-Thur 12pm-9pm, Fri & Sat 12pm-10pm
Address: 912 Gilman St, Berkeley, CA 94710
6. Hoi Polloi Brewing Taproom and Beat Lounge
Hoi Polloi means the masses or the ordinary people, and as the name suggests, this brewery existed to serve good quality beers and offer a relaxing place for the community. Located in South Berkeley, Hoi Polloi Brewing Taproom and Beat Lounge is a microbrewery offering innovative beers and great music for ordinary people. Their black peg hole wall design gives off a chic industrial vibe. Although this brewery only offers popcorn and other bar snacks, the Easy Creole next door will surely satisfy your appetite.
- Crowd Favorite: Red and Black Lumberjack, IPA, 6.9% ABV.
- Highly Recommended: Alchemy Sin Fronteras, Porter, 4.6% ABV.
Hours: Open Mon 4pm-11pm, Tue-Thur 2pm-12am, Fri 2pm-1am, Sat 1pm-1am, Sun 1pm-10pm