For a bit of history, the first brewery in San Jose was established in 1988. After that, many brewers gathered up their courage and opened their breweries in the city. Since San Jose takes the pleasure of continuous tech innovation, these brewers have managed to craft beers that use new and unique brewing methods.
From the breweries’ distinctive techniques, San Jose has created its own identity in the beer scene. If you are up to discovering their uniqueness, here are 7 of the best breweries in San Jose, California, you must visit!
1. Strike Brewing Co. & Warehouse Taproom
Strike Brewing has two active locations in California. The one in San Jose boasts a warehouse turned into a casual taproom. As customers sip their beers, they never mind the packaging materials or the big machinery around them. For them, it further adds uniqueness to the place.
Furthermore, Strike Brewing has another obsession besides beers, which is sports. To share this deep passion with the customers, TVs around the taproom are all turned on during matches.
- Crowd Favorite: Double IPA. An intensely hopped and tropical fruit-scented IPA with 8% ABV.
- Highly Recommended: Screaming Hand
- Hop-py Note: Trivia Night. Food trucks on-site. To-go beers. Dog-friendly.
- Fun Fact: Strike Brewing strongly believes in the importance of playing trivia regularly since 4 out of 5 doctors recommend it.
Hours: Open Tue-Thur 4pm-9pm, Fri 4pm-10pm, Sat 1pm-8pm, Sun 1pm-6pm, Mon Closed
2. Hapa’s Brewing Company
Hapa’s Brewing, a brewery with a heart for giving, has partnered up with Bianchi Ranches to donate its grains from brewing beers. Its grains are high in protein and fiber, enough to make cows well-fed and energized. For a win-win situation, Bianchi supplies Hapa’s Brewing with meats that are used for barbecues and steaks.
You can pair up this nicely cooked beef with Hapa’s Brewing 12 beers on tap. Varieties of IPA dominate the list of beers, along with lager and porter. If you’re in a rush and can’t stay, you can order a crowler online and pick it up in the brewery.
- Crowd Favorite: Butterfly Wings. A tropical and fruity New England IPA with 7.8% ABV.
- Highly Recommended: Hungry Dog
- Hop-py Note: Sells merchandise. Crowlers are available. Live music. Food trucks on-site.
- Fun Fact: Aside from donating, Hapa’s Brewing also participates in clean-up drives.
Hours: Open Tue-Thur 3pm-9pm, Fri 12pm-9pm, Sat 11am-9pm, Sun 11am-8pm, Mon Closed
3. Clandestine Brewing
If your tastebuds enjoy Latin American foods, Clandestine might be the best match for you. Tacos and beer are common pairings here. And since Clandestine enjoys brewing spicy beers, the brewery mostly invites food trucks serving Colombian, Venezuelan, and Mexican cuisine which greatly pairs with its brews.
When your tongue gets tired from sipping all the hotness, you can take a break by choosing another ice-cold beer on tap as Clandestine’s taproom features not only its spicy beers but also a variety of distinct beer styles.
- Crowd Favorite: Milky Way Stout. A sweet stout with flavors of caramel, chocolate, and cream containing 5% ABV.
- Highly Recommended: Tipsy Hipster
- Hop-py Note: Crowler and growler fill available. Kid-friendly. Dog-friendly.
- Fun Fact: Clandestine means to keep something a secret but the brewery oaths to do the contrary.
Hours: Open Wed & Thur 4pm-10pm, Fri 4pm-11pm, Sat 12pm-11pm, Sun 12pm-9pm, Mon & Tue Closed
4. Camino Brewing
Allen and Nathan love cycling and making friends with strangers along the way. Through these beautiful encounters, they both dreamed of opening their brewery where they could share more stories and enjoy an endless fun journey. Therefore in 2017, after long planning and preparations, they successfully founded Camino Brewing, and it became one of the local’s favorites.
Today, Camino Brewing boasts a great beer garden and a taproom featuring 16 taps of its in-house craft beers. From traditional German Lagers to juicy IPAs, you can find a variety of beer styles at Camino, perfect for anyone who loves beer.
- Crowd Favorite: Café Con Leche. A well-bodied and aromatic stout with 6.5% ABV.
- Highly Recommended: Northeast By West
- Hop-py Note: Offers flights. Actively donates and raises funds for non-profit organizations.
- Fun Fact: The brewery’s name was inspired by Allen and Nathan’s journey to the Camino de Santiago in Europe.
Hours: Open Tue-Fri 5pm-11pm, Sat 12pm-11pm, Sun 12pm-9pm, Mon Closed
Address: 718 S First St, San Jose, CA 95113
5. Narrative Fermentations
Founded by homebrewers John and Jon in 2020, Narrative Fermentation is the newest brewery in San Jose, serving the locals with tasty brews and good laughs. Despite opening during the COVID-19 pandemic, Narrative Fermentation has quickly risen to be among the most visited breweries in San Jose.
Narrative Fermentation’s taproom is a spacious industrial space featuring 17 taps with a rotating draft list. You can either grab a pint; a can pour, or enjoy a flight of four great beers. Finally, there is a dog-friendly patio outdoor and several food trucks selling fantastic fares to pair with your drink.
- Crowd Favorite: Cheat Codes. A heavy-hopped Double IPA with 8.3% ABV.
- Highly Recommended: Chaos & Caffeine
- Hop-py Note: Street and bike parking. Wheelchair accessible. Free Wi-Fi.
Hours: Open Mon-Fri 3pm-9pm, Sat 11am-9pm, Sun 11am-5pm
Address: 101 E Alma Ave, San Jose, CA 95112
6. Floodcraft Brewing Co.
Floodcraft joined the brewery industry in 2014. It is situated below Whole Foods Market, which makes it more accessible to the people and also brings the convenience of having a near market to grab tasty fares.
Floodcraft Brewing captures the heart of its visitors by having more than 20 beers on tap and offering a flight of 4oz beers. You can enjoy these beers in a great setting as Floodcraft’s taproom features a lovely roof deck that overlooks the city. And, branches of green trees are resting gorgeously in the railings of the taproom, making the place feel windy and relaxing.
- Crowd Favorite: Punch List Pale. A juicy and citrusy Pale Ale with 6.5% ABV.
- Highly Recommended: Off The Rails
- Hop-py Note: Crowlers and growlers are available.
- Fun Fact: Floodcraft got its name from the great flood that struck Austin in 1981, which washed away Whole Foods Market.
Hours: Open Daily 12pm-8pm
Address: 777 The Alameda, San Jose, CA 95126
7. S27 Alehouse & Brewery
From its unique name, S27 surely knows how to engage its customers. Besides its premium brews, beer drinkers patronize the brewery for all the fun activities it offers. Once a month, it organizes a clothing swap; patrons can bring in some clothes and exchange them for other customers’ clothes. On some occasions as well, S27 requests people to bring their vinyl collections, play them on their turntable platter, and share the good music with other drinkers.
Moreover, if you are a cat person, stay tuned to the brewery’s whereabouts as it holds Cat Fair from time to time. The event aims to find foster parents for rescued kitties.
- Crowd Favorite: Temple of Speed. An exotic and fragrant double IPA with 9.3% ABV.
- Highly Recommended: Hot Pink Racecar Hazy IPA V2.0
- Hop-py Note: Live music. Karaoke. Bingo Night.
- Fun Fact: S27 is the first woman-owned brewery in Willow Glen.
Hours: Open Mon 2pm-7:30pm, Tue 3pm-8pm, Wed-Fri 2pm-9:30pm, Sat 12pm-9:30pm, Sun 12pm-6:30pm