The biergarten is already de rigueur in San Francisco. Exhausted the options? Cross over to the East Bay, where warmer climes have encouraged the beer garden boom, and raise a pint to Indian summer.
The Vibe: This out-of-the-way, indoor-outdoor spot on the Oakland Estuary attracts a mixed crowd of mature foodinistas, professional drinkers, and well-informed boaters.
Beer Buzz: North Coast’s PranQster; also, Brotzeit Alte Schule, made by nearby Linden Street Brewery.
The Food: It’s all about the sausage at this Bavarian biergarten. Get the spicy, house-made wurzige with chicken and pork.
The Vibe: Think Zeitgeist 15 years ago but with more fixies. Graffiti art abounds, and smoking is practically encouraged.
Beer Buzz: Twelve mostly local brews on tap from Lagunitas, Almanac, and the like, plus cheap cans of Hamm’s.
The Food: Breakfast all day, including bagels and pancakes, and a beef burger topped
with a mac-and-cheese patty.
The Vibe: Like nearby Telegraph, the place is no- frills but has a covered patio.
Beer Buzz: Check out the Belgian-style, slightly sweet Buzzerkley pale ale from Walnut Creek’s Calicraft Brewing Company.
The Food: Decent burgers on fluffy buns.
Bonus: vegan buffalo wings.
(Lorin District, Berkeley)
The Vibe: Bougie-er than the others, with a sophisticated crowd of Lake Merritt marrieds and their friends. Great sunset views and occasional live jazz.
Beer Buzz: Don’t miss the Denogginizer from Drake’s Brewing in San Leandro.
The Food: Lunch, brunch, and dinner, with swell salads and something called garbage bread—basically a pizza burrito.
The Vibe: A beer geek’s paradise, the patio at
this three-year-old bar and bottle shop gets loud, lively, and sunbaked on warm weekends.
Beer Buzz: With 48 taps and a wall of bottles,
from Belgian sours to local IPAs, this spot has the biggest selection of the bunch.
The Food: Find vegan eats at next-door sister restaurant, Olde Depot Public House.
(Jack London District, Oakland)
This article was published in 7x7's October issue. Click here to subscribe.