Drake’s Brewing has been in a constant state of construction over the last few months. Like most breweries, it’s a symptom of increased demand. They’ve been shuffling equipment, digging trenches, making room for 60 barrel fermenters, a brew kettle, and barring any unforeseen hiccups, will be opening their new Barrel House and Tap Room on June 24th.
“I guess you could call it community outreach,” said a laughing Gabrielle Chan, who left a career in the tech world to join Drake’s as manager of the new space. She explained “the old tasting room wasn’t adequately staffed and First Friday visitors wanted the event to happen on a more regular basis. The owners are obviously very passionate about the beer and wanted to make it more accessible to people.”
Gabrielle Chan, Barrel House Manager
The Barrel House sits inside the same dusty blue warehouse where visitors found the old tasting bar and cooler. All of that is gone. Now you’ll find church pews, distressed chairs, tables and a long bar topped with a slab of honey colored Douglas fir that was milled on-site. The tree fell at the home of Drake’s owner John Martin.
Behind the bar twenty-one taps have been drilled into the wall of a new cooler room. Chan said, “There’s going to be a lot of different beers coming through along with house-made sodas. We’re also working on getting the barrel aged beers organized.” Capacity inside is set at forty-nine, but a patio will also be available outside with tables and umbrellas for guests to enjoy East Bay sun or cool breezes.
Around the corner from the bar you’ll still be able to grab six-packs or bombers to go, and if you get hungry, a book of menus will be available for guests to order take out. Chan is also working on rallying a bunch of food trucks to stop by on occasion.
As for operating hours, Chan stated, “we’ll be open Wednesday through Sunday. We’re playing around with Wednesday right now because it’s kind of an unknown with people getting off work, but definitely Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from either Noon or 1:00pm till 8:30pm. Sunday we’ll be open from 1:00 to 6:00pm. We’ll also be available for private events on Monday and Tuesday.”
Keep your eyes peeled on Drake’s twitter feed and blog for official word of the grand opening. The Barrel House will be a great addition to the East Bay beer scene.