Two Events Raise a Pint for Charity in the East Bay Saturday

Spend your dollars on great beer and a pair of good causes this Saturday, April 7, at two events just miles apart in Berkeley. Triple Rock Brewery kicks off the day at 11:30am with their 10th Annual Firkin Fest benefiting the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation. Expect the bar to be littered with firkins from breweries all over the Bay Area. Then after 1:00pm, head over to the Pyramid Alehouse to taste a stellar lineup of new beers and returning seasonals. The proceeds will go to help Ales for Autism.

Here’s all the details from the event hosts:

Triple Rock Brewery’s 10th annual tribute to real ale is back! Starting at 11:30am and going till 5pm, we will fill the pub with firkins of real ale. $20 gets you a commemorative glass and 4 pours of real ale. $4 for additional pours.

Each year, we highlight the simple joy that is real ale as well as brewers’ modern takes on these classic ales (often infused with natural flavors like fruits, cacao nibs, & spices). This year our own firkins will be joined by ales from Marin Brewing, Moylan’s Brewery, Iron Springs Brewery, Firehouse Brewery, EJ Phair Brewing, Oakland Brewing Company, Pizza Orgasmica, Beach Chalet Brewing, Speakeasy Brewing, Pyramid Brewing, Dying Vine Brewing, Black Diamond Brewing, Thirsty Bear Brewing, 21st Amendment Brewery, Drake’s Brewing and more.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation, friends of our neighbors, the Berkeley Fire Department.

The Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation (AARBF) is a California-based nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing burns and fires and providing services to those who have been affected by a burn injury. AARBF brings together health care providers, firefighters, emergency workers, burn survivors and others to enhance the quality of life for burn survivors and to make burn injuries a thing of the past.

For more information, feel free to contact GM Jesse Sarinana at 510-843-2739 or at jesse.sarinana@gmail.com.

 

Drink Beer, Cure Autism. For $20 enjoy unlimited samples of Pyramid’s new beer releases and food-pairings for each beer created by our award-winning chef from 1:00pm – 4:00pm. 100% of the proceeds benefit Ales for Autism.

This event has a limited number of tickets and is expected to sell out. Purchase tickets at: http://www.fanfueled.com/alesforautism

Exclusive Release Tasting Menu

New Beers

• Wit: A light white beer of Belgian origin brewed with chamomile, coriander, curacao (bitter orange peel) and sweet orange peel (ABV: 5.1% IBU: 13)
• Dunkel: A Pyramid twist on the German Dunkel Weisse. (ABV: 5.6% IBU: 24)
• Wheaten IPA: A boldly hopped IPA designed to provide a pleasant citrus and aromatic hop experience. (ABV: 6.5% IBU: 66)
• Pale Ale: Stylistically more in line with a traditional English pale, the sweet and malty flavor compliments its floral hop aromas. (ABV: 5.4% IBU: 38)
• Uproar Imperial Red Ale: A complex, ruby-hued ale. Punctuated with notes of citrus and herbs, Uproar has a velvet texture with pleasing hints of roasty chocolate. (ABV: 7.3% IBU: 60)

Returning Seasonals

•Curve Ball Blonde Ale: A deliciously drinkable golden summer seasonal. ABV: 5% IBU: 18
•Full Bloom, MacTarnahan’s: A notably Northwest spin on a Bohemian Pilsner with a refreshing hop aroma and a gloriously smooth bite. (ABV: 6.3% IBU: 40)
•Grifter IPA, MacTarnahan’s: A criminally delicious surprise that’ll steal your allegiance and con your thirst into leavin’ town. (ABV: 6.2% IBU: 54)

Give Some Beer Money to Charity During SF Beer Week

We’re one day away from SF Beer Week and right about now your itinerary is probably packed. Dinners, rare beer tastings and many other tempting festivities will have you zig-zaging across the Bay. The ten day marathon can be taxing on your body and bank account. Your hard earned money supports the growing craft beer movement, but could also help a local charity or non-profit during SF Beer Week thanks to the generosity of a few brewers and event organizers.

Here’s some events you should consider that are giving back to the community. You can have fun, try the latest and greatest beer, and feel like your making a difference at the same time.

2nd Annual Small Batch Big Thirst Beer Tasting Fundraiser 

A posse of brewers and food trucks will gather together to form a beer garden on February 11 from 12-4pm. All proceeds will benefit charities supported by the Night Train Swimmers.

3rd Annual Chocolate & Beer Festival

Chocolate and beer is a fantastic combination. Expect to find a few Imperial Stouts on hand at this event taking place on February 11 from 2-6pm at the Craneway Pavilion in Richmond, CA. Proceeds will benefit the Children’s Learning Center, which is a “comprehensive alternative educational program for exceptional children, who, because of their intense behavioral, social, emotional and educational needs are temporarily unable to succeed in the public school system.” Breweries on hand will include the Elevation 66 Brewing Company, Drake’s Brewing, Anchor Steam, Moylan’s Brewing Company, Lost Coast, Trumer, Marin Brewing Company, Triple Rock, Linden Street, and more.

3rd Annual SF Beer Week Beer Run

Burn some calories before slugging back some beer at Social Kitchen & Brewery on February 12th at 11:00am. It’s a friendly, non-competitive affair, that stretches for 5 miles through Golden Gate Park and returns to the brewery where you’ll get a $1 off beers. It should be noted that there’s an “optional” beer stop at Magnolia Pub & Brewery for those who wish to rehydrate. Post run prizes will be doled out and a raffle will benefit the Contra Costa Food Bank and Ales for Autism in memory of the great beer writer Bill Brand.

Chocolate Making Contest and Benefit with Pete Slosberg

Legendary craft brewer and chocolate maker Pete Slosberg, former owner of Pete’s Wicked Ales, will be turning 21st Amendment Brewery into a candy factory on February 13 from 6-8pm. Bring a “random ingredient” from home and the get your hands sweet and sticky in a fun-filled competition that could garner you a $100 gift certificate to the host brewpub. A special cask beer has been designed for the event and proceeds will benefit cancer research. (SOLD OUT)

East Bay Brew Fest

The Pyramid Alehouse is hosting the first edition of the East Bay Brew Fest on February 16th from 5-9pm. For an affordable price of $20, guests will receive a glass and unlimited beer tastings from Ale Industries, Bison Brewing, Black Diamond Brewing, Buffalo Bill’s Brewery, Drake’s Brewing, E.J. Phair Brewing Co., High Water Brewing, Jupiter, Linden Street Brewery, Pacific Coast Brewing, Pyramid Brewing, Triple Rock Brewery and Trumer Brauerei. All the proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the Berkeley Food & Housing Project.

Ales for Autism Presents the Black & White Beer Ball

Drink beer and help raise money for autism care in Windsor at the Mary Agatha Furth Center on February 17 from 6-9pm. For $35 per person, Ales for Autism will be offering up “endless pours” of black and white beers from Third Street Aleworks, Russian River Brewing Co., Firestone Walker, Widmer Brothers, Lost Coast, Speakeasy, and Hoegarrden in a complimentary tasting glass. Food will also be available from Santa Rosa’s BBQ spot while live music from the Nate Lopez Trio fills the air.

Head Brewer for a Day Dodgeball (S)Mashdown

Stretch your arm and prepare for battle if you want to be head brewer for a day at Pyramid Alehouse in Berkeley. The showdown begins on February 18 at high noon and goes till 4:00pm. All you have to do to enter is bring some items on the Berkeley Food & Housing Project’s wish list, which can be found on the Facebook event page (click “see more”). We expect this to be a highly popular event.

The Berkeley Bar Guide

Photos by Jen Muehlbauer

Berkeley. For some, it conjures up visions of hippies, college kids, or suburban 4th Street shoppers. For others, it’s a place with more good beer than seems reasonable for a town of 100,000.

Bars downtown are a bit more hoppin’ due to their proximity to Cal, while the bars on San Pablo provide more elbow room and a higher median crowd age. None are food destinations per se, but if you like pizza you’ll be in good shape. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a beer costing $6, let alone more, at most of these locations.

The bars below are reachable by BART and focus on local beer, but they’re far from the only watering holes in town. You could also go Irish at the Starry Plough, have a fancy cocktail at Revival Bar+Kitchen, or choose from a giant whiskey menu at Acme. There are also plenty of non-bar salutes to good brews, like the fantastic selection at Ledger’s Liquors, the daily brewery tour at Trumer, and Oak Barrel, one of the oldest homebrew shops in the country.

To make a day of Berkeley without just going to bars all day, add some hiking in Tilden Park, a visit to the UC Botanical Garden, or browsing at Rasputin and Amoeba. Or, from our stops on San Pablo, it’s not too far to the Berkeley Marina. Beer lovers with families should note that all the bars below except The Albatross are also restaurants, so kids are allowed.

[mappress mapid=”5″]

 

Near Downtown Berkeley BART Station

 

Bobby G’s

bobbygs-Interior

2072 University Avenue (map), Daily 11am-11pm, (510) 665-8866

You’d think downtown Berkeley wouldn’t need two pizza-intensive restaurants with good beer on tap, and you’d be wrong. Just a few blocks from Jupiter, Bobby G’s packs a lot of local beer, Italian food, and live music into a small space. Some of the bartenders are more knowledgeable than others, but beer guy Josh knows what’s up and keeps the beer list fresh with three rotating taps in addition to the solid regular ten-beer lineup (yes, Russian River fanatics, Pliny the Elder is always on tap). Owner Bobby G is a Yankees fan, but this is also a fine place to watch Bay Area sports games. Tuesday is open mic night, Wednesday is trivia night, and Saturday features free jazz and blues acts.

Best time to go: 4-7pm for happy hour; Wednesday for trivia; before or after a meal at the Indonesian restaurant down the block.

 

Jupiter

jupiter-patio

2181 Shattuck Avenue (map), Mon-Thu 11:30am-1am; Friday 11:30am-1:30am; Saturday 12pm-1:30am; Sunday 12pm-12am, (510) THE-TAPS

The sizable back patio is probably the nicest (legal) outdoor drinking spot in Berkeley other than my yard. Expect a range of house beers, Drake’s beers (Jupiter is a member of the Triple Rock/Drake’s family), and guest taps from the likes of Moonlight Brewing and North Coast. Add pizza and jazz shows and you’ve got a crowd-pleaser.

Best time to go: A sunny day, though heat lamps and a firepit keep the party going after dark and in the colder months.

 

Triple Rock

1920 Shattuck Avenue (map), Mon-Wed 11:30am-1am; Thur-Sat 11:30am-2am; Sunday 11:30am-12am, (510) 843-2739

Triple Rock is one of the first brewpubs in the country, going strong since 1986 (History wonks, make sure to get an eyeful of the breweriana on the walls and you can learn more about it here). Today it’s almost like three different places: the often crowded but always cordial bar area, the all-ages sit-down area, and, when open, the roof deck. All sections offer pub grub, Triple Rock’s excellent beers, and servers who actually know a thing or two about what what’s on tap. There should be a libation for everyone here, but arguably hoppy beers are where Triple Rock really shines. Try the IPAX, the seasonal imperial IIMAXX, and other lupulin-forward limited-release beers like the Single Hop Experience series. If you only make one beer stop in Berkeley, this should be it.

Best time to go: between lunch and dinner; during big sports games if you’re into that kind of thing. Thursday night, when patrons snap up servings of Monkeyhead strong golden ale by the liter bottle, is loved by some and loathed by others.


Near North Berkeley BART Station/San Pablo Buses

 

The Albatross

Albatross-Dart-Board

1822 San Pablo Avenue (map), Sun-Tue 6pm-2am; Wed-Sat 4:30pm-2am, (510) 843-2473

The oldest bar in Berkeley (founded 1964) is widely known for its borrowable board games, challenging pub quiz, pool tables, and dart boards. It’s also got a solid beer selection that, in most cities, would be the best beer list for miles around. It’s cash only, but more than makes up for it by allowing outside food — I recommend Pakistani fare from Kabana or a sandwich from The Cheese Steak Shop — and dishing up fresh, cheap popcorn. It’s more a pub than a bar, if we’re making such distinctions, and with only one TV set, it’s a cozy place to escape from the big game if you’re not into sports. There’s local art on the walls, dogs allowed inside until 8pm, old timey bluegrass every other Wednesday, and other live music twice a month or so.

Best times to go: Sunday nights to lose at trivia; late afternoon/early evening for good conversation with the bartender and old-timers.

 

Lanesplitter Pizza & Pub

lanesplitter-interior

2033 San Pablo (map), Daily 11am-11pm, (510) 845-1652

Beer and ‘za, take three. Well, it is still a college town. The little patio out back is smaller than Jupiter but still allows for drinking beer in the sunshine. The inside has local art, action figures of past bartenders, and a solid taplist of about a dozen regular and rotating taps from Iron Springs, Bear Republic, and other local favorites. As a bonus, there’s always one beer on cask, and during happy hour, the house pale (brewed by Drake’s) is the best deal in town at $2.75 per pint. If any of the babies in my social circle lived in the Berkeley, there’s no question they’d own Lanesplitter onesies by now.

Best times to go: weekday happy hour (3-6pm), weekend happy hour (11am-6pm), Monday (happy hour open to close). What can I say? This is a happy place.

 

Pyramid Alehouse

pyramid-interior

901 Gilman Street (map), Sun-Thu 11:30am-10pm; Fri-Sat 11:30am-11pm, (510) 528-9880

If your glass is half empty, most of these beers are middle-of-the-road Craft Beer 101 for new/unadventurous beer drinkers. If your glass is half full, these are solid, balanced session beers. Either way, here are some things about the Berkeley location that you might not know.
1) The brewery tour is free, and your group will probably be the only ones on it so you can ask as many geeky questions as you want.
2) Some of those limited-release/seasonal beers, like Uproar red from the Ignition series or MacTarnahan’s Lipstinger, may surprise you.
3) $8 growler refills after your first $13 fill. Bargain! And let’s say more breweries than you think will fill a Pyramid growler once they put their own logo on top.

Best times to go: weekdays at 4pm for the brewery tour; whenever you need a cheap growler fill; before a night at alcohol-free punk rock venue 924 Gilman.