Summer is here and people are heading outdoors. What better way to enjoy being outside than with a beer? Beirgartens, or Beer Gardens as they are commonly called, are the perfect solution. These largely open-air establishments serve beer in open patios, often with shared picnic tables. Beer gardens are family friendly, mostly dog friendly, and some even have areas where kids can play. With interesting and varied menus, Beer Gardens are a great way to relax with a beer, great food, music and family and friends. Our own Lucca Beer Garden is a wonderful example of this trend serving great food and live music. As you travel the greater Bay Area you will find many examples that provide an interesting destination for a day trip. Here are some of our favorites.
2424 Lincoln Ave., Alameda, CA
Here is the opportunity to pay homage to the country that invented the biergarten, and to pair traditional steins of pilsner with even more traditional German food. Hearty dishes like potato pancakes, and roasted pork with beer sauce make up a small portion of the German cuisine on the menu. Take your food in the Biergarten (Beer Garden) when there is music playing to top off the experience.
Food: Authentic German cuisine.
Classic Cars West Oakland
411 26th Street, Suite B, Oakland, California 94612
The Classic Cars West Vegan Restaurant / Beer Garden and bar is now open! We feature craft beer brewed almost exclusively in Oakland on tap. The draft line up features Oakland United Beerworks, Ghost Town Brewery, Line 51, Federation brewing, Fieldwork, Crooked City Cider, Ale Industries, Temescal Brewing, Novel Brewing and more. This is one of the Bay Area’s largest beer gardens with murals by local artists. Delicious Vegan comfort food by is served 5 days a week with brunch on Saturday and Sunday.
Food: Great Vegan Food, Burgers, Sandwiches, Soups and Salads.
985 RIVERFRONT ST, WEST SACRAMENTO, CA 95691
In 2018 Drake’s opens the BARN, featuring food, beverages, and entertainment, along the river in West Sacramento, CA. The two acre landmark location includes the PizzaSmith restaurant, YOLO Food Truck, a 400 seat beer garden, outdoor bar, and fire pits. The venue will host a wide array of community events, from craft fairs to music concerts. Food: Pizza and snacks.
Fieldwork Brewing Co.
1160 Sixth Street, Berkeley, CA 94710
Fieldwork Brewing Company is a craft brewery founded in Berkeley, CA with a focus on exceptional, honest beer-making. Fieldwork brews are served in the Berkeley, Monterey, Napa, Sacramento, San Mateo, and San Ramon Taprooms, and at the finest craft beer-focused establishments in Northern California.
Food: Creative Tamales and Grilled Cheese
Stone Brewing, Napa
930 3rd St. Napa, CA 94559
Stone has brought their bold craft beer and eclectic food menu to the region well-known for its amazing wine and cuisine, featuring locally-brewed beers, a picturesque dining experience, growler fills and Stone merchandise. The onsite 10-barrel brewing system enables them to continue their longstanding tradition of innovation and creativity. The brewery and restaurant features two stories with indoor and outdoor seating overlooking the Napa River. Food: Full Service Restaurant.
4006 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Oakland, CA 94609
Arthur Mac’s Tap & Snack is the centerpiece of North Oakland’s newly constructed MacArthur Annex, a mixed use space constructed from shipping containers. The project is the newest venture from local East Bay design firm Farm League Restaurant Group, the same team responsible for East Bay Spice Company, Westbrae Biergarten, Tigerlily, and Drake’s Dealership. Large open beer garden with an all weather retractable awning. Food: Pizza, wings, snacks, and a good selection of cider and local beer on tap.
Telegraph Beer Garden, AKA BEERYLAND
2318 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94612
Of all the area beer gardens Telegraph is probably the funkiest. Every square inch is graffitied, decor includes old bike wheels and half of a GameStop electronic sign, there’s a selection of craft beer, wallet-friendly sub-$5 beer cans, and the soundtrack jumps between Bad Brains and Herb Alpert. Despite their lack of pretension, they take their food seriously, with a thoughtful food menu including house made sausages, a delicious Porchetta sandwich and a handful of vegan options, including a hearty tofu hoagie. There are also burgers, one of which is a mac and cheese burger. All in the very heart of Oakland. Food: Burgers and snacks, vegan options.
1280 Gilman Street, Berkeley, California 94710
Westbrae Biergarten serves a variety of hand-selected California Craft ales and lagers. They feature a series of eight rotating beer taps, so there’s always something new to try. Have your favorite brew in our 1 Liter German-style steins if you’re really thirsty, or sample several of the brews in our new beer flights! The food menu is inspired by Brazilian and South America cuisine with “Pedro’s Favorite”. With tri tip, lettuce, tomato, grilled onions, olives, jalapeños, pineapple, ricotta cheese, cilantro garlic sauce, this sandwich may become your favorite as well. Food: Brazilian inspired.
Beer gardens are a fun destination for a day trip, and their increased popularity makes finding one easy. From the coast to the valley, sipping beer has been taken out of the dark and brought into the fresh air. The nature of shared tables and pleasant surroundings makes meeting other people easy and fun.
So, as the Summer season kicks into gear and you head out of town, keep an eye out for the familiar “Beer Garden” or “Biergarten” sign. And when you find one you really like please take a picture and share it with Benicia Magazine!