East Bay Brewery Trip

Just another Monday for my husband and I: we took a day trip to the East Bay for our love of craft beer. With all of the travel around the U.S. we have done for brewery visits, it’s surprising but there are so many still right in our backyard that we have yet to make it to. This trip was Triple Rock, Jupiter, Ale Industries, Black Diamond, and E.J. Phair Brewing.

Triple Rock was great. The bartender was nice and we ordered a sampler of all of the beers. They were all well balanced and they had a single hopped pale that was nice. MY favorite was the Bug Juice. The place is in downtown Berkeley and seemed like a pretty decent place to go and hang out. After looking at the map for directions to Black Diamond, I came across Jupiter, which was right down the street. I love it when we can “stumble” upon an additional brewery to add to the list that was not part of the plan.

Triple Rock

3 rock2Jupiter is a restaurant mainly. It’s a cool spot, the bar is old looking but newer. The people were very nice. When we asked about a sampler the bartender kind of looked at us funny and gave us a long story about how they do not do that but then after telling him about how we were traveling to several breweries that day, he was able to make it work and give us a small taste of each of the beers. Their beer is all made by Drakes Barrel House. They are good. Their IPA and Double IPA were our favorites {surprise, surprise}.

Black Diamond was fantastic. The typical brewery location {tap room actually} and run by a couple of nice “guys guys” that clearly do all of the work around the joint. Their White Witch was absolutely fantastic. I had to take a growler home. This was only the second time I chose the beer for the growler! Their bourbon barrel aged was so surprising to me: I loved it. I have not ever finished a sample of a dark beer, let alone a barrel aged one ever. It was so smokey with notes of chocolate, caramel, and leather. It was divine. We will definitely be heading back for some more of that.

After much success and an ice chest filled with bottles and a growler; we headed off to Ale Industries. They are completely difficult to find. Ale Industries is located right off Detroit Ave in a group of warehouse type buildings, next to the More Beer shop. This is a terribly dark photo but the place is so hard to find, there is no sign so when you see the Pepsi machine, you are in the right place! The string of hops hanging from the wall was a sure sign we were finally there.

Ale industriesThe place is totally a “true” brewery. It’s a rustic, funky warehouse. This is a production facility for sure. They have limited hours and just began their winter hours. We go there right under the wire at 6:50pm so the gal let us have a pint of the Uncle Jesse {so delicious, we took some home} and sample all of their beers. They let people taste for free there. They have different beers all of the time, this time they had their Golden State of Mind, the Cherry Kush {a delicious fruit beer, low in alcohol and tasted a bit like a softer sour}, and the shit that killed Elvis. The last beer was originally “The Shit that Killed Elvis” then they let some barrel age for about a year and released just a small amount, so they will not have this one for long. It’s worth the trip out there. They do music on Thursday nights too!

After a full day of beer sampling, we were off to our last one of the day: E.J. Phair for a little bite to eat. Samplers of their beer are really inexpensive: we paid $9 for all six. Paired with their steak and chipotle flat bread wrap, it was a pretty delightful dinner.

Not too shabby for a Monday afternoon. We had five new breweries to add to our list, bringing our count to 168. Our next day-trip adventure will be to San Jose area where we will be able to tack on quite a few more to the list.

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