My Travels with Bake, Part Deux

Chris Baker and I met at Jupiter Brewing Company, a brewpub in downtown Berkeley that serves beers from several brewing companies. Jupiter also makes small batches of its own beer in the tank pictured here. From Jupiter, we visited several pubs and restaurants that serve good local beer. As I mentioned in my earlier post, beer is a natural with pizza and barbecue. But some restaurants, like Blakes, are taking pairings a little further. During the week, Blakes on Telegraph has “recession” specials like $1 tostadas all day on Mondays, $1 tacos on Tuesdays, and $1 sliders on Wednesdays from 9 p.m. to midnight, and happy hour from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Blakes also has music upstairs and in the basement.

Also on Telegraph, Manny’s Taproom offers a wide selection of craft beer from its 43 taps, along with food that matches well with the beer. Along with burgers, fries, onion rings, several salads, sandwiches and nachos, Manny’s offers the sort of spicy international food that is anathema to wine but sublime with craft beer. Andouille Cajun sliders, fiesta taco salad, mandarin chicken salad, Thai tofu on flatbread, fajitas and Yucatan burrito cry out for a refreshing pilsner or a robust ale. The beer garden in back is open until 9:30 Sunday through Thursday and until 10 on Fridays and Saturdays.

Two pubs in the Rockridge District in Oakland, also have a decent selection of good beer. Barclays Restaurant and Pub has 30 beers on tap every day. On tap this week were Sierra Nevada’s Triple, a Belgian tripel ale, and the Bear Republic 2009 Wet Hop Ale. As you can see from the sign, Barclays celebrated its 18th anniversary on Monday: Buy the first pint at the regular price and get the second one for 20 cents.

The selection at Ben ‘n Nick’s Bar isn’t as extensive as Barclays, but you can still find some good beers, including the inimitable Pliny the Elder from Russian River Brewing Company and Deschutes Black Butte Porter. Proprietor Chris Friend (pictured) would just as soon kick back with a PBR (Pabst Blue Ribbon).

Lucky 13 is a veritable beer oasis in mostly sleepy Alameda. In addition to Pliny and several other craft beers, Lucky 13 has a good selection of Belgians on tap and in bottles. No food, though.

Things not to do at the cheese store in the parking structure on Durant in Berkeley.


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