Somewhat under the radar, a culture of excellent craft beer has been slowly brewing in the South Bay of late. Arguably the catalyst was the success of Hermitage Brewing Co., a brewing company and contract brewing facility in San Jose that has attracted some of the Bay Area’s best brewers, including Almanac and Calicraft. Original Gravity in San Jose has also become a good destination for South Bay beer drinkers.
Some of that craft beer love also seems to have trickled into downtown Campbell, an area not previously associated with great craft beer. Nestled among frozen yogurt shops, Starbucks and boutiques along Campbell Avenue is possibly the South Bay’s best gastropub and craft beer bar. The Liquid Bread Gastropub not only fills an obvious niche for craft beer in Campbell, it does so in the best way. Rather than cater solely to craft beer drinkers whose only desire is to quaff bitterly hoppy beer, Liquid Bread gently encourages drinkers to explore and re-imagine what beer can be.
Lovers of the hop certainly will not be disappointed with 21st Amendment’s Hop Crisis Oaked IPA, Drake’s Alpha Sessions Norcal Bitter or Green Flash Hop Odyssey Citra Sessions IPA on draft, but beer drinkers will also be challenged by some unexpected diversions, like Dogfish Head Sixty-One IPA with Syrah Grapes, Deschutes Black Butte XXV Birthday Porter and The Bruery’s Bois Bourbon Barrel-Aged Ale.
Beverage Manager Larry Hoang is clearly passionate and knowledgeable, and seemingly relentless in his pursuit of extraordinary beer. He is also eager to educate newcomers and craft beer veterans alike, and introduce them to his discoveries. The kitchen staff is equally adept and adventurous, and Executive Chef John Burke and Sous Chef Tyler Graham are thinking way beyond pub grub with items such as Rabbit Meatballs, Bavette Steak Bites, Scallops with a Chilled Soba Noodle Salad, 38 North Chicken Breast with Waffles, Pea Tendrils, Maple Syrup and Garlic Emulsion.
For Silicon Valley Beer Week, Liquid Bread turned the beer over to Anchor Brewing: Breckle’s Brown with Braised Pork Belly, Fort Ross Farmhouse with Tea-Smoked Tuna, Old Foghorn with Braised Strawberries and so on. Breckle’s is not a complex beer but it was a nice complement to the pork belly.
So the next time you’re in the South Bay and you feel like a beer and food adventure, give Liquid Bread a try. Or you’re in Campbell before Liquid Bread opens at 3 p.m., check out their recently opened sister gourmet deli, Spread Deli and Bottles, where among scores of bottles of beer and several sandwiches you can try the Gandolfini: coppa, prosciutto, sopressata, burrata and olive spread.
Liquid Bread Gastropub
379 E. Campbell Ave.
Spread Deli & Bottles
193 E. Campbell Ave.