Unlike most American cities, San Francisco’s public transportation is pretty damn good, thanks in large part to BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) lines covering San Francisco, the Peninsula, and the East Bay. Also unlike many American cities, San Francisco’s and northern California’s beer is world-class, an excuse to visit the city on its own. Forget about expensive cab fares, and don’t even think about picking up those keys – BART your way to some of the Bay Area’s top beer proprietors. Here are five beer bars located near BART stations. Drink deeply, stumble safely.
Zeitgeist: 0.5 miles (9-minute walk) from 16th St. Mission BART
This place serves up all kinds of delicious northern California brews on tap in a hard-core, yet welcoming biker bar setting. You can’t miss the outdoor beer garden in back. Grab a burger from the kitchen if the walk made you hungry.
City Beer Store: 0.5 miles (9-minute walk) from Civic Center BART
Mom and pop never looked so good. City Beer Store is run by a husband and wife who absolutely know their beer. Craig and Beth will walk you through their astounding selection of over 300 bottles from San Francisco and the world, sharing their expertise with all who are interested. They also have a rotating (and impeccable) selection of six beers on tap.
The Trappist: 0.3 miles (5-minute walk) from 12th St. Oakland City Center BART
Oakland’s home to Belgian beer, The Trappist pours an impressive variety on tap, and has a bottle menu that reads like an encyclopedia of Belgium’s best. The atmosphere is fun and casual, as patrons stand around gigantic wooden kegs serving as tables.
Toronado: 1.1 miles (23-minute walk) from Civic Center BART
“23-minute walk?!” you say? Well, yes. But what if I were to tell you that Toronado has 50 beers on tap alone? Still not convinced? What if I were to sweeten the deal by telling you that the bottle menu reads like a phone book, and that they’re right next to Rosamunde, possibly the best sausage-monger in the city? That walk doesn’t seem so bad now, does it? If you really want to, you can also walk to Van Ness and Market and jump on the 6, 7, 66, or 71 MUNI bus line to Haight and Fillmore. But really? The bus? Please.
Jupiter: 10 feet (3-second walk) from Downtown Berkeley BART
Jupiter is a brewery as well as bar and restaurant, so most of their beers are made in-house. There are a couple standout brews, like the beastly, hoppy Quasar, that make this place worth a visit. The food is standard pub grub with a Berkeley twist: vegetarian pizzas, artichoke dip, etc. There’s live jazz on the back patio many nights.