When I first learned I would be relocating to the East Bay late last summer, I immediately began scouring the area for local brewpubs, beer bars, etc., through beermapping.com, my dog-eared copy of Good Beer Guide West Coast USA and asking everyone I knew about the area. Not knowing exactly where I was going to live, I primarily focused on Berkeley (my new office location) and found some great places: Pyramid, Triple Rock, Jupiter; and a few in Oakland: Beer Revolution, The Trappist… but I didn’t discover my ‘local’ brewpub Elevation 66 until I was actually driving BY it (as I didn’t initially check the El Cerrito area as I didn’t think we’d land there… and, honestly, El Cerrito is a beer dead zone). I went in later that afternoon and discovered that they were celebrating their one year anniversary—what a terrific way to be welcomed to the neighborhood!
Subsequently, I’ve been to Elevation 66 on quite a few occasions and I have to say—I couldn’t have asked for a better local hangout. It’s cozy and friendly, with a terrific small staff and is literally the perfect spot for an afternoon pint to catch a game or to have a nice family dinner—assuming you don’t have a long wait as it’s a very popular spot. Also, a huge plus: they’re very kid friendly. My family, I think, was only mentioned in my last post but I have a 3 ½ year old daughter who frequently accompanies my wife and I on brewery excursions and so finding kid friendly breweries/brewpubs is important.
Getting there is pretty easy as they’re a couple blocks from a BART stop, there’s ample parking in the immediate area, and the Ohlone Greenway goes right by if you’re biking. Additionally, they’re on a cute block with an eclectic group of stores/restaurants (including a cool comic book store) and a terrific looking theater a door down that allows beer drinking inside. WIN.
It’s a small location and they only brew enough beer to serve on one of their 12 taps (typically 6 for the home team and 6 guest—with a great rotating selection and one seemingly permanent cider tap)—so no growler fills to be had! The food is mostly locally sourced and they pride themselves on their support of the local community/economy with their menu. The selection itself isn’t extravagant but has a number of amazing items and they rotate out dishes occasionally (they have some amazing mac’n’cheese—and I’ve had a LOT of mac’n’cheese from breweries).
The beer across the board has always been top-notch, with special marks for the hoppy West Coast IPAs that I love. I’ve never had a single pint (or visit for that matter) that I felt was sub-par and I’ve tried many of their offerings:
- East Bay IPA
- White Rabbit Double IPA
- Laurel Leaf Pale Ale
- Old 66
- Two Beagle Brown
- Caber Toss Scotch
- Ramble Tamble Red
- Esther Stout
- Choco-nut Stout
- Barrel Aged Chocolate Imperial Stout
- Contra Costa Kolsch
- Accidental Ale
So if you’re in the East Bay for a visit I can’t endorse Elevation 66 enough…it’s well worth the trip—assuming you can get a chair!
Elevation 66 Brewing
10082 San Pablo Avenue
El Cerrito, CA 94530