I remember the first time I tried a beer. My first sip was from a can of my dad’s Coors Light and I’ll never forget the bitter, flat taste that was tinged with just a bit of fizz. It was completely unlike the Sprite that I had been used to drinking. From my first sip of Coors, to having the greatest pub on campus where they served everything from Pliny the Elder to North Coasts’s Scrimshaw Pilsner (which was my first beer as a 21-year-old!), I’ve grown to love beer in a whole other way.
One of the best things about living in the Bay is the proximity to craft breweries, big and small. Big names like Anchor Steam and Lagunitas, are housed in the same region as some of my favorites like Drake’s and The Rare Barrel. Housed next to a furniture warehouse, lies the best sour brews that I’ve ever had. Founded and led by three dudes who used to homebrew in college, The Rare Barrel is their full-time passion project that has become my ultimate indulgence.
Their sours are incredible, ranging from green tea infusions to chocolatey and rich stout-like sours that are exemplary reminders of what sour beers are supposed to be.
The tasting room is homey, with a couple of giant leather couches and barrels transformed into standing tables for when the tasting bar and wooden dining tables get too crowded.
There’s multiple reasons why The Rare Barrel is so intoxicating (aside from the ABV). Their tasting room is full of people who enjoy beer, the owners take so much pride in each batch they brew, and each glass of beer is just as good, if not better, than the next.