If I'm not detailed enough with how the house beers tasted I'm sorry. I'm not very good at picking out specific flavors just yet (I know some of the basics - malty, bitter, dry, sweet, hoppy etc...I guess I just need more practice...:sigh:
), and it was probably a while ago when I tried them.
Jupiter's - Excellent selection of beer, nice house beers (I quite like the Porter) but I nearly always end up being boring and going for a 20oz Old Rasputin that they have on Nitro - I cant help myself! Nice atmosphere, fantastic Pizza. I go there quite a lot and everybody is very friendly, sometimes you have to wait a half hour to snag a table but it's not so bad. I recommend getting the house made ranch dressing for the pizza, well worth the extra buck fifty. Lovely on a summers evening outside, I like to get there before the music starts playing later in the evening, but the music is usually pretty ok, although they had a pretty cheesy cool Jazz type band one time...
I tried Old Speckled hen there having fond memories of it from when I was living in England as one of the few beers I tried before moving and finding it to be delicious. It either did not travel well, or was infected in some way, had an off taste - quite sour/bitter.
They also serve their bear at the Bears lair if your into student sports bars, which I'm not really. At happy hour though they had a pitcher of their beer selling for about 5 dollars if I remember rightly.
Tripple Rock - Great place, I find the prices for food a little steep for my student sized wallet, but it's really only a couple extra dollars for what I would expect. Anything over, or very close to, ten bucks for an entree I consider to be a little steep! I had a very nice oak aged chocolate porter there once, I believe that was what it was, I can not remember the brewery though...Doh! It was for San Francisco Beer week. Saloon style, meaning that it is kind of a narrow room. Outside is nicer, but you feel a bit walled in. I was put off going there once due to terrible service which was brought on because there was a large Bears football game on that night and it was packed. I think we waited an hour before we even got to order, so I'd check and see if there are any important Bears games before you go - Berkeley Vs Stanford being the main one that clogged the bar up for us. The one house beer I mainly remember was their stout, I believe it's called Dragons milk - I remember I liked it, sorry I can't be more specific about what I liked about it...
Nice Rueban on rye.
Pyramid Brewhouse - Big sports bar, very open - close to my house so it's convenient. You can see the brewery through the big glass windows on the right and the whole place really smells like a brewery. Awesome. They only serve house beers, I enjoy their porter (slightly roasty, not too thick), and they had a nice amber there at one point, not heavily malty, but only small amounts of hop aroma - the main reason I liked it, I'm not overly keen on hops. The food is nice, pulled pork sandwich was decent, burgers, whatever. A burger is a burger is a burger
. They offer tours of their brewery every day too, have never managed to do it yet though.
Albatross - I go here quite often. They have a nice selection of beers with many imports. Some range up in the 7 dollar range, most are much less. A Nice, dark pub with fairly low ceilings, they have dart competitions and pub quizzes (I'd say it reminds me a little of England when I go there). Board games to play for free, which is a nice addition if you go there with friends - I reccomend apples to apples, great way to get to know people
. No food except occasionally they'll have some deep dish pizza, they have bottomless popcorn too. It's no big deal though as they don't mind you bringing in food from outside, I often goto a Mexican place on the way, or there is a nice BBQ joint across the street. They have music there too some nights, but I've never been there whilst there has been music playing - I don't think I go out late enough.
Starry Plough - When I moved I'd heard from several people that it was a great pub so I went here probably two years ago and all I can remember was being utterly disappointed with the selection of beers (I think all they had was Guiness, Murpheys, and Killians, BMC, SNPA, nothing especially tasty). Another thing I was utterly disappointed with was the atmosphere. We went there for a nice conversation and there was some Irish band playing, which is fine, but we were having a conversation (not by any means loud, but quite quiet in fact ), and we were shushed! So we dully became even quieter, so much so that we could barely hear each other talk, and we were shushed again! We were quiet, sat in the corner, being shushed... So I drank up my one disappointing beer and left never to go back.
So that's the main places where I have been in Berkeley, am I missing any places? I'd love to try someplace new. I hear that there is a bar in Oakland called the Trappist which is great, but quite busy. Anybody been there?