Friday, June 29, 2012

Easy Day in the East Bay

(Berkely to Oakland, CA) 

One drawback to being a lazy, uninspired, good-for-nothing human is that I'm also a lazy, uninspired, good-for-nothing blogger.  I'm old, too.  Digging way back into my failing memory for this one could be tough...

On a sunny Sunday in November late last year, Devlin and I decided to take a break from the San Francisco scene and visit the East Bay.  First we needed to fuel up, though.  We were both pretty hung over from the previous day -- a very full day which consisted of two beer hikes and a visit to Drake's over in San Leandro.  My head is starting to hurt just thinking about it, but fuck, it was fun.  We basically squeezed two days into one.  Exhausting.

Anyway, on the way to the BART station we dropped by The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen -- a place I wanted to go the year before, but never made it to, even though it's just across the street from 21st Amendment.  If there's a better hangover remedy than AGCK, I haven't had it yet.  So much great stuff to choose from.

Identity concealed, but the hoodie is a dead giveaway.
When we arrived in Berkeley a while later, I felt like a new man.  The sun was out, it was around 66 degrees...  Is there anywhere better in early November than the Bay Area?

Our launch point for the UBH was Triple Rock, where our world-traveling, beer geek friends Merideth and Chris were waiting for us. 
I was the only one of the pack who had never been to the East Bay, but I was in great hands.  Devlin once lived in this area for several years, so he was no stranger to this part of town and Merideth and Chris both went to school at UC-Berkeley.  This was going to be fun.

Easy Day in the East Bay; 6.6 miles
Triple Rock / Barclay's / Lanesplitter / CommonWealth / The Trappist / Beer Revolution

View Easy Day in the East Bay UBH in a larger map 

Looking back on it now, over six months later, I remember only a few specifics about the hike.  Chris actually did a better (and more timely) write up on his website, HERE:
  • I felt right at home at Triple Rock (maybe because it's so much like Big Time, which is practically in my backyard).  Very warm atmosphere and solid beer.
  • Barclay's was really busy as there was a Raiders game on when we arrived.  It was interesting to hear Merideth tell some stories of back in the day when she worked there while attending grad school. 
Odd shit at Barclay's
  • Commonwealth was closed when we got there, so we didn't make it in.  I don't remember why it was closed -- maybe we were just there too early.
  • Lanesplitter was very busy and their beer board said they had Sierra Nevada Celebration on tap, but when our pitcher arrived, we tasted it and it clearly wasn't Celebration.  We had the beertender check the keg and were delighted to find that it was a Sierra Nevada beer, but it was actually the California Common, a re-release of the beer Chris and Merideth brewed at Beer Camp in 2009!  As far as they knew we were drinking from the last known keg -- the re-release was several months before.
  • I remember very little about The Trappist.  I think it had a nice outdoor area in the back, but it was getting chilly, so we hung out inside.  I will definitely return here on my next trip to Oakland and give it a longer look.
My camera captured exactly how I was seeing things by this point.

  • Details on the visit to Beer Revolution are hazy, but I remember a lively atmosphere, a kick-in-the-face selection of beers -- tap and bottle -- and drunkenly proclaiming that I wanted to have my 40th birthday party there.  
Couldn't help harassing Devlin a little.
  • At some point we left Beer Rev and got barbeque on the way to our harbor-side hotel in the Jack London District.  Devlin drank from a Heineken bottle and he was right to do it.
Here's more photos!

1 comment:

  1. I used to live kitty-corner from Tiple Rock. Many good Ipax's in my six years there. And of course, you ended your trip at my all time favorite, Beer Rev! I like it!