Guide to Craft Beer and Brewing in the South Bay and Peninsula
While Northern California may be best known for our wine, craft beer making is big and new breweries are popping up all the time here in the San Francisco Bay Area. New craft beer-focused restaurants, beer bars, and beer stores are also working to share these local brews with the world.
Craft Beer Breweries
Here is a guide to all the breweries crafting beer in San Jose and Silicon Valley. Many of these breweries offer growler fills so you can take a few pints to enjoy at home.
121 Industrial Rd., Suite 11, Belmont, CA
This brewer focuses on dry, aromatic IPA's, fruited sour ales & barrel-aged wild ales.Their Belmont tasting room is open Thursday, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
935 Washington St, San Carlos, CA
Devil's Canyon Brewing Company is an award-winning local brewer with beers inspired by European traditions. The brewery has been locally recognized for their sustainable brewing and operations.
The taproom is only open on Friday afternoons. Each Friday from 5-10pm, the brewery hosts the popular weekly food truck meetup, Off The Grid.
200 E. Campbell Ave, Campbell, CA
If you want some barbecue with your beer, check out Campbell Brewing Company, a smokehouse and brewery restaurant in downtown Campbell. They currently offer six of their own beers and a selection of guest taps from breweries around California.
The restaurant is open seven days a week.
1235 Oakmead Parkway, Sunnyvale, CA
A brewery and restaurant offering traditional European-style beers and a full menu, and live music on Friday and Saturday nights. The restaurant is open Monday through Saturday. Happy hour is Monday through Friday, 3:30-6pm
3736 Florence St, Redwood City, CA
A village brewery and pub focused on making handcrafted English-style ales. The brewery tasting room and restaurant are open seven days a week.
1252 Memorex Dr., Santa Clara, CA
A small local brewery with a Kickstarter-funded tasting room in Santa Clara. The brewery tasting room is open Tuesday through Sundays.
640 Emerson St., Palo Alto, CA
33 E. San Fernando St., San Jose, CA
Gordon Biersch is the largest brewery in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The Gordon Biersch team started brewing German-style ales, pilsners, and lagers in Palo Alto, back in 1988. The, now international, company currently has 35 restaurants in the U.S. and four in Taiwan. Their brewery and bottling plant is still located in Silicon Valley (in Downtown San Jose's Japantown), but it is only open to the public for selected annual events.
Both Silicon Valley restaurants serve full menus and tap list. Happy hour is Monday through Friday, 3:30-6pm (San Jose) and 4-6pm (Palo Alto).
390 Capistrano Road, Half Moon Bay, CA
The Half Moon Bay Brewing Company offers traditional and unique brews just a stone’s throw from the legendary Mavericks surf spot. Two of their current beers are fundraisers to benefit Not For Sale, a nonprofit that works against human trafficking worldwide. The brewery strives to be a center of community life in the coastal village, and hosts Brews & Views, a monthly event featuring speakers and/or documentary film focused on politics and social issues.
Happy hour goes from lunch to dinner in the bar, Monday through Friday, 11am-6pm.
1627 S. 7th Street, San Jose, CA
Hermitage Brewing Company brews up about dozen robust and flavorful beers including the hop enthusiast's Hoptopia, and their varietal-focused single hop brews. Hermitage is the sister brewery of Mountain View's Tied House and you can taste both brands on tap at the brewery.
Taproom is open Wednesday through Sunday, check the website for hours.
5720 Cabrillo Highway, Pescadero, CA
A great stop on any drive down the Silicon Valley coast. The Highway 1 Brewing Company is 7 miles south of Pescadero on Highway 1. The Highway 1 Brewing Company offers about a dozen of their own craft brews and guest taps from other Bay Area and Santa Cruz-based craft brewers and cider makers.
The brewery and restaurant are open seven days a week.
Whole Foods, 777 The Alameda, San Jose, CA
While purists will argue this isn't a true craft brewery because it's owned and operated by the national grocer, Whole Foods Market, they do have an attractive two-story downtown taproom and do brew their beers on-site. The Downtown San Jose location was the Whole Foods brand's first on-site brewery in California. Their second-floor taproom features nineteen rotating taps of craft beer, wine, & cider and a short food menu.
The Downtown San Jose taproom is open seven days a week.
101 E. Alma Ave., San Jose, CA
Santa Clara Valley Brewing Company's beers pay tribute to Silicon Valley's past with a number of beers inspired by local agricultural history.
The tap room is open Wednesday through Sunday, check the website for hours.
2099 S 10th St, San Jose, CA
Strike Brewing Company is known for their low-alcohol "session" beers--the kind you can enjoy a few of while watching a sporting event. The brewery's founder, Drew Ehrlich, used to be a pitcher for Stanford University’s baseball team, which inspired this brewing interest and baseball-themed branding.
The tap room is open Wednesday through Sunday, check the website for hours. Brewery tours are available for groups of 10 or more, by appointment. Food trucks come out to the brewery each Friday.
1171 Homestead Road, Santa Clara, CA
Taplands is a brewery, tasting room, and bottle shop offering over 20 different craft beers on tap, more than 50 bottles, and growler fills. The tasting room also offers a kitchen with homemade snacks, sandwiches, and salads.
The tasting room is open Tuesdays through Sundays.
954 Villa Street, Mountain View, CA
The Tied House is the oldest microbrewery in the South Bay and a favorite brewpub in Downtown Mountain View. While Tied House no longer brewed on-site in Mountain View, they do still brew locally in San Jose at their sister brewery, Hermitage Brewing Company.
The pub is open seven days a week, serving full menus and both Tied House and Hermitage Brewing Company beers. The Tied House has two happy hours (Monday through Friday), one at lunch (11:30 am to 1 pm) and one at dinner (4 pm to 6 pm).
Craft Beer Bars and Brewpubs
Silicon Valley has a large and growing number of beer-focused bars where you can enjoy dozens of craft beers from California and around the world. Here are a few of my personal favorites.
66 S. 1st St., San Jose, CA
Original Gravity has 35 taps of beer on tap and dozens more available by the bottle. They have two bars and an outdoor beer garden out behind the store. The bar has a good selection of beer food including sausages, duck fat fries, and sandwiches.
75 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose, CA
An industrial-looking beer bar and bottle shop in downtown San Jose. They have 40 taps and hundreds of craft beers, ciders, and meads in their refrigerator section. ISObeers doesn't serve food but you are allowed to bring food in to enjoy with your beers.
37 S. 1st St., San Jose, CA
A tiny bar and cafe in Downtown San Jose, formerly known as Good Karma Vegan Café. Offers a surprisingly large selection of rare and hard to find beers on tap.
971 Laurel Street, San Carlos, CA
A Downtown San Carlos beer bar and bottle shop with 25 rotating craft beers on top with more than 100 bottles to drink in store or to take home.
Craft Beer Stores and Bottle Shops
While your average corner liquor store will carry a few craft beers, real beer nerds stock up at dedicated beer stores or corner stores that are known to stock wide selections of craft brews. Here are a few local favorites.
720 Villa Street, Mountain View, CA
Beer store that offers more than 500 local and international craft beers, mead, and hard cider. Beers are sold by the bottle, as well as in larger quantity packs and kegs.
San Pedro Square Market, 100 N. Almaden Ave., San Jose, CA
A small beer bottle shop inside the San Pedro Square Market, that offers more than 100 bottled beers from around the world and a small, rotating selection of craft beers on tap.
Cask'n Flask Liquors No 1
14520 Camden Ave, San Jose, CA
Large neighborhood liquor store with a wide selection of local and international craft beers from around the world.
Local Silicon Valley Beer Festivals
San Francisco Beer Week (February) : Annual Bay Area beer festival with more than 100 events from the North Bay down to Santa Cruz.
Silicon Valley Beer Week (July): Annual Silicon Valley beer festival with events in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties.
Local Oktoberfest Events (September-October): Annual German-inspired food and beer festivals across the Bay.