Pacific Coast Brewing Co – brewpub
906 Washington St, Oakland (Google Map)
Official Site | Twitter | BeerAdvocate | Yelp
House microbrew: $5
Open 11am, closes midnight Mon-Thu, 1am Fri-Sat, 11p Sun
BART: 12th St Oakland City Center
“Oakland’s Best Brewpub” isn’t a place that gets a lot of press in the Bay Area, nor are they found at the many beer events in the vicinity (though with the dawn of SF Beer Week 2010, that’s changing). In fact, I didn’t even know it was there until I spotted their big “Brewpub!” sign from Oakland’s main downtown street, Broadway, on my way elsewhere. I eventually paid them a visit to find it’s a solid, friendly little brewpub, right there in the middle of downtown Oakland.
The layout is nice, but unspectacular for a brewpub… smallish bar, lots of dark wood & brick, a pair of large dining rooms, and a decently-sized heated patio facing the rest of downtown Oakland. There’s three moderately-sized TVs showing the A’s & Raiders. There’s a dartboard, and I think they could probably scrounge up some darts if you ask nicely. The crowd is typical downtown lunchers and Happy Hourers, until a little later in the evening, when it becomes a bit of a sports bar.
Their beer is solid, but unspectacular. They generally have seven or eight house brews, spanning from Imperial Stout to IPA. None of them blew the socks off my companions or me, but they weren’t bad, either. They do have a hand-pump, which is a very nice touch. More impressive is their guest tap selection. There’s a dozen taps dedicated to a rather impressive selection of other American crafts brews- Avery & RRBC’s Collaboration, RRBC’s Pliny the Younger, and Uncommon’s Siamese Twin were among the selections last time I went. Not mind-blowing, but definitely beyond what you’d expect from an otherwise-unimpressive brewpub. A handful of Belgian bottles, a pair of ciders, and nine wines round the hooch.
The food is good but, again, unspectacular- Pizza, popcorn shrimp, fish tacos, chicken breast sandwiches, etc- basic American food. Daily specials abound, usually posted on Twitter. Again, nothing to update your Facebook status about, but you won’t wish Yelp had negative stars so you could TOTALLY GIVE THEM NEGATIVE STARS either.
I kinda think of this place like I do Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. You know exactly what you’re getting, it’s a solid choice, but you wouldn’t go out of your way for it. It ain’t fine dining but it’s great for lunch or Happy Hour. I occasionally have to attend meetings down Broadway a bit, and it’s proven to be a spiffy place to grab a meal and a few brews before hopping on BART for an area that doesn’t suck. (I kid, Oakland, I kid.)