Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

E-mail: Desperately searching for clubs with good beer

By William Brand
Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008 at 8:00 am in Uncategorized.

Hi William, Something I’ve had on my mind for a while is that my friends aren’t as beer nerdy as I am, and sometimes when I take them out to go beer hunting, they aren’t having as much fun as I am.

Question is are there any bars/clubs in the Bay Area that also have craft beer on tap? Ivan

Good question Ivan. I honestly dunno. I’m not a clubber. Opinions anyone? b

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  • erik_flannestad

    I’m not a “clubber” myself, but I am a cocktail enthusiast. I can tell you that few upscale cocktail bars seem to have much beyond the usual macro suspects.

    About the only exception, which I would be remiss to not mention, is Alembic in the Upper Haight neighborhood of San Francisco.

    As they are owned by the same folks that own Magnolia Brewpub, they always have a good selection of Magnolia’s excellent craft beers. They also have a few guest taps, (typically Russian River and Moonlight,) a cider tap, and a fine selection of bottled beer. Not to mention excellent cocktails and one of the best selections of American whiskies in San Francisco.

  • William Brand

    Oh Yeah, Alembic. Never think of that as a club. But you’re right, they have inersting cocktailsl, big stock of vodkas and great beer. Love the place, it’s kind of like a 1950s “lounge” — soft lighting, bare walls, jazz on the soundtrack and a mixologist front and center.

    One difference. Instead of Heineken the mainstay of the 1950s, they have great beer,.

  • JivinIvan

    I’ve been to Alembic once, and it turned out to be a great time. The beer selection is also very good, but as you guys say, I wouldn’t call it a club.

    But I did stumble upon a place called the 540 Club/ Max’s, not sure which because both are on the bar sign, but they have a pretty decent selection. Have any of you been there? Because there was a beer from Lagunitas under the label of the “540” that I didn’t know.

    :) Still looking for that beerbar/club…

  • William Brand

    Thanks for that one. The beer from lagunitas started out to be: 420. But it wound up as Lagunitas Undercover Investigation on Shutdown or “Whatever, We’re Still Here” .
    ‘They got busted by the state ABC for a bogus reason. Read about it here:

  • shap


    I read and article within the last year about Annie’s Social Club, 917 Folsom St., San Francisco.

    The article indicated that the owner was/is a denizen of Toronado and has brought that beer sensibility to her club. That said, I have never verified this. I stopped by during the afternoon but they do not open until the evening. So check it out and leave a post here. If my info is true you’ll be doing a good deed for club-going beer lovers.


  • JivinIvan

    Thanks for the article Will. I’ll have to go back to Max’s and confirm that beer.

    Shap, I did a little research on the club and it seems pretty punk rock/death metal’ish. Not really my cup of tea, but I’ll definitely check out the scene… Always up for something new. Thanks for the suggestion!

  • awoodall

    How about some clubs in Oakland? I know there must be at least a few with good (a la Bill Brand) choices among beers. When you say club I’m thinking places that would have dancing and a lot of hanging-out-looking-cool space. My first guess would be places like Easy or Air Lounge or Oasis, but then again maybe not. I have to go out to some Latino places for a Cinco de Mayo story. I’ll check it out. Hmmmm. Maybe this is a job for the Night Owl. Wanna tag team on a story, Bill?

  • William Brand

    Ok Angela, you’re on. My 21-year-old daughter and occasional clubber says good beer and clubs are incompatible. Let’s find out,

  • JivinIvan

    How are they incompatible? If anything, the owner would be killing two birds with one stone.