Hopping for a Revolution


Beer Revolution LogoBeer Revolution is the living museum of beer, and a haunt of mine. Housed in a former railway baggage office a stone’s throw from Oakland’s Jack London Square, this well-known, funky, grungy, low-ceiling beer emporium is a must for aficionados and the beer-curious alike. With the biggest selection in the Bay Area (50 taps and 400 bottles!) and an amiable, knowledgeable staff, you’re guaranteed to find something to please your palate.

Many Bay Area taprooms focus on local and in-state offerings and Beer Rev is no exception. Like many other beer bars, beer is not the only thing on tap. Since I like cherry, the Oaked Cherry Cider from San Bruno-based South City Ciderworks (10 oz, 6.9%, $8.00) caught my eye on the blackboard. Light and fruity with notes of hibiscus, the oaking is suitably subtle. Perfect for a hot late summer afternoon on the packed patio (provided you can find a seat!).

I normally dislike pumpkin anything, except cheesecake and pie, but since it was the day before Hallowe’en, I figured I had to try the Magna Cucurbita Barrel-Aged Imperial Pumpkin Porter from Mike Hess Brewing of San Diego (10 oz, 8.5%, $8.00). Although I think the brewery adds cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger to this, yet these flavors weren’t overpowering, which is fine because I don’t really care for spiced beer. Nice creamy head and both the pumpkin and the booze from the bourbon barrels were subtle and well-balanced, with pumpkin in the background, where it should be. Hid ABV fairly well with a little vanilla. My only complaint about this is that it wasn’t on nitro.

Berkeley’s Fieldwork makes excellent, creative use of hops in their many IPAs, and Broken Clouds (14 oz, 8.6%, $7.00) is a prime example. Like the brewery itself, there was a buzz about this beer so I had to try and am glad I did. The first thing that hit my nose emanating from the super-bright, cloudy yellow in the glass was uber-dank weed, followed by lemon zest citrus, earth and cat pee on the tongue (yes, that is  a flavor imparted by some hops).  Earthy yet stratospheric and a winning representation of the new trend in flavor-forward West Coast IPAs (as opposed to hop bombs) shared by SF’s Cellarmaker.

Since it’s getting colder this time of year, I went back to stouty-type stuff next. I liked HenHouse’s oyster stout, so I tried Marooned on Hog Island from SF’s 21st Amendment (16 oz, 7.9%, $7.00). Despite being made with shells from Hog Island, I found it disappointing. At almost 8% ABV, I was expecting a heartier body with more brininess and salinity. Instead, I found it rather thin, and in my opinion, just an average stout with some notes of coffee, chocolate and a little oyster.

Specialists in sourcing the best in suds of all styles, Beer Rev attracts all sorts, the common denominator being a love of beer. Like me, they come because of the fun, informal vibe and amazing off and on-premise selections poured by an enthusiastic staff who are happy to help and quick on their feet. You’re guaranteed to find something you’ll like, but you’d better get used to metal, ‘cause it’s their preferred soundtrack.

Great for: People who like Zeitgeist

Bottles to go. No food, but a vegan soul food restaurant is next door. Parking is abundant with a free shuttle to 12th Street/Oakland City Center BART. Close to Amtrak and the ferry.

Beer Revolution
464 3rd Street,
Oakland CA



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