Craft Beer (credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
The San Francisco Bay Area has played a major role in the craft beer explosion. And because of it, several business specializing in serving and selling the world’s best beer can be found all over the region. While San Francisco is arguably the best choice to find the largest selection of craft beers, other parts of the Bay Area are just as noteworthy and might even be better. Here is a look at five of the best craft beer shops in the Peninsula.
1540 El Camino Real
Menlo Park, CA 94025
Offering wines and spirits since 1882, Beltramo’s may have the largest selection of fine wines and spirits in the Bay Area. But the family owned business also carries an extraordinary selection of craft beers at the store or online. Beltramo’s lists more than 50 varieties of beers including Belgian pale ale, IPA, pilsner and stout from 35 countries around the world. Located down the road from the Menlo Park Caltrain station, the popular store hosts free beer tastings every other Friday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Redwood City, CA 94063
For lovers of fine German beer, Gourmet Haus Staudt seems to have it all. Guests can enjoy traditional German food in the dining area, sample selections at the bar or beer garden and to top it off, bring a few brews home from the store. In business for more than 30 years, the store features more than 100 selections of German and craft beers including such favorites as Lindt, Kinder, Kruegeman and Asbach. The beer garden features 11 German beers on taps such as Ayinger and Hofbrauhaus Munchen, in addition to a few guest taps which change regularly. Just recently, Gourmet Haus Staudt started opening up its doors on Sundays.
720 Villa St.
Mountain View, CA 94041
Just a few blocks from the popular microbrewery the Tied House, Jane’s staffs what’s known as “your friendly neighborhood beer geeks.” With a knowledgeable staff and more than 500 craft beers in stock, this might be the best spot in the Peninsula and Silicon Valley for beer aficionados. The store website lists a ton of domestic and imported breweries, with names like Anchor Brewing, Flying Dog, Lagunitas, Brasserie Caracole, Primator and Fullers. Look for staff picks of the week and new additions through the official website.
3003 El Camino Real
Redwood City, CA 94061
One of the best stores in the Bay Area for fine wines also has a great collection of domestic and imported craft beers. In fact, the Redwood City store is so widely recommended for beer lovers, some say it’s one of the best in the Peninsula. Visitors to this store on the El Camino Real will enjoy a wide selection of award winning beers, such as Russian River Brewing Company’s “Damnation” golden ale, Anchor Brewing “California 1896” lager, Evil Twin Brewing’s “Soft DK” and Brouwerj Strubbe’s “Ichtegem’s Grand Cru.” For a more extensive selection of craft beers, K&L lists more than 500 labels, ranging in prices under $10 to up to $44.99 for De Struise Brouwers’ “Black Damnation.”
60 Middlefield Road
Menlo Park, CA 94025
Known as Menlo Park’s best “mom and pop shop,” Willows Market claims to have the largest selection of craft beers in the Bay Area. But with more than 400 labels, places like Jane’s might disagree. Still, if you’re in the area, this is one market worth checking for its beer selection. Among the most popular breweries in stock include Arrogant Bastard, Drakes, Lagunitas North Coast and Sierra Nevada. If you want to sample some of their quality brews, the store hosts a free craft beer and spirit tasting on Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. if six packs and cases aren’t enough, Willows Market also offers a craft beer delivery.