Trails and Ales: 5 Stunning Bay Area Hikes, And the Breweries to Hit Up Afterwards

Brendan Baker

The Brewery: Fieldwork Brewing Co (~15 minutes from the hike)
Fieldwork happens to be one of my favorite local breweries at the moment, simply because they very rarely miss the mark. After hitting the scene in 2015, Fieldwork quickly established itself as a powerhouse across all styles. Most recently, their hazy IPAs—like King Citra and Pulp—and their stouts—like Imperial Hot Chocolate and the Baker—have kept Fieldwork at the top of any beer lover’s list. Bonus points for offering hefty taster pours and some surprisingly good bar bites.

If you tend to enjoy experimental beers and don’t mind finding a few unique ingredients in your suds (think: ginger, cayenne pepper, French chicory and kiwi to name a few), then Fieldwork is for you. Not to mention they have a moderately sized tasting room and a clientele that won’t pass judgement on your rugged, just-finished-a-sweaty-hike appearance.

Bonus brewery: The Rare Barrel (19 minute drive from the hike)
I would be remiss if I didn’t call out The Rare Barrel. That said, I kept them out of my top recommendation for Berkeley because I realize sour beers can be quite polarizing, especially after completing a rigorous hike.

Nevertheless, Rare Barrel was founded by two former Bruery employees who now focus solely on perfecting the art of the sour beer. The tasting area is roomy, and their beautifully complex beers are unlike any you’ve likely tried. Get your palate tingling by trying a dark sour beer aged in oak barrels with blackberries, or their golden sour beer aged in oak barrels with apricots.

Not a fan of sours but open to new experiences? Here’s a protip: For the next 2 weeks, start off every morning with a cold glass of Rare Barrel Map of the Moon. Over time, you’ll begin to develop a strong affinity for that mouth puckering taste and viola—one day you’ll wake up and realize you can’t go a morning without one. Success!

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