Tuesday 29th May 2012
There are certain pubs that, the moment you enter, you know are just right; Pacific Coast is one of these. There is a real pub / tavern feel about it is it looks a lot older than it is, although it certainly has some history.
There is a lovely stained class frontage and once inside you notice on the right, the bar and the bar back, and that even has stained glass illuminated sections; it is an absolute gem. All of these and the addition of the beer cooler, came from the Cox Tavern, which was not far away in Old Oakland. These were all installed with the co-operation of the Oakland Museum.
The walls are painted dark green and are covered with old advertisements and other brewery memorabilia, a number also loaned from the Museum. Above the stairs to the lower level there is a large collection of beer bottles. There is wood panelling to mid height in the main room.
The building dates from 1876 and I'm not sure of its origins but will try to find out more about it. The furniture is all varnished wood and the tables have wood inlays and it all looks very smart indeed. Outside, at the back, there is a nice shaded terrace for al fresco dining and drinking.
The brewery is located downstairs as are the facilities, and even this has history, as it was constructed during 1980 in Great Britain right at the beginning of the American (and British, for that matter) micro-brewing boom.
It was shipped across the oceans and was originally installed in the Palo Alto Brewing Co. and functioned from 1984 to 1986. Pacific Coast Brewing was established in 1988 and it has been here ever since.
This brew pub is somewhat unusual as it sells beers from other small brewers. Under normal circumstances they say that, from the total number of beers on the menu, about a third are their in-house brews. It was a bit less when I called in, probably because it was the day following a public holiday.
Anyway, there were enough to keep me satisfied and they were as follows, with my thoughts on them:
Killer Whale Stout (5.5%). This was extremely good, being smooth, dry and bitter, excellent!
Triple Whale Ale (5.5%). It had a medium bitterness, yet was pleasant enough.
Pearl Golden Ale (6.0%). A Golden Ale with a light, rounded taste, but not much bitterness.
However the best was saved to last, as they had Columbus IPA (7.0%) on cask and it was absolutely fantastic, being a full-on interpretation on the India Pale Ale style and although the beers in this pub are served with minimal gas it was just great to drink the real thing!
As mentioned previously, there is also an extensive range of beers from other breweries that is always changing. Mostly they are loyal to the home state with just the occasional visitor from further afield.
There were beers from these breweries on offer that day:
Dogfish Head (Milton, DE); Firestone-Walker (Paso Robles, CA); Sierra Nevada (Chico, CA); Green Flash (San Diego, CA); North Coast Brewing (Fort Bragg, CA); E.J. Phair (Pittsburg, CA); Bear Republic (Healdsburg, CA); West Coast Brewing (Eureka, CA); Rubicon (Sacramento, CA); Lagunitas Brewing (Lagunitas, CA) and Mendicino (Hopland, CA).
If that fantastic selection wasn't enough to get you here there are a lot of events going on. There's Lazy Saturday with Jazz being performed from 15.00 to 19.00. On Tuesdays there is a Pub Quiz commencing at 19.30. This is the first time I come across this strangely British phenomenon in the USA. In the season the pub opens early on Sundays at 10.00 for live NFL games.
Also, there are Happy Hours from 16.00 to 18.00 on Mondays to Fridays.
This is a great pub with good beers and a lot of atmosphere and is very easy to get to from downtown San Francisco.
Pacific Coast Brewing, 906 Washington Street, Oakland, California, CA-94607
Tel: 01 510 836 2739
Open: Monday-Thursday 11.30 to 24.00;
Friday-Saturday 11.30 to 01.00; Sunday 11.00-23.00
The pub is less than ten minutes walk from the 12th Street Oakland City Center BART
(Bay Area Rapid Transit) station. Leave from the southern exit into Broadway. Walk two blocks south to 10th Street. Turn right into it, then after one block turn into Washington Street, and the pub is one block further south on the left. This station is served by the
Red, Orange and Yellow lines.