Eins, Zwei, G’suffa! We’re not advocates for heavy drinking, but the famous phrase from an even more famous Bavarian drinking song that encourages beer drinkers to pause for two beats before knocking back a stein of local brew feels apropos considering the energetic shift in the air of late. The Bay Area is bursting with beer gardens, which make wonderful places to while away an afternoon in the outdoors with friends and family. Here are a few with fun food to match the brews.
A perennial favorite for brunch (like chicken and waffles), the kitchen also turns out dishes infused with Asian flavors like a spicy ahi poke bowl, handmade dumplings and firecracker green beans. Sip a Patriot pilsner, Inglorious pale ale or even a Glutenberg (it’s gluten-free) at a small table out front or inside the brew pub.
1132 Fourth St, San Rafael; 415.295.7929
The see-and-be-seen patio enlivens the outdoor eating scene at Corte Madera Town Center, one of seven NorCal locations for this brewery. The draft list includes everything from Belgian dubbel-style to lighter Czech-style lagers and hoppier double IPAs. The pizzas have a dedicated following and roasted Brussels sprouts and a chopped kale salad round out the menu.
107 Corte Madera Town Center, Corte Madera; 415.891.8273
The big tanks out front are a sign of the beer to come at this long-running brewery in Novato. Grab a seat one of the picnic tables in the backyard patio before sinking into a bowl of beef and bean chili or the restaurant’s famous corned beef and cabbage. The beer menu is similarly Irish-American in flavor with Irish stouts and NorCal IPAs available in equal measure.
15 Rowland Way, Novato; 415.898.4677
The tables shaded by umbrellas and live music pumping from the stage set a lively scene for this beer garden at Novato’s Vintage Oaks Shopping Center. While many come to savor a Pliny the Younger (when in season), the restaurant is known for its killer Reuben and fish and chips with Caribbean slaw.
224 Vintage Way, Novato; 415.892.6200
A legit beerhall, complete with gnomes hiding amidst the barrels and soaring ceilings, Radhaus exalts in its Bavarian heritage. Beer here skews German, from draft König pilsner and a hopfenweisser from Schneider Brewery to bottles of Curator Doppelbock brewed by Klosterbrauerei Ettal. Or, try a German whiskey or schnapps. All can be paired with döner kebab, chicken schnitzel sandwich, or a brunch of spätzle and eggs. Singing of “Eins, Zwei, G’suffa” is entirely optional.
2 Marina Blvd, Fort Mason; 415.445.4556
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Christina Mueller is a long-time Bay Area food writer. She hails from the East Coast and has spent way too much time in South America and Europe. She discovered her talent as a wordsmith in college and her love of all things epicurean in grad school. She has written for Condé Nast Contract Publishing, Sunset, and the Marin Independent Journal, among others. She volunteers with California State Parks and at her childrens’ schools, and supports the Marin Audubon Society, PEN America, and Planned Parenthood. When she is not drinking wine by a fire, she is known to spend time with her extended family.