Culture

5 Bay Area breweries serving up great beer and family-friendly fun


San Ramon's Fieldwork Brewing boasts a pizza menu, as well as 20 beer options. (Courtesy Fieldwork Brewing)

Father’s Day is coming up, the sun is shining, and schools are letting out for the summer — all of which means it might be a good time to load up the crew and head for a family-friendly brewery.

A debate over whether or not kids belong in breweries made headlines last month after a widely circulated post on X (formerly Twitter) asked people to stop bringing their children to breweries. There was push-back, since some feel that taprooms — being spacious, casual and open during the day — are naturally kid-friendly. Plus, now, many breweries are actively trying to draw more families in with features like playgrounds and arcade games. The result is a Bay Area brewing scene increasingly offering gathering spaces for people of all ages — even the underage.

That’s a sentiment that a number of leaders within the Bay Area brewing space shared in recent conversations. Perhaps Kevin Scoles, executive vice president at Alameda’s Almanac Beer Co., put it best: “We believe that creating a space that is family focused helps ensure that everyone feels welcome.”

Here are five Bay Area breweries — with taprooms spanning the region— that go above and beyond to welcome the whole family, offering everything from arcade games and sandboxes to kids’ menus and plenty of space to spread out and enjoy a summer afternoon together.

Almanac Beer Co., Alameda

Being family-friendly has long been a priority for this brewery, according to Scoles. When the now 13-year-old brewery moved from San Francisco to Alameda in 2018, it set out to create a community hub there. The mission to build that hub in an outdoor space became a priority during the COVID-19 pandemic, he says.

“We felt like there was a need in Alameda to provide a family-friendly space that was outdoors,” he says. “That’s what started us on this journey.”

So they built a sandbox, then added arcade games. Now they’ve also got a beach-style outdoor space complete with a second sandbox, artificial turf and Adirondack chairs. They also offer juices and fruit snacks, and many of the food trucks they partner with also have kids menus, he says. They also cater to pet parents: probably once a quarter, cats or dogs are featured on one of their beer labels, he says.

Today, when you visit, Scoles says, you’ll see a snapshot of the Alameda and East Bay communities. In fact, the brewery has become a popular destination for baby showers, a place where parents-to-be are excited to come gather with their friends and family, he says.

They’re offering a Father’s Day special where dads get $5 pints of Love and Hugs, two beers brewed year-round (they also offered a similar Mother’s Day deal) and have an upcoming Pride event June 22 featuring kid-friendly attractions like bubbles and a bounce house.

Beers: Love Hazy IPA, Hugs Hefeweizen, Sunset Sherbet Sour IPA and more, plus wine and cider.

Details: Open weekdays at noon and weekends at 11 a.m. at 651 W. Tower Ave. in Alameda;

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment

      

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