Check out what’s on tap at Peninsula breweries this season with The Six Fifty’s summer beer guide

Beat the heat and chill out with IPAs, sours and a whole lotta happy hour.

Tis the season. (Photo by Charles Russo)

It’s summer! Which means warm weather, leisure time….and beer (well, at least by our reading of it).

As we’ve said many (many, many) times before, the Peninsula is the dynamic dark horse of Bay Area brewing, steadily earning a solid reputation for both quality and innovation for all things hop related.

With temperatures rising and our seasonal thirst starting to surface, we thought we’d check in on the warm weather offerings from around the area. And wow, from Prickly Pear IPA to a Forbidden Rice Pilsner, the summertime beer lists are indeed as eclectic and compelling as we had hoped.

With that, cheers (literally) to summer — take a look at what’s on tap and tilt your schedule towards happy hour.

The cask lineup at Freewheel (Photo by Devin Roberts).

Freewheel Brewing Company

Freewheel’s summer brew line-up is exciting this season, with beer releases which will include a Peach Wheat Saison, a Graf (read as—cider/beer hybrid), and others, such as their recently released Captain & Stocker, a German Pilsner made in collaboration with Loma Brewing Company in Los Gatos.

Freewheel plans to host live music and game nights throughout the summer months (Fridays and Saturdays with some weeknights thrown in, too) and continue their Monday Night Pub Quiz (their self-described “ultimate trivia night”). Also notable on their up-and-coming front: a Father’s Day Music and Fundraiser next weekend, as well as “a big push”—as Roberts calls it—for showcasing the World Cup this summer. Score.

Freewheel Brewing Company // 3736 Florence Street, Redwood City, (650) 365–2337

Sun. — Wed. 11:30 a.m. — 10 p.m., Thurs. — Sat. 11:30 a.m. — 11 p.m.

Devil’s Canyon founder Chris Garrett pulls a pint at his San Carlos taproom. (Photo by Charles Russo)

Devil’s Canyon Brewing Company

Devil’s Canyon — which we previously suggested might be the area’s friendliest beer maker — is offering several seasonal summer brews, including Habanero Red Ale to be released in early July and Pêche Lambic (aged in barrels for five years and to be released on a very limited basis in 500ml bottles) to be put out later in the summer.

A flight of beers in Devil’s Taproom. (Photo by Nicole Ruiz Hudson)

Currently on draught are Belle Bière Brut (a California sparking…ale!) and California Sunshine Rye IPA (now with an updated recipe).

Devil’s Canyon ever-popular Beer Garden Fridays — which are not a summer exclusive event, but perfectly catered to the weather this time of year — go 4–10 p.m. each Friday throughout the summer. Enjoy craft brews on tap, food trucks (beginning at 5 p.m.), and live music with a local crowd.

Devil’s Canyon is also hosting several offsite events, Atwell said: they’ll be pouring at Bark n’ Brewfest June 23rd in Burlingame and up at the Alameda Country Fair Red White and Brewfest the same day.

Devil’s Canyon Brewing Company // 935 Washington Street, San Carlos, (650) 592–2739

Friday, 4 p.m. — close

Milky Milk & the Funky Bunch (Photo via Alpha Acid’s Instagram)

Alpha Acid Brewing Company

We’ve said it before — this tiny Peninsula brewery is eccentric in the most fantastic way. Alpha Acid’s Kyle Bozicevic serves up the ultimate small batch brews, and he’s not stopping for summer.

The list of their recently released includes a forbidden rice Pilsner, (a collab with Blue Oak Brewing) as well as “Milky Milk and the Funky Bunch of Coconuts” a 7% ABV — Tiki (“milkshake”) IPA with loads of Citra/Mosaic and organic coconut, vanilla bean, lactose and Mark Wahlberg references.

Alpha Acid owner Kyle Bozicevic (center) with staff brewers Bob Giosso (left) and Daniel Hallila at San Francisco Beer Week this past February. (Photo via Instagram)

The summer will be a busy time for Alpha Acid, according to Bozivevic. “We’ll have special release Collaboration IPAs on tap during Ale Arsenal’s 6th Anniversary party from June 26th — July 1st,” he said, noting that the brewery will also be hosting a number of special events during Silicon Valley Beer Week, which runs from July 20th — July 29th. Alpha Acid has plans to release their barrel-aged imperial stout Barrel Constrictor during that week, he added.

Alpha Acid’s tasting room is now open seven days a week. On Mondays, they will hand fill individual 16-ounce cans of any beer on draft to take to go (with new brews released in limited quantities every Tuesday throughout the summer).

Alpha Acid Brewing Company // 121 Industrial Road, Suite 11, Belmont, (650) 394–4728

Tasting Room hours: Mon. — Fri. 3–9 p.m., Sat. 12–9 p.m., Sun 1–8 p.m.

Half Moon Bay Brewery’s Full Swing IPA. (Photo via HMBBC’s Instagram)

Half Moon Bay Brewing Company

Half Moon Bay Brewing Company’s lengthy list of summer brews includes a new batch of the Crazy for Coconuts Porter, a dark beer brewed with toasted coconut, chocolate and vanilla; the Stuck on You Prickly Pear IPA, which Marketing Director Mary Oldham calls “a must try”; the Flat Mars Society IPA, with Golden Promise and Premium Pilsner malts for a hoppy, clean, crip finish; the Word on the Street IPA, a crowd favorite known for its soft breadiness and notes of tropical fruit; and the Daily Ritual Coffee Blonde Ale, brewed with coffee beans.

The Brewery’s summer happy hour is Monday through Friday from 3–6:30 p.m., and features discounts on drinks and appetizers. Always a popular hangout for Coastside locals, the brewery will feature live music Friday through Sunday nights throughout the summer.

“Our patrons are encouraged to get out on the dance floor,” Oldham said. “We have an eclectic portfolio. Locals have picked (us) as one of the best places for live music five years running.”

Half Moon Bay Brewing Company // 390 Capistrano Rd., Half Moon Bay, (650) 728–2739

Mon. — Thurs. 11 a.m. — 9 p.m., Fri. 11 a.m. — 10 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m. — 10 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m — 9 p.m.

Sacrilege Brewery & Kitchen

Sacrilege’s craft brew menu changes daily, and the brewery is known for their “beer dinners,” which happen throughout the summer — a multiple-course meal paired with house brews.

Driven by Passion, a seasonal IPA from last summer that resulted from a collab between Sacrilege and Half Moon Bay Brewing Co. (Photo via Sacrilege’s Instagram)

“We change our recipes all the time, and we kind of cater to the season,” said owner Joe Pacini. “We brew our own and we have guest taps, so we always have summer seasonals, but they change constantly. Right now we have Deschutes summer ale, and we’ll have a summer IPA coming out.”

Sacrilege will also host live music some Saturdays throughout the summer, Pacini said, and more information regarding exact dates can be found on their Facebook page.

The Brewery is also doing hosting one of their “beer dinners” on June 19th with SF’s Barebottle Brewing Company (with another one planned for August, exact date to be determined). Beer for Breakfast, the theme of next week’s dinner, will include dishes like enchiladas, chicken and waffles and benedicts, all cooked by Sacrilege’s own Chef Santi and paired with matching brews — RSVPs are required.

Sacrilege Brewery & Kitchen // 730 Main St., Half Moon Bay,

Wed. — Sun 11 a.m. — 9 p.m.

Taplands’ Hartenstein. (Photo by Dale Swanson)


Taplands summer brew releases include their “Forty Whacks” Blood Orange New England Style IPA and their Apricot Kölsch (the first week of July), according to owner Matt Hartenstein. The taproom and brewery will also host a Barley Forge Brewery Tap Takeover this Wednesday (6/13) at 5 p.m.

“We’ll be the first to pour ten styles to introduce (Barley Forge), an Oregon Brewery, to the Bay Area,” Hartenstein said.

Currently notable on the menu of brews are the Word on the Street IPA from Half Moon Bay Brewery (mentioned above); the Heritage Pale Ale from Golden State Brewery; and the Revive sour ale, from Upland Brewing Co. (We spoke previously with Hartenstein about Taplands’ beer selection and his opinion on sours).

Taplands also plans to hold special hours for select World Cup games and for Silicon Valley Beer week (July 20th-29th); more information regarding both events can be found on their website.

Taplands // 1171 Homestead Rd., Santa Clara, (408) 709–2990

Mon. — Wed. 3–10 p.m., Thurs. 11 a.m. — 10 p.m., Fri. & Sat 11 a.m — midnight, Sun. 11 a.m. — 10 p.m.

Tied House Cafe & Brewery

Tied House Cafe & Brewery in Mountain View was the brainchild of a pair of friends — one German, one American — and has been in business since 1988. It’s now owned by the same folk who own Hermitage Brewing Company in San Jose, and as a result of their many options, the beer on tap changes frequently, according to John Savage, Tied House’s general manager.

Tied House’s House Passionfruit Ale. (Photo via Yelp)

Savage says that the summer beer line up at Tied House is “always fantastic,” and that this year’s list will include sours, kölsch, pilsners, and single hop IPAs.

“We also brew six different beers on site, and we’re very closely affiliated with Hermitage because it’s the same owners, so we always have the ability to pull from there,” he said. “They brew anywhere from 30 to 50 beers at a time, and we exclusively serve both of our beers.”

The happy hour menu, which Savage says Tied House is “known for,” is also eye catching: beers go for $5 or less, and the food (all under $9) ranges from mac ’n’ cheese to Parmesan calamari to garlic fries.

Tied House Cafe & Brewery // 954 Villa St., Mountain View, (650) 965–2739

Mon. 4–10 p.m., Tues., Wed., Sat 11:30 a.m. — 10 p.m., Fri. 11:30 a.m. — 11 p.m., Sun. 11:30 a.m. — 9 p.m.

Strawberry Milkshake IPA, a special offering from this past spring. (Image via Armstrong Brewing Instagram)

Armstrong Brewing Co.

The good folks at Armstrong recently kicked off their summer beer list with a new Key Lime Pie Pale Ale and their Tart You Berry Much Kettle Sour.

Armstrong’s event calendar stays lively and diverse throughout summer, ranging from knitting night (yep, super hip these days) to Wednesday night trivia and Thursday game nights.

Next week (6/21) they will be hosting a special BBQ night, with a kitchen takeover by SF’s Sunset 29 BBQ. If you can’t make that—don’t worry, Armstrong also has Longbridge Pizza Co. drop by on Wednesday and Fridays to provide the in-house eats.

Armstrong Brewing // 415 Grand Ave, Suite #103, South San Francisco (650) 989–8447

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Related articles from The Six Fifty:

How tiny Alpha Acid Brewing makes the Peninsula’s most un-boring beers

A temple to Bay Area craft brews rises at Santa Clara’s Taplands

A kinder, gentler microbrew at Redwood City’s Freewheel Brewing

How Devil’s Canyon became the Bay Area’s friendliest beer maker

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Sarah Klearman

East coast transplant working her way through all things Peninsula. On Twitter @SarahKlearman

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