Tucked behind West Berkeley’s slew of design warehouses on Fifth Street, Donkey and Goat is a retail store, tasting room, and full-fledged natural winery all in one. Housed in an old ink factory, the winery puts a strong emphasis on viticulture that’s all-natural, i.e., little to no added sulfur, sugars, yeasts, tannins, or acids. It’s a successful formula, as D&G was named one of five “Winemakers to Watch in 2011” by the San Francisco Chronicle. The tasting room is open Friday to Sunday from 2-6 p.m.
Once just a production facility, Drake's also has a 24-tap beer bar and retail store with an outdoor patio and a relaxed ambience.
This long-running urban winery has gained an international reputation for its Zinfandel and Rhône varietal wines; a tasting room allows visitors to try a variety.
Pacific Coast Brewing is located in an elegantly restored historic building in Old Oakland that harks back to the Gold Rush era. The microbrewery hosts free blues and jazz acts about once a month, but its known for its large selection of beers -- 25 on tap -- as well as its tasty selection of common bar food, including burgers, pizzas, and other deep-fried snacks. On weekend nights, especially in the summer months, Pacific Coast Brewing can become a crowded, lively place, especially because of its large, heated, outdoor patio.
Rock Wall Wines was started in 2008 by Kent Rosenblum (the founder of Rosenblum Cellars) and his daughter Shauna, shortly after the Rosenblum brand was sold to Diageo Beverage Company. The winery takes its name from the defensive barrier at the former Alameda Naval Base in which it is located. The tasting room hosts a number of East Bay wineries, including Blacksmith Cellars, Carica Wines, Ehrenberg Cellars, JRE Wines, R & B Cellars, and Virgo Cellars. Rock Wall sources its grapes from all over California: Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, Zinfandel from Sonoma County, Petite Sirah from Contra Costa County, Chardonnay from the Santa Lucia Highlands, and Tannat from Solano County.
Serves light meals to accompany its vino, with a tasting bar in the back.
St. George Spirits has been applying the California cuisine ethos to hard liquor for decades, churning out artisan spirits that are made in small batches with ingredients that are often organic and locally sourced. Housed in a former naval hangar in Alameda, the distillery offers tours Wednesday through Sunday and has an onsite retail store. But the real draw is the tasting room, which -- though it's not a full bar and thus doesn't serve cocktails or food -- offers flights of absinthe, eau de vie, gin, rum, liqueurs, and vodka in a modern space with a knowledgeable staff and huge windows looking into the distillery.
Stage Left Cellars, based in Oakland, specializes in Rhône varietals. The winery sources its grapes from vineyards all over the West Coast, bottling Paso Robles-grown Viognier, Grenache, and Syrah, in addition to Pinot Noir (and Grenache) grown in the Santa Maria Valley, and Syrah from the Santa Ynez Valley and the Rogue Valley in Southern Oregon.
Located in Oakland’s Rockridge district, Trappist Provisions is a small and intimate taproom that specializes in small craft European and domestic beers. It offers 9 specialty beers on tap at a given time and more than 160 selections for sale. Can’t decide? The attentive bartenders will provide samples of each tap.