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Best Beer Mecca 

Hayward

Oakland may get all the beery buzz these days, but don't tell that to the owners of the beer-geek mecca The Bistro, which has been serving local favorites and rare Belgians to lively crowds for some twenty years. Or to the folks at Buffalo Bill's Brewery, just down the street. Or, for that matter, to the hundreds of hop-heads — some from out of state — who crowded into a parking lot in the pouring rain for February's Double and Triple IPA festival. Yup, while Oakland, Berkeley, and San Francisco were making trend-piece headlines and attracting buzz, this quietish East Bay burb has become one of the most reliably great suds cities around, with much of the beer enthusiasm and infrastructure of a bigger city — but shorter lines and a lower-key vibe. Cheers.

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(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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