Craft Beer in Novato

The rise of craft beer making has created a whole new landscape of flavorful beers that go beyond what’s available in the grocery store. Meanwhile, today’s beer aficionados are all too happy to seek out seasonal ales and regional brews, both to experience the work of master brewers and for the bragging rights that come with having tasted these finely-crafted ales.

With the opening of Beer Craft in Novato, the city has become Marin’s go-to destination for serious beer enthusiasts, and a great place to get a taste of the craft beer world for the merely curious.

Beer Craft on Redwood Boulevard is the second brick and mortar location for the Beer Craft company, which operates a popular online beer club, delivering hard-to-find beers to aficionados across America. For beer drinkers who want to enjoy craft beer served by experts, a visit to Beer Craft is a must. The store carries both bottles and a rotating selection of beers on tap, and the staff are ready and able to share the kind of insider knowledge that will enhance your appreciation of different styles of ale.

Just a short walk from Beer Craft you’ll find Finnegan’s Marin Restaurant and Bar on Grant Avenue. The menu combines American bar and grill sensibilities with traditional Irish pub fare, like shepherd’s pie, and corned beef and cabbage. Pair that with an Irish cider or a Guinness and you’re in Irish pub heaven.

Pods Brews can be found nestled behind the scenes of Trek Winery’s production facility in the heart of Downtown Novato. The Taproom boasts an impressive lineup of 25 taps, showcasing a delightful blend of their signature brews alongside selections from local guest breweries, ciders, and kombucha. When you visit their taproom, you’ll be greeted with the opportunity to savor a pint of handcrafted beers, kick back and watch some sports, and play a friendly game of pool or skee-ball.

Cross the road on Grant and you’ll find the kind of “only in Marin” touch that adds more local color to your beer-sampling adventure. Bicycle Brüstop, a locally owned store serving Marin’s enthusiastic cycling community, has something to offer beer drinkers too. If you want to say you enjoyed a beer in a bike store, the Brüstop can pour you one out. You might find yourself rubbing shoulders with some mountain bike riders, unwinding with a beer after a day on the trails. These are the kind of beer-loving experiences worth seeking out.

Up the street, you’ll come across a hidden gem of a taproom, Indian Valley Brewing on Railroad Avenue. This three barrel nano-brewery offers eight delicious craft beers on tap. Indian Valley Brewing is known for having quality beer made with bold and balanced flavors. Owners, brewers and Novato residents Matt and Joe Tachis are committed to making their customers happy with the best hospitality in town.

And there’s more. Head over to Rowland Way and pay a visit to Moylan’s Brewery and Restaurant. There, you’ll find an impressive selection of locally-brewed ales, including their signature “wee heavy” Kilt Lifter Scotch Ale, and Danny’s Irish Style Red Ale. Moylan’s offers a solid selection of pub grub, including a hefty serving of garlic fries, their own take on Irish stew and brick oven pizza. But it’s the Kilt Lifter, Tipperary Pale Ale and other Scots-Irish selections that keep beer aficionados coming back for more.

Head to Bel Marin Keys to find Adobe Creek Brewing, another fantastic Novato based micro-brewery. Craft beer drinkers love Adobe Creeks’ hop forward flavors and clean tasting lagers. The brewery has a fun, vibrant taproom that welcomes both kids and dogs. Try one of Adobe Creek’s six original craft beers, made with robust yet refreshingly fruity flavors. Each drink has a memorable name, some with a local twist, like Invisible Peak Imperial IPA, named after the often-invisible peak of Mount Tamalpais.

Rounding out a beer-lovers tour of Novato, at the other end of the Vintage Oaks retail complex to Moylan’s, you’ll find the HopMonk Tavern, a contemporary brewpub with a great menu of well-executed staples like pork sliders and carnitas tacos, a solid menu of bottled beers and their own freshly-brewed drafts, including an IPA, a Hefeweizen and a Kellerbier.

The HopMonk Tavern is also the place to catch live music in Novato, featuring a broad selection of acts, including classic Americana singer-songwriters. Friday nights at the HopMonk often feature entertaining covers acts. A live show at the HopMonk is the perfect way to work off a few craft-beer calories and toast your latest adventure of beer discovery. For an excuse to say cheers to craft beers in Marin, look no further than Novato.

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