Rare Barrel

Bars, Breweries Berkeley
Rare Barrel
Photograph: Yelp/John M. Rare Barel

This is ground zero for smooth, drinkable sour beers in Berkeley. Cofounders Alex Wallash, Jay Goodwin and Brad Goodwin were clear about their mission from the start. “Our original vision was to explore the spectrum of flavors possible in sour beer and make it as easy as possible to drink them,” says Wallash. “While we restrict ourselves to sours only, we like to think that constraint breeds creativity. We love exploring new flavor profiles, whether it’s a delicate and lightly tart golden sour or a bourbon-barrel-aged dark sour with cherries.”

The Rare Barrel painstakingly ages hundreds of barrels in its brewery to achieve the tart and acidic flavors associated with sour beers, and the taproom menu is constantly changing, with seasonal flavors like the Mad Plum or Outlaw Bound (made with prickly pear and lime zest). “Not everyone brews sours, so we try to make it as convenient as possible to get our beers,” adds Wallash. “Join our beer club and new releases can be shipped right to your door.” But unlike some of the company’s Bay Area compatriots, don’t expect fast growth. “We plan to do what’s best for the beer and expand slowly,” says Wallash, “while always being sure to maintain quality.”

By: Virginia Miller


Venue name: Rare Barrel
Address: 940 Parker St
Cross street: at Ninth St
Opening hours: Thu–Fri 4–10pm; Sat 1–10pm; Sun 1–8pm
Price: $$
Do you own this business?

You may be interested in: