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Jupiter

Not Rated.
JupiterJupiter
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

57 Ratings
Ratings: 57
Reviews: 45
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 7.92%
Active Beers: 17
Beer Ratings: 117
Beer Avg: 3.82
Taps: 0
Bottles: 0
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

2181 Shattuck Avenue
Berkeley, California, 94704
United States
phone: (510) THE-TAPS

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 57 | Reviews: 45 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of drseamus
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%

The night I made it to Jupiter, there was a jazz band playing outside in the back. They were so loud that when they were on, it was hard to talk across the table. Fortunately, they took a bunch of breaks during which conversation was possible. The seating area out back is really nice and when it gets a bit chilly, they fire up some heaters to warm the area. Their pizza selection is good and the pizza itself it very good. All of their beers come in imperial pints, so go thirsty. I had their porter, which was advertised as a GABF medalist and it was indeed a great beer. A very good brewpub all around and I'm jealous of the Berkeley crowd.

drseamus, Aug 20, 2007
Photo of Georgiabeer
4.2/5  rDev +4%

I used to live within stumbling distance of this place, so its been a favorite of mine and I've been going here for over a decade. The atmosphere is great. Two stories, with tall ceilings on each level. The gem of the place, though, is the fantastic beer garden out back. Over time, Jupiter has taken over the small pedestrian plaza out back named Trumpetvine Court after the Trumpetvines growing all over the walls and over trellises out there. These vines are often loaded with red horn shape flowers that are pretty cool to have all over your beer garden. The beer garden is now quite large with lots of tables. Other features of the garden include a firepit, a second woodburning pizza oven, a stage where there is often music in the evenings, and heaters all over the place mounted above the crowds to keep the evening Berkeley chill away.

I frankly used to like this place better before they started brewing thir own beer. Their beer is fine, but before they used to brew they were a free house with 20 or so taps of the finest available in the Bay area. They still have roughly twenty taps, but now 8 or 9 of them have Jupiter brews, one or two have a cider, leaving fewer than I would like for other great brews. That being said, their brews have improved over the years, and maybe one day will be ranked with the best. Also, what they do still have on tap from elsewhere is usually pretty good. Last night there was Sierra Nevada Torpedo and Bigfoot, a couple of Moonlight beers, Rogue Brutal Bitter, and several others of similar quality. Their taps rotate frequently, and these people sell a lot of beer- the place is always packed at night- so the beer is always fresh.

The menu is limited, but both the pizzas and salads are quite good. They use woodburning pizza ovens, so when done right the pizzas are delicious with a thin char around the outside. When the orders are really stacked up, though, the pizza might just be ordinary as either the fire hasn't been stoked enough or the pizza is pulled out a little early. All the ingredients are quality. The service is usually solid, but hit or miss as far as whether your server knows anything about beer. During the day it's less crowded and a pleasant place to while away some time in the beer garden. I spent several years here doing my taxes in the beergarden while drinking Moonlight's Death and Taxes Black. Still a great place to go, and as others have pointed out, very accesible as it is right across the street from the Berkeley Bart station

Georgiabeer, Aug 22, 2006
Photo of clickpush
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%

Had a couple hours to kill in Berkeley and I knew there were some breweries around town, and I happened to be standing in front of Jupiter as the thought went through my head. I very cool, pub like feel to the inside of the restaurant, and awesome outdoor seating in the back - actually the patio is quite large - with a concert stage and an oven.

I was handed a menu immediately upon seating myself, and the waitress came back for drink orders in just the right amount of time. In all, my only complaint about this near perfect service was that me and my girlfriend's food was brought about 7 minutes apart. I fault the kitchen though, not the waitstaff.

The menu is small and ordinary. Pizza and appetizers and beer. The 3.5 rating for selection is a balance between their excellent selection of 11 house brewed beers and their tiny food menu. I had a pizza and it wasn't bad, but nothing too special. Tried four beers, the 2IPA, IPA, Hefe, and their "Flagship Red." All beers are between $4-5 and come in 20oz glasses. I thought all the beers were tasty, and the Hefe is cloudier than any I've seen before.

It was a good experience and I'd definitely go back. Easy access, directly across from the Downtown Berkeley BART stop.

clickpush, Jul 14, 2006
Photo of benito
3/5  rDev -25.7%

In the heart of downtown Berkeley, Jupiter has one thing going for it that most brewpubs would die for: perfect ambience. They have a huge space to work with, including a tiered patio out back, and the designers/managers/other folks giving input have put together the most creative, pleasant, and slightly intimate brewpubs I've seen. The main building has two floors, the upstairs being decidedly quieter, and then the patio is split into an area surrounding a fountain and fire and a more traditional covered patio. My friend who lives in SF tells me that you can sit outside in February. If only that were true in Leadville!

There's also an outdoor grill that specializes in seafood. My seared scallops were delicious, and their brick oven pizzas (from inside) looked tasty as well. Some other ambience highlights: there's music every night, and even on a Wednesday, this place was packed for dinner.

Unfortunately, they don't have the beer to match the rest of the place. I mean, who could? Even average beer would have been made glorious by the ambience and food. But they really don't have it. I tried four of the ten or so beers they had on tap. The porter was palatable if not particularly interesting, while the other brews (a honey wheat, hefe-weizen, and double IPA) severely lacked any type of flavor. I won't harp on it; bottom line--the beer is no good.

Jupiter has the potential to be a great brewpub. I mean a great brewpub. One of the best. But to get there, they need to get their beer up to speed. If they manage that, I'll be the first in line to try it.

benito, Jun 17, 2006
Photo of devo
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%

I've only ever sat in the patio in the back and I could not imagine why anyone would sit anywhere else. The space is comfortable and not packed too tight, though it's always crowded.

I've also only ever eaten the pizzas. I've found them good but not spectacular. The various pizzas are pretty unique, but, otherwise, It's pretty much your standard semi-upscale pizza.

Service is always friendly and generally very capable but, as the place is often crowded, it can be slow.

Their double IPA was a definite notable.

The Red Spot, Pale and Honey Wheat will also leave you happy.

devo, May 24, 2006
Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%

Jupiter is a top brew pub/beer bar, standing out above its competitors in the East Bay and much of those in the city in terms of selection and to some degree quality.

I spent a respectable amount of time at Jupiter during the past several days and evenings and got to know the establishment and its beers fairly well. Jupiter is located on one of Berkeley’s main thoroughfares just a hop, skip, and a jump from a BART (train) station. The bar itself is copper and the walls around it are tin. In the rear is a large patio with an outdoor oven and plenty of sun. Near the front are some good looking steps leading to a second story. The place is narrow but deceptively large and it looks good.

Above the bar several chalk boards outline the house and guest beers. They are plentiful. I counted nearly fifteen house beers and roughly the same number of guests. Amongst these were a couple of casks and four nitro taps. Guest taps were almost all of great quality, i.e., Racer 5, Hop Rod Rye, Death and Taxes, Arrogant Bastard, offerings from Drake’s and Anchor, etc… Of the Jupiter beers I tried, their one-off Bavarian Hefe stood out as the best, just loaded with clove and banana. Ironically, their regular wheat beer was the worst, a cloying mess of lemon and rotten garbage.

Service was damn near perfect except for one thing. The first time I went in I was shortchanged by the bar tender. He corrected his mistake when I pointed it out to him but I had a feeling that his graft had been intentional, that he was pulling the “tricks of the trade” as we used to call them when I bartended. At any rate it only went up from there. I have been to few brew pubs/bars that are as generous as Jupiter with their taster pours. At one point I must have had four or five glasses, each with a 3 oz + pour in front of me at no charge and without me even asking for them. The bartenders just wanted to share their favorites and get my opinions. The last time I was in a particularly cute bartender didn’t even charge me for any of my beer. I took that to cross out the shortchanging on the first day so as far as I’m concerned, service doesn’t get much better than at Jupiter.

As for food, I only ate there once. I had a delicious chicken sandwich with basal and roasted red peppers. The portion was small but it was scrumptious. I also had a side salad served with a generous portion of blue cheese and a fine vinaigrette. The pizza looked and smell great and I wish now that I had tried it. It’s wood fired, which usually means good.

Overall, my thoughts on Jupiter are very positive. It takes some guts for a brew pub to put several of the best beers in America on tap next to its own products and I respect them for that. I also hand it to them for trying hard to please and for giving everybody plenty of samples and time to select just the right beer. If I could offer one suggestion it would be to raise the temp in their coolers. Their beers are served way too cold, almost icy.

DaPeculierDane, May 11, 2006
Photo of PuckLSHS
4.2/5  rDev +4%

We stopped at Jupiter on the way back from our trip to San Francisco. They had about 15-20 beers on tap, 9 of them being their own. I have to tell you, I really enjoyed my experience at Jupiter. The wait staff was very attentive at the late hour we were there and the beer was quite wonderful. They also carried some of the local beers in the area.

The bar/brewpub has two floors and a great outside patio that is perfect for big groups of people. We sat upstairs since it just happened to be raining outside.

I want to definitely hit up Jupiter again. It is actually one of my favorite stops, minus the Toronado in San Francisco which is pretty hard to beat.

Oh yeah, after tasting about 6 of their beers (which they were really good about) I ended up ordering about 3 Quasar Double IPA's that night...excellent beer and boy oh boy was I a happy camper leaving that night.

PuckLSHS, Apr 19, 2006
Photo of Troyone
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%

The atmosphere is kind of commercial with the restrooms (clean) outside, away from the establishment across a hallway.. The bar only had about four stools.

The atmoshpere is business like, all of the bartenders had the same type of shirts, some what like a pizza parlor. There are different areas for dining that includes tables (wood) and chairs around the bar, upstairs, and a large patio area where there is live entertainment (Bluegrass today).

Mostly brass tap nozzles, some stainless steel, and some shinier than others. The pizza kitchen (hand made) is in the open with a fire oven. Some of their beers are brewed on the premises (did not see the equipment, supposedly in a shed out back) and some are brewed in San Leandro (maybe at Drakes).

Service is business like, friendly, and befriend your bartender.

Beer selection is ok for their own beers and even with a nice guest selection although no cask option. Possible notable is their Double IPA and their definite notables are the Mai Bock and Hefeweizen (does not need lemon but they will taint it if one does not say something).

Their food is ok and the Bartenders will give good suggestions and substitute items for one's liking.

pricey

Troyone, Jul 04, 2005
Photo of tjd25
3.4/5  rDev -15.8%

I just stopped by for a pint on one of my last days in San Francisco. I sat outside and enjoyed the garden-like atmosphere of the place. I remember some nice trees in the patio, but maybe they never existed. I just went through the inside and the atmosphere there looked cozy and warm. Prices were decent, although they have no happy hour. Beers fit their respective style but lacked a bit of a real personality. And the hefe weizen was served with a lime... Service was merely ok, the waiter being kind of cold.

tjd25, Mar 04, 2005
Photo of oggg
4.43/5  rDev +9.7%

Really close to the UC Berkeley campus. Saturday night we went, and there is some street parking, but also a $2 flat rate lot in the back. Bouncers in the front and side entrances check IDs. The place is a wooden beer hall with a beer garden in the back. First floor is a long bar with huge blackboards with a slew of beers listed. 25 taps. Several large tables and a few small tables, and live jazz acts perform in the front window area. That night we got in around 9pm no cover, but it was just a Jazz student group playing some modern jazz/ easy listening jazz.
Go up the wooden stairs into a warmly lit dining room with big and small tables again. At the back end there is a small balcony with a stairway leading down to the lush beer garden. Two firepits, multiple overhead heat lamps. One firepit is cover with an overhang of tree branches. What a perfect environment to have a beer in. You can sit at the bar, gather around tables, or chill in the garden.
Beer: I believe Triple Rock Brewery is their brewing arm that makes their house brews. Red Spot ale, amber, pale, IPA, hefe, honey wheat, porter, gold... and that night, the Quasar dIPA, quite good. The amber was pretty boring. The hefeweizen was pretty good despite the lemon. The honey wheat was okay, but probably needed the lemon. In addition, they had Drake's Denogginizer, Bear Republic Apex and BR Heritage, Sierra Wheat, Bigfoot, McGowan's IPA, Winter Braun, Deschutes BB Porter, etc. Very nice selection, though I didn't see Belgians. Guest pints were $4.25, but they were 20oz pints (even the dIPAs). I saw a few wines and a few ciders too.
Service: I didn't get a chance to interoggate our waittress but she did tell me they had run out of the Denogginizer when they hadn't. On the other hand, she returned to our table quite a bit to check on us. The bartender was up on his beers though.
Food: I didn't eat anything while we were there, but I say some good looking thin crust pizzas being made.

Overall: I totally want to go back to this place. Great beer selection (except for Belgians, I guess), great ambiance. Too bad it's so far from my parent's house in the Bay Area.

oggg, Feb 28, 2005
Photo of misterscooter
4.2/5  rDev +4%

Always highly recommended, I could see why when I went for a visit the first time. The place is on a couple levels and has a patio to sit on when the weather is nice. Lots of places to walk up to when ordering your drink and, even though busy, the bartenders can get to you pretty quickly.

There are a lot of beers to choose from and they'll make recommendations if you ask. After getting your beer, you can wander through the dimly lit areas and find a table hidden away or in the open, whatever you're looking for. Suitable for bigger groups of people or smaller tables of two to four.

Jupiter tried to open a location in Walnut Creek and it didn't do well for whatever reason but the Berkeley joint is great. Come on in.

misterscooter, Feb 28, 2005
Photo of Tang07
4.43/5  rDev +9.7%

I've only been there for the nightlife and beer so I can't comment on the food. It is right next to the BART station. If you know where to get out from the underground you can get pretty much right to the front door, so anyone in the entire Bay Area can get there in 30 min or less and you won't have to DWI.

It is walking distance from Cal so you can go there before/after a Cal game. (It's closest to Baseball and Basketball. Football is up the hill a bit)

They have a wide selection of beers. The range from yummy (IPA) to yucky (Hegewiezen)

Very lively young croud. It's Berkely so there will be always be interesting people.

Great place.

Tang07, Sep 12, 2004
Photo of carln26
4.45/5  rDev +10.1%

Love the industrial feel. Big, high space, exposed beams. Nice copper bar, natural patina. Great carved moldings. Staff is pleasant. Food? Great BBQ chicken pizza, brick oven served hot. The food uses local ingredients with great presentation. I gave positive reviews to a couple of their beers, but you have to love a place that has enough confidence to serve other great beers beside theirs. They had a couple of selections from Triple Rock, a few Bear Republic, Anchor, and several other beers on tap. Nice place. I can’t wait to go back.

carln26, Aug 02, 2004
Photo of VegasBill
4.45/5  rDev +10.1%

Jupitor offers many great beers of their own and also offers a very good selection of guest beers. They have a new IPA called Kinnickinick sp? that is really good for hopheads like me.
They feature pizza and it also was great.
Jupitor has a outdoor two level patio,they call it the beer garden, with entertainment I think every day. The last time I was there they had the house band which is Bluegrass music, but the music runs the gamut, remember this is Berkeley!

The only downside is it is difficult to find a table on the patio and parking is impossible.

VegasBill, May 23, 2004
Photo of Bang34
4/5  rDev -1%

Nice place located almost across the street from the downtown BART station in Berkeley. I actually know one of the managers and he describes their decore as, "a Cathedral for Beer." I would say that the description is accurate. Pressed tin on the cieling and walls, big wooden tables and a nice coppertop bar, that the bar tenders have to constantly keep polished. But what most people miss on their first visit is the beer garden out back. It has a nice relaxed feel and they even have live music out there a couple times a week.

The beer is very good, close to ten house brews, my favorite is the porter, but the RedSpot is good if you want to go a little lighter. They also have a rotation of guest brews that are pretty much a who's who of the micros in the bay area.

The food is also pretty good, I like the brick oven pizza, good stuff. By the way, a friend of mine told me that this was rated one of the best bars in the Bay Area by some airline magazine, for what that is worth.

Bang34, Feb 12, 2004
Photo of jrancan
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%

Great place with 8-10 house beers as well as a good selection of 'guest' West Coast brews. Day I was there, the chalkboard listed 8 Jupiter beers, but to my dismay, they were out of four of them. Bartender told me that they were slammed the previous 2 days, so I guess I could understand...
No biggie, the guest list made up for it: Bear Republic Hop Rod and Racer 5, Moonlight Bombay, Drakes IPA, 2 from Stone, Fullsail, and a couple of others. For an East Coast guy, this was fantastic.
The atmosphere was great....fairly small downstairs bar that reminds me of a church, with pews used for seating and pressed tin on the walls. Cozy upstairs area and a real elaborate 2 level outdoor patio. The patio seemed like the place to be, complete with heaters and a little stage area for live music.
Next time I'm in SF, I will definitely make the side trip to Jupiter in Berkeley.

jrancan, Dec 04, 2003
Photo of astrobrewer
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%

The Jupiter Taproom, located in the heart of downtown Berkeley, is always interesting. They have a large outdoor patio which has heaters and a gas fire pit for warmth in the evenings. The patio is a great place to unwind and relax usually. Because of the nice environment, the patio often gets crowded, but it's still a pleasant place to hang out.

Some evenings they have live music in the patio area, which gets pretty loud. But watching the interesting characters that hang out near the musicians makes up for it in entertainment value. When it gets too cold or too loud you can always go inside.

They have several house beers as well as a good selection of other micros on tap. Their house beers are decent. I haven't had any that disappointed me, although none of them really excited me much either. Their good selection of beers makes the Jupiter a good choice for me when I am going out with a group of friends from work because they have something to satisfy people with widely differing tastes in beers.

astrobrewer, Dec 04, 2002
Jupiter in Berkeley, CA
90 out of 100 based on 57 ratings.