Ratings: 53 | Reviews: 45 | Display Reviews Only:
3/5 rDev -26.1%
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.
06-17-2006 02:04:27 | More by benito
3.4/5 rDev -16.3%
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.
03-04-2005 14:41:01 | More by tjd25
3.68/5 rDev -9.4%
My wife and I just moved out from Austin,TX, a beer mecca to me. Finding Jupiter was great. Reminds me of a less classy NXNW. Their beer was good, but not amazing. It wasn't bad, i wasn't disappointed in the quality, but I want some beer that isn't so Californian. It was tasty, though. I was more interested in trying new local stuff, so i didn't bother checking out the guest beer selection, so check their website if that's what you're interested in.
We had a delicious pizza with bacon and yukon gold potatoes that pretty much blew my mind taste-wise, but like the reviewer before me, left me a little hungry, which was a shame for what we spent.
This is definitely a place I could find myself hanging out at as the atmosphere is excellent, especially outside. It gets loud and crowded, especially as the night draws on.
The service is the only thing I would complain about, but I felt bad for them as it seemed they were really short staffed, so I'll give them another chance before passing that judgement...
02-20-2008 01:00:26 | More by Maudite
3.68/5 rDev -9.4%
Pains me to write this review as I love almost everything about this place. The food is great, the atmosphere is one of the best in the bay area, the physical location is ideal and the service is very good as well.
The one thing that kills me about this place is that they have something funky going on with their tap lines, the guest tap lines in particular (outstanding guest tap list, by the way). They all seem to be running on a slight nitro burst, which works for some beers (very few), but not 95% of the beers they serve at Jupiter. I do not know why they do this and no one seems to notice.
Frankly, I am shocked that other reviewers have not noticed this. I have been going here for 6 years and it's always been like this. A weird flavor in relation to the carbonation is all I can describe it with but it's been very consistent with every beer there for a long time.
You're probably wondering why I still continue to go, well as mentioned earlier, they have a wonderful atmosphere, great food, good service and live music most nights of the week, not to mention one of the better outdoor patios anywhere in the bay area. I do put up with the off beer for these reasons but would probably go more often if they cleaned up their tap line situation.
Anyway, definitely worth checking out for all the reasons mentioned above, but beware of the nitro contamination in all their guest tap lines.
09-17-2011 06:29:20 | More by colonelforbin
3.7/5 rDev -8.9%
Jupiter has a few things going for it: a nice outdoor seating area, and usually a good selection of guest taps. Their house brew isn't the most exciting, and when given a choice between house brew and the many good guests I almost always choose the guests. Thus, I see this place as more of a beer bar than brewpub.
The atmosphere inside is loud and mixed; this is where students seem to take their parents, and there are 30's-ish white-collar folks there too. I think you see a lot of SF folks meeting their east bay friends here, since its right across from the bart stop. Its more of a restaurant atmosphere than a bar, at least during the afternoon and early evening when I go.
Neither the crowd nor the servers seem like beer enthusiasts, but someone there is choosing good guest taps. Recently I had an El Toro IPA which was tasty, and I've had beers from Moonlight, AVB, North Coast, Bear republic, Deschutes, Drakes, etc. I give them extra points for a rotating selection. Note that there are no pitchers served here, and the pints are a bit pricey.
The pizza is okay but sort of expensive. I recommend just drinking beer here and getting some slices around the corner at Pie in the Sky on Center street.
This is not a beer-geek place, but beer geeks can certainly appreciate what it offers.
Edit: I have changed my tune regarding guest vs. house beers. I've had so many stale guest beers that I now prefer the house brews-- they tend to be much fresher on average. The regular ipa and double ipa are decent, and the XHP (extra hoppy pale) is quite good. Plus the house brews are served in more attractive glassware.
04-12-2008 03:54:04 | More by bcm119
3.75/5 rDev -7.6%
Jupiter has been a downtown Berkeley standby for many years, and I've paid them many a visit.
The house beers are brewed by 21st Amendment, which says something (good) about their quality. In typical West Coast fashion, they tend toward the hoppy side (as do most of the guest brews), so be prepared for bitters. Lost Coast, Old Rasputin & Stone are a few of the guest brewers they keep on rotating tap.
The service is spotty...sometimes due to the fact it's always packed in here, sometimes due to server incompetence. Either way, you should be prepared to flag them down for another, rather than being pampered.
The food, particularly at night, is limited to (very) thin crust pizza & salad. The pizzas are pretty tasty, albeit a bit on the expensive side for what you get. I'm usually hungry a couple hours later.
The main drawing point for Jupiter is the atmosphere. The interior is red-brick, something which is rare in the earthquake-prone Bay Area. On warm days & nights, you can also sit on their lovely patio, which is the closest you'll find to an actual Munich beer garden on the West Coast.
02-11-2008 21:41:37 | More by Natural510
3.75/5 rDev -7.6%
I do like Jupiter, but my complaints would be that 1) it's often hard to find a seat during dinner hours, esp. when there are 2-3 people sitting at tables for 8, and they have a large bar but only like 4 stools for the entire thing. Also, their menu is very limited. If you want to eat something other than pizza you're out of luck.
Lastly, their house brewed beers tend to give me hangovers/headaches the next morning, even if I've only had 1 or 2. I used to experience the same thing at the old 20 Tank Brewery in SF, and a friend of mine that used to work @ Pete's said it's because they're tapping/serving the brew before its fully matured. No idea if that's the case @ Jupiter, but the headache scenario has occurred there more than once, on nights that I wasn't getting "drunk".
Thankfully Jupiter also has an impressive guest beer list, which last week included El Toro's Poppy Jasper (unfortunately skunky), Bear Rep's Racer 5 (one of my faves), Humboldt Hemp, Moylans 2IPA, Rogue, Speakeasy, and other tasty micros from CA, OR, etc. As many of the other reviews have stated, the outdoor beer garden is nice, it's just often difficult to find a table if you're not there early in the eve.
08-22-2007 01:14:23 | More by HoppyDude
Jupiter in Berkeley, CA
91 out of 100 based on 53 ratings.