Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...
Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest BeerAdvocate updates delivered to your inbox.

The Rare Barrel

Not Rated.
The Rare BarrelThe Rare Barrel
BEER AVG
4.17/5
Based on:
37 Beers
157 Reviews
Place Score: 95
Reviews: 18
Visits: 96
rAvg: 4.43
pDev: n/a
Taps: --
Bottles: --
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Bar ]

940 Parker St
Berkeley, California, 94710-2524
United States
phone: (510) 984-6585

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @therarebarrel

Notes:
Place added by: pmarlowe on 10-18-2013

No notes at this time.
Place: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 18 | Visits: 96
Reviews by bram325:
Photo of bram325
4.75/5  rDev +7.2%

More User Reviews:
Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.86/5  rDev -12.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.5

-Minimalist. A bar with metal stools, some hardwood tables with metal chairs. That is all.
-Oh, plus a HUGE F****** WAREHOUSE FULL OF BARRELS! F*** YES! Seriously huge space, probably 50 ft. tall ceilings, chock full of barrels housing delicious yummy sour beer nectar. Awesome to witness. They ain't f'n 'round 'round here.
-Very dim, however. Even in the tasting area it was not well lit. Not for ambiance/to set the mood, it was just plain dark. The beer is all in lightproof barrels, no need to worry about oxidation, just let me see what's going on!
-Beers are great. You gotta like sour or content yourself to some guest beers/wines, however.
-Only food is grilled cheese. Which is hilarious. Didn't try it, looks like it'd be good. Really, how do you mess up grilled cheese? Sadly, this probably means you can't bring in your own food. I don't know for sure though, so I won't knock them on my score.
-Service was good. A bit of chit-chat going on, plus resting bitch-faces, but they still got the beers flowing in a timely manner.

A sour-head's dream. Not world class, but really damn good, and for fair prices. Good for a good beer, but I can't imagine hanging out here for an extended amount of time, what with virtually no food and only sours on tap. (1,262 characters)

Photo of DudeBeerYaBro
4.33/5  rDev -2.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 5

Photo of JaredSammy
4.29/5  rDev -3.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4

Great place for American wild ales. Huge parking lot for Berkeley. Massive interior. (84 characters)

Photo of bostonbeans
4.58/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75

Photo of BeerBucks
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.25

Photo of BDeibs
4.09/5  rDev -7.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75

The sour beer quality is really great and they have a small selection on tap which I assume is a product of being a fairly new brewery with a club to support. Wonderful tulip stemware was used for every pour. I love that they only offer one food item and it is a grilled cheese which is really good and I highly recommend ordering it! (336 characters)

Photo of SFCraft
4.74/5  rDev +7%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75

Photo of Anaxagoris
4.25/5  rDev -4.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

Photo of Resuin
4.46/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4

Photo of Jdizzy92
4.58/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4

Went here when they first open and been a fan of the place ever since. For me, they make the best sours here in NorCal and I even joined their Ambassador club. The place is roomy but gets crowded around an hour after they open and it dies down a couple hours before they close. The people that work there are great and very knowledgeable. I will be coming here for years to come. (379 characters)

Photo of GRG1313
4.37/5  rDev -1.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4

Photo of netllama
4.11/5  rDev -7.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 3

Really nice vibe in the tasting room. They seem to have around 5 of their brews on tap at all times (always rotating), plus an equal number of guest beers. Definitely get there early, as the place was completely packed by mid afternoon on a Saturday. (252 characters)

Photo of Mtnlvr
4.66/5  rDev +5.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4

Home, sour home was my favorite. All the beers were unique and good. (68 characters)

Photo of EdrickCS
4.54/5  rDev +2.5%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4

Photo of Mburk
4.6/5  rDev +3.8%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75

Photo of cducap
4.9/5  rDev +10.6%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5

Photo of Rubalaca
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75

Photo of Tucquan
4.09/5  rDev -7.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

Great beer in a relaxing atmosphere. No table service but the folks at the walk-up bar are fast and friendly. Only food is a grilled cheese sandwich. (149 characters)

Photo of BenHesk12
3.95/5  rDev -10.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.25

Rare barrel has a small tap room in west berkeley and the brewery has been getting a lot of buzz lately being a sour-only brewery. The tap room itself is located inside the brewing facility and has almost a winery look to it with the walls of barrels just beyond the tasting room. The beer is high quality but here the things that prevent me from really loving this place:

-membership fees - why have an exclusive brewery? the brewery is brand new and should be gaining market share not starting out with a membership model.

-price - I know breweries in urban areas have to charge more money, but the beer on tap here is expensive, and 22oz bottles are over $20 each.

-no tasting flights - maybe this will change in the future but currently they only offer full glasses of beer, making it impossible to try all the beers in one sitting. This makes it seem more like a bar than a tasting room or a brewery.

Fans of sour beers will be delighted. Worth checking out but not somewhere I would visit often. (1,013 characters)

Photo of Sixpoint
4.65/5  rDev +5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5

outstanding place - you would never think such epic feats of fermentation are happening within this warehouse, but they are - this one is a gem! (144 characters)

Photo of AgentMunky
4.04/5  rDev -8.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.5

Photo of neurobot01
4.51/5  rDev +1.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

Photo of shanrath
4.68/5  rDev +5.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5

Photo of JackDempsy
4.2/5  rDev -5.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

The beer selection is only style, so you need to like American Ales that are on the sour note. That said, if you do one thing - then do it right - and they do. This place also has a nice café attached that is better than average. Very good vibe here. It is a nice find. (270 characters)

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
The Rare Barrel in Berkeley, CA
95 out of 100 based on 18 ratings.