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The Rare Barrel

Not Rated.
The Rare BarrelThe Rare Barrel
BEER AVG
4.24/5
Based on:
31 Beers
1,509 Ratings
Place Score: 100
Ratings: 67
Reviews: 13
rAvg: 4.61
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 67 | Reviews: 13
Reviews by bram325:
More User Reviews:
Photo of JamLand
4.53/5  rDev -1.7%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Nice setup inside with both comfy couches/chairs, tables and bar seating. We went on a Friday night, and although busy, the staff were very courteous and seemed to handle the crowds easily. In addition to their own taps, they had another seven or so taps of guest beers from quality breweries like Cellarmaker and The Bruery. I would highly recommend this place if you are any where near the area.

Photo of Deggar
4.56/5  rDev -1.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Cool joint. Very dark and intimate but also vast. Its set in the front of their storage/brewing facility with no walls to separate. It feels like you shouldn't be allowed in.

Amazing tap list; not only do they typically have around 10 of their own brews on tap, but also 5-8 guest taps that never disappoint. When i went Abraxas and a couple of SARA beers were on tap.

Photo of ronricorossi
4.68/5  rDev +1.5%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5

Great warehouse space; tasting area is set against an open, expansive backdrop of stacked barrels. Decor's great with couches and tables as well as a bar. AND...right around the corner from Berkeley institution Juan's Place. Who WOULDN'T want to follow up some heavy mexican food with a bunch of sour beer!

Photo of waitwhatamidrinking
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Visited on a whim while in NorCal. Knowledgeable/corteous staff, delicious range of continually impressive sours, and beautiful space. This is a destination.

Photo of Tamigleo
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Sours / Sours / Sours ---- The Rare Barrel has raised the bar!

Photo of Goalcam
4.25/5  rDev -7.8%

Real cool vibe with nice selection of sours on tap to try. Unfortunately no growlers and limited bottles if you're not a member. Also, no food but it's in a nice area.

Photo of cmo805
5/5  rDev +8.5%

AWESOME SOURS!!!!! CANT WAIT TO START MY MEMBERSHIP OF THE AMBASSADOR'S CLUB.

Photo of ianw87
5/5  rDev +8.5%

A great brewery doing strictly sours. Some outside the box stuff, Coffee Sour!? Great Place, I will be visiting here again. Jealous of the Founders members.

Photo of Tazmaniandavis
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Love the beer, love the location, love the atmosphere. It is pretty pricey and gets crazy busy on bottle release days, though. Oh yeah, love the guest taps that they do!

Photo of nmann08
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Visited during my trip to San Francisco. This was a favorite place of mine during the entire Pacific Northwest trip. It's in a quiet neighborhood in Berkeley, big building, lots of parking at the main entrance.

The tasting room is actually just a cornered off section of the entire barrel room, which is actually an awesome sight to see barrel after barrel stacked in this giant warehouse. Reminds me of a winery. Their is plenty of bar seating, tables, standing room and even a few couches.

They have several of their beers on tap, but also a handful of guest beers. Everything is full pours and about $7-$9 a glass, which is expected with most sours. They also had bottles for sale, but they were pricey. The one they had when I visited was $30.

Food is limited, just a couple of panini options.

Overall, as a tourist, if you are visiting San Fran/Oakland area over a Friday or Saturday, I would make a trip out here.

Photo of scottfrie
4.45/5  rDev -3.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.25

The atmosphere is that of a lofty warehouse brewery with a small tasting area tucked in the corner. Oak barrels full of beer adorn half the warehouse, with brewing and bottling equipment and storage taking up the other half. The bar and seating area has a clean and minimalist design to it, and there are a couple couches for lounging. Service is always spectacular as the bar staff that works there are always friendly, knowledgeable, and accommodating. Typically there is anywhere from four to eight brewery sours on tap, and their is always something special on their half a dozen rotating guest taps. I wish they had a few more munchies, but typically there are two to three types of paninis available (brought in from a local restaurant). The owners are very welcome to feedback, and they make an effort to make modifications and improvements if necessary (i.e. bottle releases). They also give periodic brewery tours. Overall this is a relaxing place to satisfy your sour fix. I understand why they are currently only open two days a week, but I cannot wait until they have the ability to add more hours. Definitely check them out if you are in the area.

Photo of HaveUSeenMyCellar
5/5  rDev +8.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 5

Great Atmosphere, Great Beer, Great Service, Good Food...what more could one want from the place Iovingly call "Rarrel". :-)
Glad someone finally thought to make sours only. And good sours too!!!!

I understand why they are only open Fri.-Sat. (Supply/Demand), though it would be wonderful if they could one day pull-off running everyday.
More seating and tables would be the only other thing I would want changed.
This is one of my favorite breweries for a very good reason.

Photo of dirtylou
4.21/5  rDev -8.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

Rare Barrel is tucked in a quiet section of Berkley - a huge promenade entrance to their rather large open brewery.

These guys have put their eggs in the barrel aged wild ale basket - it's a bold move - expensive and tricky to master. Not to mention questions over what stage we are in the 'sourz' trend and how long all of this will keep rolling. Who knows.

Their beers were interesting and good, but not great. The real issue with places that sellout on this genre (to me) is differentiating in yeast strains. Everything from Rare Barrel seemed to have a consistent undertone that could be seem tiring over an extended time frame. They had maybe 6 barrel wilds on tap during my visit. Ensorcelled and wuise guise were both good but home sour, home was just OK

It's an interesting place, and certainly was jamming on this Saturday afternoon. They're young and just getting into the bottle release game (via the infamous society model) - i'll be interested to see how this all plays out over the next few years. Hopefully I can get back over there and witness the evolution.

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The Rare Barrel in Berkeley, CA
100 out of 100 based on 67 ratings.