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Very Good
151 Ratings

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

2181 Shattuck Avenue
Berkeley, California, 94704
United States

(510) THE-TAPS | map

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Ratings: 71 |  Reviews: 47
Photo of Russkiy
3/5  rDev -25.7%

Photo of benito
3/5  rDev -25.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 2 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 4

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.

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Photo of Bakow
3.32/5  rDev -17.8%

Photo of tjd25
3.4/5  rDev -15.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 4

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.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.4/5  rDev -15.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.25

Photo of ecrawley
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

Photo of JHB-510
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

Photo of GaryColeman
3.55/5  rDev -12.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Photo of Maudite
3.68/5  rDev -8.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5

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...

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Photo of colonelforbin
3.68/5  rDev -8.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 2 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

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.

 1,408 characters

Photo of bcm119
3.7/5  rDev -8.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

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.

 1,631 characters

Photo of yemenmocha
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of BabaBeer
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.75

Photo of Jwhe
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of Natural510
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

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.

 1,102 characters

Photo of HoppyDude
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3

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.

 1,203 characters

Photo of lomoshe
3.79/5  rDev -6.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.75

This place is constantly over crowded with nowhere to sit or even stand. I wish they had a hostess so this wasn't an issue. Otherwise, if you find yourself there when you can snag a seat, it has a great vibe and is a very unique setting. Service hasn't been great, but the beer selection is solid and they have a long and good food menu.

 340 characters

Photo of John_M
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Stopped by after the Supberbowl today.... been many a year since I last visted the Jupiter alehouse.

Have always really loved the atmoshere and layout of this place, with it's wonderful red wood, copper bar tops, etc. The alehouse has otherwise a very low key, informal vibe, and so this is a great place to hang out with a beer or three. As for the beer selection, it's pretty good, with the house beer selection coupling very nicely with the well thought out guest selection. On this day, the latter included the alaskan barleywine, old rasputin, moonlight lunatic and bombay by boat, among other thigs.... Food is OK... got the gem pizza which was tasty and full of fresh ingredients.

Service was fairly friendly, but I finally had to walk up to the cash register to pay my tab. My waitress sort of realized she'd screwed up at that point, but regardless... service was friendly, but otherwise a bit distracted and unattentive.

Despite the fair at best service, I've always been a fan of the Jupiter (used to stop by all the time, but this was my first visit in some years), and had a good time here tonight as well. There are probably better places in Berkeley to grab a beer I suppose, but regardless, I had a pleasant evening as always at the jupiter alehouse.

 1,271 characters

Photo of OStrungT
3.88/5  rDev -4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

After wanting to stop by this palce for a few years worth of visits to the bay, I finally got the chance to. It is located in downtown Berkely. Parking can be a pain, but there is a garage about 2 blocks away. There is both indoor seating on two floors, and outside seating. On a nice day, the outside seating is very plesent. We got the table the farthest away from the building, and it felt very private.

The service was very friendly, and helpfull. I ordered a DIPA, and got an IPA, but just thought it was weak until my wife got her IPA and I saw that they were the same, and I told the waiter, and he got me a new glass. My IPA was over half gone.

The beer selection is decent. Every house brew looked kind of boring, but the DIPA was pretty good. They have guest beers, and I hear that they sometimes have some pretty great stuff, but this time, that list was somewhat lacking also.

The pizza was pretty good. Not the best wood fired pizza I have ever had, but definately tasty. They have more than just your average Pizza Hut pizzas also. I have one with garlic, and artichoke hearts. That is my favorite pizza, and I am always happy to have it over something more boring like peperoni.

This place was decently priced. I didnt like that the DIPA was priced more than every other beer, but with the hops still not being as available as they used to be, I can understand.

Overall: I liked this place, and I will more than likely come back. I dont usually find myself in Berkely, but next time I do, I know where to eat.

 1,529 characters

Photo of shivtim
3.91/5  rDev -3.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75

Stopped in for dinner with a friend.
Huge beautiful multi-level patio out back. It's seat yourself, but after a few minutes of standing around we were able to find a seat. Comfy, communal, college vibe. Nice fountain and trellises.

Beer selection is great. I had the IPA and it was very good.

My pizza was solid.

Service was fine.

Definitely worth a stop if you're in the East Bay. Easy walk from BART.

 407 characters

Photo of BenHesk12
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Jupiter has a staple of about 10 house beers which are locally brewed. Besides their Quasar Double IPA, the house beers are low alcohol % and meant to accompany their food, which is mostly pizza. Jupiter also has a guest tap list which is usually a great selection of top notch california microbrews. Jupiter is two stories and has an outdoor area which has live bands a few nights a week, which is usually a great atmosphere. Everything is priced decently and the pizza is good restaurant quality pizza for the price. The best thing about Jupiter is the guest tap list which often brings me by for a beer or two when I find myself out and about enjoying Berkeley night life.

 675 characters

Photo of clickpush
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

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.

 1,238 characters

Photo of Troyone
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

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.


 1,217 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.96/5  rDev -2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4 | food: 4

First off, this place is very easy to get to if you take BART. The station is right there. Nice interior with an old world prohibition type of feel at the bar. Outside in the back is very nice too. Beer is solid. Pizza is good. If you are visiting San Francisco and want to make a little East Bay trek, you can't really go wrong with this spot.

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Photo of byaeger
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

The main thing Jupiter has going for it is the outdoor patio and the wood-fired pizzas. The house brews are almost halfway decent but at least they have good guest taps.

The stout was thin and the hefe weizen was, well, it was wheaty but lacking in taste and body. It was a rare time when I actually dropped the lemon wedge in it.

Great crowd, mostly those who spill over from the UC campus, so you're apt to overhear conversations from students about classes or from professors about something scholastic and over your head. At least over mine.

If you're looking for a chill place to down some beers or a great pizza, you could do much worse than heading here.

 664 characters

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Jupiter in Berkeley, CA
Brewery rating: 3.78 out of 5 with 151 ratings
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