The Trappist

The TrappistThe Trappist
The TrappistThe Trappist
Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

460 8th St
Oakland, California, 94607-3935
United States

(510) 238-8900 | map

View: Place Reviews | Events
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 66 | Ratings: 99
Photo of Bunnywax
5/5  rDev +12.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

My favorite Oakland beer joint. Always well-curated selections of beer on tap and a solid bottle and can selection. The tiny kitchen makes/serves great good.

 157 characters

Photo of Mburk
4.48/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25

I started frequenting this place when I moved to the East Bay about a year ago and keep coming back because of the vibe, the people, and the beer. The bar is beautiful with old dark wood and bottles lining the shelves. The bar tenders are always willing to talk about the beer they serve and the selection is like none other in the East Bay. They always have at least half a dozen beers you won't find anywhere else in the Bay Area. Highly recommended if you visit the the area!

 478 characters

Photo of NavyGoat
4.66/5  rDev +5%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Found this establishment via Beer Advocate and what a find! Very cool place and a nice beer selection. The staff was cool to talk to and I had the "Sump" while I was there which was fantastic! Both my buddy and I felt that if you are coming to Oakland, you must stop at the Trappist !!

 288 characters

Photo of mxchap
3.62/5  rDev -18.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4

Another great beer bar in downtown oakland.
Always have some interesting beers on tap.
A little on the pricier side, and service is at times questionable.

Vibe [4.25]: Dark and mysterious. Two separate bars (although you can order from either bar and they will bring you your beer). And a great little outdoor area in the back.
Quality [4.0]: Always a great pour here and they have an extensive glassware selection. The price is more than most places (~$8 for a typical pour). High bottle prices plus corkage. I would stick to the draft menu.
Service [2.5]: Typically the service is ok. Never had a great experience here, but definitely have had some terrible experiences. Depends on who is behind the bar...
Selection [4.0]: Always a really nice/diverse tap list. Not as much rotation as you'd expect for how many taps they have though. The bottle list is nice, but typically out-dated.
Food [NA]: Haven't tried the food, so no opinion here.

 944 characters

Photo of Dodgerrigo77
4.44/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Pretty cool spot for nice imported beers. Usually 1-2 really good local brews. Seems pricey at times. Crowd is a little bit of the "new" craft crowd. I think they do a good job with the variety on tap. Arugula salad is nice.

 224 characters

Photo of shivtim
4.42/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25

Went with three friends.
Great place to get a beer. The atmosphere is good, nothing special, but it's a nice neighborhood-ey joint. Narrow space, nice bar, not much seating otherwise unless you go out back.

Great selection. Belgian-focused, but quite a few Belgian-style and sour beers from around the country. Happy to see Jolly Pumpkin. Bartender was great, giving plenty of suggestions and tasters.

Didn't try the food.

This and beer revolution are the two complementary spots to visit in Oakland.

 504 characters

Photo of dirtylou
4.36/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

I've been aware of this place for some time, so it was nice to get over to Oakland on a recent SF trip and check it out.

The Trappist is located in a cool older area of Oakland - the bar is split into a front/back bar, neither of which was crowded at all (shockingly so) on a Saturday night. They nailed the interior/decor/vibe of a Belgian dark bar probably as well or better than any other place I have ever been in the US.

The front bar area was gorgeous - dark and cozy, with some open air coming in from the streets of Oakland. It looked like the back patio area (also somehow empty) was pretty awesome too.

The beer selection was strong, but not overwhelming in quality. The taplist seemed more focused on classics of Benelux than other 'rare' european and american belge-clones. I had my saison dupont and la trappe quad, and left thrilled to have spent a few hours in such a fabulous place.

 902 characters

Photo of kflorence
4.41/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Located in Old Town Oakland, this is one of the hidden gems of the bay area. Great atmosphere. Dimly lit with lots of wood and brick. Two bars offering about two dozen beers on tap, mostly Belgian but also a few local brews outside the style. Pretty small inside, it can be cramped at times, but they also have some seating in the back. Service is generally great and the food is surprisingly good. If you're into beer and in Oakland, this is simply a must visit place.

 469 characters

Photo of LittleDon
4.71/5  rDev +6.1%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

If you're in the Bay Area, a must go.

Rathskeller like feel with lots of dark wood and brick/tile. Small, but there's outdoor seating in the back. Everything was close to perfect. The tap list was a bit small, close to two dozen, but everything was superb. The mix was mostly Belgian styles, but there were a few non Belgians. Super fresh, served in the proper glassware, etc., things that have been pointed out in previous posts. The service was excellent and very friendly. If I had to nitpick, the food selection was limited, portions were small, and it was a bit pricey, albeit well prepared and tasty. But hey, more room for beer. I'd go back in a heartbeat, definitely in the top ten of the places I've been to.

 718 characters

Photo of mactrail
3.93/5  rDev -11.5%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.75

On tap this visit:
- St. Bernardus Tripel
- Allagash Curieux
- Leipziger Gose
- De La Senne Band of Brothers
- De La Senne Zwarte Piet 2012
- North Coast Rasputin
- Rodenbach Grand Cru
- De La Senne Taras Boulba
- Moonlight Reality Czeck
- Victory Prima PIls

The beers that are expensive deserve to be pricey, but there are always some non-Belgians at a very decent price, especially by Bay Area standards. The best deal is at lunch, when you can add the "Beer of the Day" for $2.00 with a sandwich. That turned out to be a super Pilsener I've never had, the Moonlight Reality Czeck. And the food is simply great. We had a grilled tuna melt on excellent bread plus a pear, farro, and greens salad with loads of blue cheese.

Interesting pub on the edge of Chinatown in Oakland, just off Broadway. Near the downtown BART station, and a pleasant walk from both Amtrak and the ferry from San Francisco. Makes a nice outing if you come over from the city and stop at Beer Revolution to stock up on some oddities.

 1,010 characters

Photo of BenHesk12
3.59/5  rDev -19.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5

If asked to say a few sentences about The Trappist, it would be something about how the bar has a cool unique atmosphere with a decent variety of imports and local beers on tap, but is too expensive to be a local hang out spot for most.

If you care to read more, the "cool atmosphere" I was referring to is because of the dual setup of the bar. The bar has two separate rooms with separate entrances, connected by a narrow hallway in the back. Each bar has a different selection of beer, a different bartender, and completely different music being played. For example, you get an IPA in the front bar where they are blasting hard metal, and then your next beer is a Belgian in the back bar and you're listening to soft rock. The drawback of course is the prices. There is usually barely anything under $7 and most are 7-11 for small pours. This is pretty expensive in general, and especially for Oakland. They also use a nitro/CO2 mix on most every beer which some might think detracts from the intended mouthfeel and flavor.

Overall, it's a place worth checking out, but is too expensive to be one of those local bars that everyone loves and goes to time after time

 1,169 characters

Photo of HopSteppa
4.58/5  rDev +3.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

this is an overall great bar at a very chill location. the bartenders carefully pour your beer in its designated cup and wash it through their special cleaning procedure. all the drafts are Belgian or Dutch beers I never heard of but are all refined in their own way.

although cost an average of 7 a beer, the quality is well worth it and i always meet a person at the bar who speaks very passionately about the beer they are drinking. i really recommend the mikkeller 19 IPA, this is a subtle explosion of hops in your mouth! great mix of bar seating, table dining and an outside patio on a bay sunny day.

 607 characters

Photo of elNopalero
5/5  rDev +12.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Come here for the top-notch Belgian beers on draught—there’s a number of offerings on both the front and back bars, and serve everything in their proper glassware. Some of the most knowledgeable beertenders I’ve ever ordered from work here and are more than willing to offer up tastes if you’re on the fence or curious about your next selection. While beers aren’t cheap—you’re not going to stop here for just one if you’re at all a beer geek, and your wallet will be all the lighter for it—I find they’re comparably priced to cocktails and mixed drinks at better bars. (Somehow that justifies the $10 pours of imported rarities.) The outside patio must have just opened—I ‘m glad there’s more seating now but I imagine that’s going to fill up soon enough.

A class act all the way around.

 818 characters

Photo of sfprint
4.3/5  rDev -3.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

A friend took me here and I'm glad she did. It's split into two small rooms, one barely more than a hall with a bar and a few tables, and the other slightly larger with more seating. There are technically 3 bars, one in each room, plus one has a little 2-3 tap corner with local beers. My friend explained that one bar had the domestics and the other imports, but it didn't seem to follow that pattern. I had a Drakes IPA as well as an Oakland Brewing CME IPA, both very nice. And it was nice to see that they had Duvel filtered, a favorite of mine. They had bottles on the wall from the 80's, this place must have been around a long time and is well worth the visit.

 667 characters

Photo of CopeTech
4.85/5  rDev +9.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

The Trappist is the mother bar.
Once I established my autopay so my payroll check could go directly in it was much easier.
Really kudos to Brother Aaron & Brother Chuck. They have made a delightful, beer celebrating, mecca for the uninitiated as well as the expert.
I recently moved and I miss the Trappist, although I may be back for their remarkable Christmas Beer festival in December.

There are two bars really, since they first converted one shotgun storefront, and then quickly needed to double their space with the area next door.
The front bar is a bit quieter and darker, tends to feel a bit more crowded, while the back bar is lighter and a bit easier to gather a group.

 681 characters

Photo of DaveHS
4.44/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Just a short 2 blocks from the 12th street Oakland BART station. The interior is U-shaped, with a small bar in the fromt, a smaller one as the hallway wraps around, and a larger bar in the back. I've seen similar utilization of space at Monk's Cafe in Philadelphia, and I think it's a good way to go. Keeps people spread out so you're never tripping over people to walk in and out.
Very good tap selection that seemed to focus on more eclectic Belgian offerings, while maintaining a respectable selection of classic beers. The people behind the bar were very friendly and knowledgeable.
The bottle list is excellent, offering a number of vintage beers. Prices are well below average in some cases.
Now that I live in the neighborhood I think I will be coming back often.

 774 characters

Photo of divineaudio
4.6/5  rDev +3.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

stopped in with my gf while visiting the bay over the summer. these are my notes.

clearly, this place is all about the beer. amazing attention paid to the presentation of the beer, like the fact that each one is served in the breweries own glassware, matched to style. rinsing the glass before pouring, leveling the head before handing it off, etc.

the interior feels a little more upscale than most brewpubs/beer bars, but i don't feel out of place here. my only complaint is that the place is small and finding a seat can be tricky.

beer selection is good. not much in the way of food, but the charcuterie plate was _fantastic_.

much more can be said about this place, but really, you just have to go there. be prepared to spend some money though, this level of quality doesn't come cheap.

 796 characters

Photo of yemenmocha
4.36/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Review for daytime visit, at lunchtime on weekday. Place was empty, slow, and I had plenty of freedom to inquire about beers offered on the menus.

Great selection here, and hard to not like a place with so many great Belgian options. Loved the restrooms too, the quasi-confessionals with toilets in them!

Proper glassware was appreciated. Nice open feel to the place, at least it was at 11:30 am. Did not have food, so can't comment on that. Easy to find from the main street in town, so tourists (like me) shouldn't feel scared in hitting this place just a short walk from the BART.

 586 characters

Photo of heymikew
4.47/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

My new favorite beer bar in Oakland, heck, the whole Bay Area.
Several short blocks on Broadway from 12th Street bart.

Nice space with two bars. The cozy "front" bar has more taps and tables along the wall. The larger "back" bar has tables for four and sells t-shirts. Each bar serves all their beers and food and has its own street entrance. The bars are connected by a hallway (with a church pew meditation area) in the back. Behind the front bar is a small room with tall tables. There's a door leading out into a large rear courtyard next to the beautiful old brick building with several long picnic style tables
Relaxed, and comfortable. Clean and respectable (not that I mind a good beer divebar). Not crowded the two times we stopped there on a Sunday evening (with a stop at the nearby Beer Revolution in between)
The menu though limited offers several delectable choices. The strawberry arugula salad and the sausages were delicious.

If I lived closer this would definitely be a hangout of mine

 1,005 characters

Photo of biegaman
4.53/5  rDev +2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

July 2011.

I visited in the afternoon so it was virtually empty. The place was clean and very quaint, it truly felt like I was eating in a Belgian cafe. The service was only fair, although I did overhear the bartender doing a good job of explaining sour beers and wild ales to a curious customer (and sold him on them!). My food was really good, the menu isn't huge and focuses on rustic, artisinal items, very high quality. Between both the front and back bar, the draught selection was quite impressive, a mix of solid Bay Area staples, rare and unusual Danish and Belgian imports, and other quality American micros that are less easy to come by. There is also a modestly sized but rather illustrious bottle menu. Prices are reasonable given the high quality, but not cheap. I really enjoyed everything about my visit to The Trappist and was really hoping to go again. Because it's easily accessible by BART and so near to Beer Revolution, I think it's definitely worth taking the trip into Oakland.

 1,002 characters

Photo of stupac2
4.78/5  rDev +7.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

I'd been here before, but too long ago to review. Decided to go back and check out their bottle list now that I'm more into Lambics/Gueuzes, and wasn't let down. Originally ordered Iris, but they were out, so I got a Lou Pepe Kriek that wasn't on the menu (they have extremely detailed notes on the beers, breweries, and styles, keeping a menu that intricate up to date is difficult). The tap list is also quite big and varied.

Given that this was a Monday the place was empty and the staff gave us plenty of attention, my experience on a Friday was a lot more hectic but that's to be expected. Either way you'll find the staff knowledgeable and very friendly.

The food is also excellent, although the menu is fairly limited. But it's more than enough for a night of a few drinks and a good meal.

All in all The Trappist is well worth a visit. Given that it's only 3 blocks from BART I think I'll be going there pretty regularly now.

 936 characters

Photo of dvsbizzyb
4.36/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

This is just a few blocks away from Beer Revolution, so a couple friends and I decided to go walk here before we head back into Stockton. On our way here a group of hood rats in a bus decided to dog us and start stacking on us! I couldn't believe it... these piece of crap hoes started throwing gang signs at us. My friend wanted to go 209 on these b!tches, but man it would look so bad... imagine a few grown up guys beating the sh!t out of a few scum of the earth females. I could only wish that these dumb tricks catch a bad one. Oakland you definitely got us beat on worst city to live in.

Anyways, this is a pretty nice place. The inside looked great and has a really classy feel to it. I never been to Belgium, but I guess this what a Belgian bar looks like. My only complaint is that the bar is small and cramped.

They had quite a few hard to get beers on tap and bottle, which was impressive to say the least. I couldn't believe that they had a bottle of St. Bernardus Abt 12 because I've been looking everywhere for that beer. Also, they got the beer bible!

The woman bartender was nice and helpful. Service was super fast. Staff and customers were all in a great mood.

I love this place. It sucks that I don't live closer because it would be one of my regular hangouts.

 1,283 characters

Photo of Devi0us
4.53/5  rDev +2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

This was the last place we visited after hitting up Toronado and City Beer in SF and Beer Revolution down the street. I wasn't expecting much when I walked in. I just figured that we would walk in and have a beer and leave.

The atmosphere here is a great one and they had a great beer selection geared towards the Belgian Brews. They have a leather bound book of all their bottled beers. The staff was very friendly. Before serving your beer, they clean your glass with a weird contraption that I haven't seen before.

This was the cleanest of buildings that we visited and you can tell that it is well kept and maintained. Not overly crowded.

Like I said earlier, I expected to just have a beer and leave but ended up spending a few hours in this place. This place sends a good vibe and the atmosphere is perfect. The other patrons drinking beer are friendly as well. I will definitely be visiting this place again when I'm in Oakland.

 939 characters

Photo of ILessThan3Brett
4.65/5  rDev +4.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

My favorite beer bar in my area. Perhaps my happy place. Second best beer bar I've ever been to (after Akkurat in Stockholm).

First off, note that this place has a fairly heavy Belgian focus. If you want to drink good domestic beer, there are probably better--certainly cheaper--places to do it. However, for Belgian beers, the selection here is the best in the Bay Area, and the prices are very reasonable: a bit more expensive than Toronado SF, a bit cheaper than La Trappe, and much cheaper than Monk's Kettle.

Personally, I think The Trappist's slight price premium over Toronado SF is worth it because The Trappist is so much cleaner. It's not as fancy as La Trappe or Monk's Kettle, but the space is nice and well-maintained, with interior decorations that copy European bars pretty well. Since they expanded, the setup is a bit odd; the bar is comprised of two sections that are connected by only a narrow hallway along the back wall. Sometimes it can feel a bit crowded, but it's rarely too overwhelming.

The food selection is limited, but what they have is carefully chosen and well prepared. Their cheese and charcuterie plates are perhaps a little pricey ($10-15 range), but they are quite yummy, classy, and good to share. I wish their kitchen was large enough for them to have a fryer! Good frites are an amazing umami combination with a lot of the beers served here.

The beer selection is probably the best in the Bay Area. I won't bother going into it--they have ~25 taps, with a number of rotating nice surprises on tap, and ~120 bottles, and the bottle collection is so well selected that it seems larger--check their website to see what I'm talking about: They have nice beer descriptions in their ~30 page leather-bound bottle menu, and even blurbs about the histories of some breweries. However, beware: they sometimes run out of that one bottle that you finally settle on.

A great thing about this bar is that they're very meticulous about how they serve their beers. They take pains to serve your beer in its branded glassware, they give every glass an extra rinse with their nifty little contraptions just before pouring your beer (both to be sure the glass is free of taste contaminants like detergent and to help equilibrate the glass temperature to the beer temperature), they have several refrigerators at different temperatures to make sure that they serve your bottle at the ideal temperature, and they pour carefully.

Nearly all the staff that I've interacted with are cool and happy to answer questions and give advice. I've read a few reviews where people peg some of them as snobbish, but I've never gotten that vibe at all. One of the guys who I believe is a co-owner is maybe slightly terse. The Asian-looking bartender with spiky hair and pierced ears is pretty much the nicest guy ever. He's very chatty and enthusiastic.

 2,893 characters

Photo of NorCalgrowler
4.55/5  rDev +2.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 3

As far as a biere bar goes, I think The Trappist hits the nail on th head. The bar is split into 2 sections (front and back bar). Seating at the bar is in the front section with booths in the back and plenty more tables around the other side. Fills up really quick though. Bottle list is huge and in a binder. Tap selection also very good. Mostly expensive Belgians but thats what Im going there for Only expensive given theyre generally served in 25 or 33cl. All appropriate glasses for the given beers. I have taken many guests here from out of town and not a person has had a negative comment. Only drawback to me is the food selection. And Im thankful its in Oakland

 670 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
The Trappist in Oakland, CA
Place rating: 4.44 out of 5 with 99 ratings