The Rare Barrel

The Rare BarrelThe Rare Barrel
The Rare BarrelThe Rare Barrel
Brewery, Bar, Beer-to-go

940 Parker St
Berkeley, California, 94710-2524
United States

(510) 984-6585 | map
therarebarrel.com

Notes:
BEER STATS
Average:
4.28
Beers:
97
Reviews:
475
Ratings:
4,363
PLACE STATS
Average:
4.48
Reviews:
39
Ratings:
154
pDev:
7.37%
View: Beers | Place Reviews | Events
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Reviews: 39 | Ratings: 154
Reviews by dirtylou:
Photo of dirtylou
4.21/5  rDev -6%
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.

 1,077 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of BarrelAgedG
4.15/5  rDev -7.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

Photo of BerryKumquat
4.14/5  rDev -7.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Photo of themayorkoch
4.67/5  rDev +4.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5

Photo of bubseymour
4.72/5  rDev +5.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75

Photo of mattmarka1
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Photo of Zonian1
4.35/5  rDev -2.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25

Was very excited to visit The Rare Barrel for the first time in June 2018. Spent a couple hours there on a Friday from about 5-7. It's a large warehouse space, and I was very surprised there weren't more people there on a Friday night. After all, this is THE RARE BARREL we're talking about! I asked our bartender, and he said it was typical to have a small crowd on a Friday. Apparently, this location isn't near housing or restaurants, so there's no walk-in traffic. He said the crowds are much bigger on Saturdays and Sundays.

I sampled about 10 beers during my visit. They ranged from good to very good. I didn't learn til the end of my visit that there was a separate tap list for subscriber club members where they keep the better quality offerings. That was a little disappointing when you travel a long way to a brewery and you can't try their best beers even if they are on tap and available.

The day I visited there was a special beer/food pairing available, so I ordered it. Fantastic! The chef created a specific menu to bring out the highlights of a particular beer. In this case, it was a beer brewed specifically for this meal. For $16 I got a small plate of food (pork with a corn chowder--delicious) and a pour of a one-off beer. Absolutely the highlight of my visit. If this is the direction The Rare Barrel is going, that's exciting news for the locals!

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Photo of grapeshops
4.73/5  rDev +5.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75

Photo of Mxsluis
4.19/5  rDev -6.5%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25

Photo of JimiTheBastard
3.84/5  rDev -14.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

Photo of atlbravsrno1
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Photo of Boilerup
4.59/5  rDev +2.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

Photo of Rubenjr
4.29/5  rDev -4.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

Photo of Hophazzard
4.45/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

Photo of elNopalero
4.7/5  rDev +4.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5

I finally made it here! It’s tucked away at the way back of a parking lot/warehouse area, very easy to miss. Once you find it you’re set. Lots, lots, lots of barrels to wander.

 180 characters

Photo of Spoda1983
4.42/5  rDev -1.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

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

Large warehouse-like space with plenty of seating and a bar. The majority of the space, beyond the seating area, is taken up with a large number of wooden barrels.

The Rare Barrel has really improved their offerings over the years, originally (years ago) their beers were all fairly similar, but on my last visit, I was treated to a nice variety of sours/wild ales. Among my favorites was Emerald Vision, a blonde sour with cucumber. Super!

The staff is courteous, the crowd is jovial and casual.

 498 characters

Photo of Frosty11161
4.34/5  rDev -3.1%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25

Giant warehouse, can be a bit drafty at times. They need to get more seating as most of it is standing room only. Decent guest beers on tap, but don't expect to stay for dinner, as they only have grilled cheese.

 211 characters

Photo of lomoshe
4.97/5  rDev +10.9%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

I love everything about this place. Plenty of seating, laid back but nice atmosphere with all the sour beers you could want. What else could you ask for?!

 156 characters

Photo of BMMillsy
4.64/5  rDev +3.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

Photo of epyon396
4.28/5  rDev -4.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Photo of Inglewood
4.58/5  rDev +2.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Photo of kylehay2004
4.8/5  rDev +7.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

Photo of 22Blue
4.08/5  rDev -8.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Photo of CanConPhilly
4.38/5  rDev -2.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

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The Rare Barrel in Berkeley, CA
Brewery rating: 4.28 out of 5 with 4363 ratings