Albatross Pub

Albatross PubAlbatross Pub
Albatross PubAlbatross Pub

1822 San Pablo Ave
Berkeley, California, 94702-1624
United States

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Rated: 3.98 by TheBr3wster from California

Apr 28, 2016
Rated: 4.13 by TaliaBeeresistible from Washington

Feb 10, 2015
Rated: 2.9 by JRod1965

Nov 18, 2014
Rated: 4.5 by Nbdreher

Aug 19, 2014
Rated: 4.5 by bpfrush from Wisconsin

Jun 24, 2014
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Reviewed by BenHesk12 from California

3.86/5  rDev -3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5
Albatross has a short tap list of your average widely distributed microbrews as well as a bottle collection of approx 50 different beers. Prices are just about what you would expect. $4 at the cheapest, tons of decent bottles in the 4-8 range, and fancier belgian bottles going upwards of $20.

The pub has 5 dart boards, a pool table, tons of board games, as well as lots of nice wooden tables to sit at.

Food - the pub has unlimited popcorn for a dollar, and allows you to bring in any outside food.

Overall, the selection seems like it was just picked from a distributors "best sellers" list, and as far as I have seen, does not change. Overall rating 4/5 because you can get a decent beer and have something to do while you drink.
Nov 26, 2011
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Reviewed by colonelforbin from California

3.4/5  rDev -14.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3
I wish this place focused a little more on draught craft beers. Their bottle list is nice and all but their draught list leaves a little to be desired. As another reviewer mentioned, the most interesting beers on tap tend to be the Moonlight offerings (usually Bombay by Boat, which is no slouch).

Atmosphere is nice with lots of games available. Board games, pool, darts, and one pinball game. One tiny TV that generally has bad reception. The place is dark, which is usually nice. Lots of wood everywhere. Nice vibe. I haven't been here too late in the evening, usually after work or earlier in the evening on the weekends.

They also have live music, which I've not seen when I've been there.

Bottle list is nice, and better than most other establishments in Berkeley, but I'd like to see a more adventurous tap list, which I know they could do without too many problems. Prices are reasonable and bartenders are solid.

Recommended, but mostly for the atmosphere and the chance to have a Moonlight beer. If you're only interested in trying interesting or somewhat limited/unique craft brews, there are many other places to go in the east bay.
Oct 19, 2011
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Reviewed by HoppyMoth from California

3.84/5  rDev -3.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5
I like this bar a lot and would go even if I didn't live around the corner. It's a Berkeley staple and always crowded, even sometimes on random weeknights. The atmosphere is that of a well worn pub that is a bit larger than you'd expect it to be. I gave them a 3.5 in quality because this place is old and worn - but it's not really a bad thing; I just can't justify giving them higher marks because of some "nostalgia" factor. As everyone else has pointed out its a fun place to go and play a board game/darts/pool and eat some popcorn. They could spend a few bucks to update some of their games - many are missing parts and the boards are starting to disintegrate.

I wish this place had a better tap selection. It seems like everyone talks about how "good" their selection is and it was somewhat of a letdown for me. They do have some good bottles and they always have Moonlight on tap which inevitably is what I end up drinking - but there is just way too much space being taken up by crappy beer. Harp/Boddington/Bass/Murphys/Urquell/Guinness/Boddington are all non-starters. Wasted tap space!

They do have one rotating tap that that usually has something great and it keeps me happy. There might not be lots of pub competition in the area but they could offer 3-4 alternative local brews and I'd be in heaven. RR is not even an hour away, not to mention all the other amazing bay breweries... Maybe it's a good thing, if they had Pliny on tap I'd never go home.
Jun 14, 2011
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Reviewed by lhaqq from California

4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5
For a small, cozy atmosphere, probably my favorite place to go near where I live. The only disadvantage is that its usually pretty crowded when I go and is fairly loud. But the service is pretty good (note: cash only accepted, though they do have an ATM at the front of the bar). They have a pretty good selection of beers on tap--maybe a dozen or so, and a good selection of bottled, though I don't know how often they rotate. In addition to the comfortable atmosphere, they also have four or five dartboards ($1 to play, you usually have to wait awhile to find one open) and popcorn for 25 cents.
Dec 28, 2008
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Reviewed by byaeger from Oregon

4.16/5  rDev +4.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 3
It's not that I'm opposed to heading to the East Bay, but I don't hit it as often as I'd like. And top of the list for places to check out has long been the Albatross. Half Pint & I showed up at 4pm on a Saturday only to discover it doesn't open til 4:30. We made it back around 6 and had the darkly lit, heavy wooden pub almost entirely to ourselves. I got a pint of Lost Coast Downtown Brown and Half Pint asked to taste the Franziskaner Hefeweizen and an IPA, forgot which. The woman behind the bar was friendly in offering her tastes and just as friendly when she decided to just join me in the Brown.

The main draw of this place seems to be the board games they check out to customers and because we got there early, we scored the Scrabble. I should note I'm not a lightning quick Scrabble player. I then dropped a couple quarters in the pint glass for self-service popcorn, popped fresh from a vintage popper and butter topping and salt available to taste. Love it.

By the time I'd gone through another pint of the Downtown Brown and, to let Half Pint see if she likes Chimay Reserve, a bottle of that, I'd won the game by 12 points, we'd gone through several bowls of popcorn, and the joint was jam packed with beer drinkers and board game players. I mean PACKED by 8 on a Saturday night.

A new fave hangout in Berkeley.
Aug 27, 2008
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Reviewed by Georgiabeer from Georgia

3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5
Not the best pub in Berkeley- that would be Jupiter, but still a great looking pub. Very English in style with lots of small intimate spaces and rooms, most panelled in lots of wood, snug and a bit dark with a decent sized bar right when you walk in. Looks like no place you'd like to visit from the outside, but walk right in and feel at home- that is as long as it is the late afternoon on weekends or evening the rest of the time, as they aren't open during the day. As far as I know, there is no food available. Fairly long beer list, but most of it is just okay. Some decent local stuff and some readily available Belgian beers. About 13 taps and 40 bottles. The two most exciting selections are the rotating tap, and best of all, they always have Moonlight IPA on tap. This stuff is really hard to find, even in the Bay area, so here is an easy place to grab it in the East Bay. It's fresh and delicious and a super West Coast hopbomb. Pretty decent place for a beer.
Jun 01, 2008
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Reviewed by Maudite from Texas

4.06/5  rDev +2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4
Pretty cool place on San Pablo in Berkeley. From the outside, it has the appearance of a run-of-the-mill college bar. Inside it is nice and dim, wooden, quaint. A great selection of board games to keep you entertained and occupied, especially if you are the designated driver. Dart lanes have (what I'm told is...) bullet proof glass between lanes so even at your drunkest it would be a feat to harm your neighbour. Also a fine selection of dart parts (flights, shafts, etc) in case you bring your own.

Bartender was friendly and mildly a crotchety response about a cask tap being just for show when I asked what the cask beer was. Had a couple Belgian beers with my Norwegian neighbour, all served in hurricane type tulip glasses. Beer selection was decent, to me, but exceptional for the area. There are a few bars/pubs around with an okay selection of beer, but this was by far the best. La Fin Du Monde, Maudite, Delirium, Ayinger Celebrator, to name a few, but much more than that. Bottle selection was better than the five or six taps I saw that they had, but still some good stuff on tap.

Clientele was friendly, chatty, and a nice beer crowd (only saw folk drinking good, quality beers).

All in all, a nice place to grab an afterwork pint. See ya there!
Apr 01, 2008
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Reviewed by bcm119 from California

4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4
The best beer bar in Berkeley-- which isn't saying much, but its an important point to make because there are many bad bars in Berkeley.

A friend once said the Albatross was "too intellectual" for her. This describes why I like The Bird... its got a beer geek/grad student vibe thats very conducive to conversation and beer appreciation.

It has a classy interior complete with a serious dart section, board games (including Connect-Four, for when you're not up for the intellectual challenge of Uno), and lots of cozy little nooks to hide out in. It has an English pub feel, minus the choking cigarette haze.

Beer selection is decent. They have some nice regulars and a guest tap, along with a bunch of bottles. I usually drink the Moonlight IPA, but the Pilsener Urquell can be very fresh here. Not the most mind-blowing selection around but its adequate.

Overall a very appealing place to hang out in, and its within a few blocks of lots of Indian food, as well as the excellent Lanesplitter pizza/beer pub.
Jan 18, 2008
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Reviewed by Boneheadmx from California

4.06/5  rDev +2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5
Albatross is a pretty fun place to go, as it has stuff to do like darts. They also have a popcorn machine where you can go and refill your bowls. This is really cool, because darts and popcorn is just an excellent combination. They also have a bunch of board games to play over some beer.

There are all sorts of beers to get here. Really nice wide selection. It can get crowded at times so getting a drink is slow, but well worth it.

The people who go here are generally pretty nice as well, mostly hipsters and such. I feel like I can strike up a conversation with just about anyone here.

Highly recommended if you like beer.
Nov 28, 2007
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Reviewed by DaPeculierDane from Wisconsin

4.09/5  rDev +2.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5
The Albatross is outstanding. From the inauspicious exterior, I wouldn’t have guessed that this place was a bar let alone a killer beer bar. The Albatross serves roughly 60 bottles including: Chimay R and B, Duvel, Maredsous, St. Bernie 8 and 12, Delirium, Affligem, Hoegaarden, Hennepin, Pranquester, Aventinus, Kostritzer, St. Louis Premium Framboise, Unibroue Maudite and La Fin du Monde. There are 14 taps and one nitro. They are a blend of British/Irish imports and local crafts.

Service is just average but atmosphere is a strong point. The place is a real British pub complete with six stall sunken dart court. There are several rooms and capacity has to be really high. The place is huge. It takes a few minutes to explore everywhere. Lights are kept dim and there is almost no natural light. Everything is old and a bit dusty. It’s feels like my grandfather should be in here throwing back a can of old style and playing dice yet here I am drinking Belgians. Go figure. The door behind the bar is really cool and looks like it’s straight out of a castle. Popcorn is free but there is otherwise no food. They have some sort of trivia game for uber-nerds where the prize is beer. My kind of place. Check this place out and then head down the street to Lanesplitter for a pint of Russian River and a slice of pizza.
May 19, 2006
Albatross Pub in Berkeley, CA
Place rating: 3.98 out of 5 with 15 ratings