Moylan's Brewery

Brewery, Bar, Eatery

15 Rowland Way
Novato, California, 94954
United States

(415) 898-4677 | map

View: Beers | Place Reviews
Reviews: 46 | Ratings: 78 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin from Colorado

4/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

i always imagined this place would be bigger, its quite humble in its size, a freestanding location that looks like it could have doubled as an old red lobster or applebees or something. has that sort of exterior and layout inside, but the place has been around a long time, and they have had quite the distribution footprint for their size too, impressive when you see how small it is. sort of irish sports bar vibe inside, a little more authentic, but similar feel. lots of old beer memorabilia on the walls, and something like 12 beers on tap, maybe more. they had a good mix of their classics that i knew and some new more experimental stuff. i liked the flaneur belgian pale a whole lot, and enjoyed the tealight as well. these guys have been one of those sort of staple california breweries for me over the years, so it was cool to finally check out their spot. i wish we had time for more beers, but the ones we had were all very solid. service was fine, a bit distracted but friendly and liberal with the sampling, just perhaps a little disinterested. they have a good thing going here, a very loyal following, and i think a healthy mix of well known stand by beers and experimental new stuff to keep it interested. great stop when cruising north from san francisco!

May 26, 2016
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UCLABrewN84 from California

3.77/5  rDev -6.2%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

I recently stopped in here on a trip to Northern California. From what I understand, Marin and Moylan's are in cahoots somehow, so the experience here was pretty much the same as I had at Marin. The inside hosts a brewery, bar, and restaurant and just like at Marin, I got a definite sports bar type vibe but Moylan's seemed a bit cleaner and more put together. The bartender was quite nice and answered all of the questions I had. They had around 15 beers on tap, most of which they already bottle, and a few one offs. They also can sell certain bottles to go from what I saw. The quality of everything was good.

Feb 17, 2016
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MIrvine from California

3.5/5  rDev -12.9%

Nothing special here. Decent beer selection but space is really tired looking. Nice large bar area is a good spot to pop into for a beer if you're stuck on the 101 or 37 parking lots. Food is OK.

Oct 22, 2014
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IRONRakkasan from California

3.7/5  rDev -8%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.75

The staff were knowledgeable of the beer, of which they had a large range to choose from. The beer range is also well worth it too.

The food selection was good, ambience fine. I enjoyed myself there, along with the sample platter. What I didn't expect was my sister's fiancé from Italy regarding the meal and beer there tops as far as eating out during his trip.

Mar 17, 2014
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beerwolf77 from Wisconsin

3.78/5  rDev -6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Stopped in here for lunch and beers on our way up north. We were waiting for them to unlock the door so we had the place to ourselves. Apparently locals don't drink beer at 11am on a Monday. Nice wide open restaurant feel to the place. The taps were all standard Moylans offerings. My wife went for the gusto and started with hopsickel. She regretted it but finished it like a true beer geek. We cycled our way through every beer they had and enjoyed a hearty lunch. The bartender was super friendly. She didn't have much else to do since the place was a ghost town.

Overall a nice pit stop on our way up to the north.

Feb 15, 2012
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dgilks from Australia

3.74/5  rDev -7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

For the tourists like me, Moylan's is in the middle of nowhere but it was also a convenient stop on the way to Santa Rose from SF.

Basically a large shed in a commercial area north of SF with a brewery and a big restaurant/bar in the way only the US does it.

The beer on tap was all house beer with a couple of hand pumps for a bit of interest. The quality was varied with the beers I had being average for the American craft scene.

Service was decent but with only 1 bartender tending a full bar, it was a touch slow.

On the whole I'm sure Moylan's is popular with the local suburban crowd. It offers a reasonable environment for dinner with the family and is equally suited to a couple of drinks with friends but to me it felt a little dull and lacked the character of a Hair of the Dog or Lagunitas.

Nov 22, 2011
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GJ40 from North Carolina

3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

I visited while in SF on business. The pub is in a pretty commercial area and has a pretty commercial feel to it (not that unlike a Chili's or Friday's). They have TVs and draw a big football crowd on NFL Sundays. I prefer the more unique and authentic brewpubs that simply grow out of the brewery.

The beer selection is solid with basically everything they brew on tap. There were about 20 when I visited. This was a brief stop for us so we just went with samples of the IPA, DIPA and Hopsickle. It was a nice progression. They were tasty and very fresh.

The Moylan's Brewpub isn't unique, personal or especially memorable but they get the job done and offer some great beer.

Sep 12, 2011
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Dogbrick from Ohio

3.5/5  rDev -12.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

(Visited 01/2011): Moylan's is located off the 101 in Novato right past a busy intersection on Rowland. The brewpub has a private parking lot.

Inside the bar is along the right wall, and there is restaurant style seating elsewhere. The place is relatively dark and has a casual atmosphere. Some Moylan's breweriana as well as TVs behind the bar, along with a tap listing. Dart boards in the back too.

The brewpub has around 12 beers on tap with some seasonals and at least one cask ale. Aside from the flagship beers they have one-offs like Wet Hopsickle (Chardonnay Barrel) and a 2 year-old Old Blarney on my visit. The beers are average to above average overall.

Service on a slow weekday lunch was good. The bartender was approachable and knew their beers.

Salads and sandwiches for me and my colleague were pretty standard fare.

Overall this brewpub doesn't really stand out, especially when compared with a place like Russian River, but it is worth checking out for travelers in the area.

Aug 31, 2011
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avaldivia from California

3.93/5  rDev -2.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Moylan's along with Marin Brew Co. are the two brewpubs that got me into going to brewpubs. Moylan's is more Irish themed and you can see that simply by the name of all of their beers.

The selection is always fairly large and they usually have 1 or 2 beers on both Cask and Nitro. I like the beer for the most part (I'm a huge Giants fan and it pains me to say Orange and Black is terrible). It doesn't compare to RR or Lagunitas usually, but it is solid and enjoyable. I typically come here on Wednesdays because it is $3 Pints for everything below a certain ABV. The prices for the beers are actually really good even if you don't go on Wednesday.

The food ranges from decent to pretty good standard bar fair. I usually go with the Moylan's Burger which is pretty good. They have a decent size menu and I have never had anything that wasn't at least decent.

The Service is really good typically. I usually sit at the bar, and come during less busy hours. things can be hectic if you come here during peak hours, so keep that in mind.

Overall, this is a place I go to every now and then, and always enjoy myself. I recommend it to anyone in Marin who wants good food and beer for a decent price.

Aug 04, 2011
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alanforbeer from South Carolina

4.53/5  rDev +12.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

A friend of mine and I dropped by for an afternoon of beer drinking while on a trip up the CA coast this past December. I have to agree with some previous reviewers that the location of the place (in the middle of a giant shopping complex) is less than desirable.

I found the atmosphere to be very comfortable. Not particularly unique, but there is plenty of beer paraphernalia on the walls and the wooden rafters overhead to keep your eye busy, and the conversation going.

We showed up on a Saturday just minutes after they opened, and were the first ones at the bar, but within an hour or so the place was full. Ordered up some lunch. My overall impression of the food (although my review is based on just one visit to the place) is that its high quality pub fare, definitely above average, although perhaps a bit on the rich side.

Had a couple rounds of Dragoons, which I think is a somewhat underrated beer, and tried nearly everything else on tap. Solid beers all around, all highly drinkable.

The best part of the visit was the way we were treated by the bartenders, and the rest of the brewery employees. All were pleasant and professional even though we were there for several hours (after all that beer-drinking we had to sober up before hitting the road). Bought a couple of bottles on my way out.

I'll definitely visit again next time I'm in SF.

Feb 19, 2011
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BBP from Canada (ON)

4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Nice place. Great food, great beer, and considerably reasonable prices. Selection was limited to Moylan's brews only, which was the reason I went there, so I wasn't one bit disappointed. I found the beer availability was just about how I expected it. The food was what surprised me the most. It was presented quite well, and was very delicious. It stood up against the the brews fairly well. I tasted garlic and hops for a few hours after I left.

Would definitely come back. I didn't have anything to complain about from my stay there.

Jan 14, 2011
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MilwaukeeCrusher from Wisconsin

3.94/5  rDev -2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

In San Francisco I broke my camera, so after staying in San Rafael I need to get off 101. Seeing a Target I got off the exit and to my surprise there was this brewery, which for some reason I always thought was in Ireland. Feel of the place was ok, but felt more like an eatery than a brewery... although that aspect was definitely there. Marveled at the fact Kilt Lifter could be had here for $8 a sixer, where in Wisconsin I rarely see it for less than $14. Had my favorites, the aforementioned and the Imperial Red. I sampled the other beers and they were ok, but not exemplary. Delightfully surprised when I heard the 70's progressive band Flash playing on the box, something I never thought I would hear in a bar.

Jan 04, 2011
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BigB415 from California

4.75/5  rDev +18.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 5

This is my hometown and local brewery. It's more Irish themed since the owner is Irish. They brew their own beer which has one several medals over the years. The owner also owns Marin Brewing Company which is about 10 minutes south of Moylans and just like Moylans, Marin BrewCo brews their own beers which has won medals. Their beer is great, my favorite is the porter and the stout. It's a great place to go with friends, have a beer and watch a game since they have 3 TV's.

They have a dart room which is sometimes used for large parties. One of my favorite things about Moylans is pint night on wednesdays. 3 dollar pints of beer for all beers under a certain ABV since they have to put beers with really high ABV's in a 10 oz glass instead of pint glass. The bartender's are really friendly and will recognize you if you go in enough so all the bartenders know me(don't know if that's a good thing)

If you're in Marin check out this place!

Oct 20, 2010
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bargerking from California

4/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

First stop our Brewery run. This place is right off the 101 but can be a pain if you dont get in the right turning lane. As you enter you have a very large bar on your right with big tables and seating ahead of you. Since we came to eat as well, we got a table.

Atmosphere was expected for a Saturday afternoon. A little busy but by no means packed. Everyone including employees and patrons all seemed to be in good spirits. It was neat to see all of the beer cans on the high risers. A lot of old neat stuff.

Or waitress was nice and helped my party and I get with what beers to sample. Our food order was correct as ordered. She did forget to get me a ranch as I requested but she did apologize once reminded and returned with it quickly.

The selection of beer was on par with some hidden gems that I pounced on. An 08 Blarney and a IRS on Irish Misted chips. Both were so so but fun to try. The Hopsicle tasted fresh and potent. There was a pom wheat that my wife really enjoyed.

I got a bacon burger with fries that tasted real good. The rest of my party got good sized plates too. The food was a bit pricey but the beer prices where fair.

Overall a pretty good place but was not super impressed with their beers and was kind of let down with the special taps they had too. I would go again but would definately go to other breweries ive not been to yet first.

Aug 20, 2010
KNORDSTROM from Washington

4/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Well after a 12 hr drive from Vegas with 26' Penske and a car dolly. You can say I was A little worn down. But The excitment of having a fresh Hopsickle got me going. after a short 15mi drive from Petaluma(Lagunitas) we arrived at a full parking lot. We were a little nervous about getting a seat, but we were at ease as somebody led us right to 2 chairs perfectly in front of the TAPS.

Beers list was some what impressive. Started with a Moylander(TASTY) Then noticed a cask of KiltSickle . I guess its an 07' Hopsickle mixed withe there Kiltlifter. Not my kind of beer, But worth the shot. I finnished with a very fresh Hopsickle.

Food- Bleu cheese blackend burger. It was fantastic!!
Service- Was good but not as good as u would think knowing that a customer just drove 12hrs to drink your beer.

Overall, I m sure I will go back an visit again.

Jul 08, 2010
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4000qtrap from Missouri

3.2/5  rDev -20.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 4

This is my local bar. Its pretty decent and is quite hard to beat on Wednesday's when pints are $3 all day for anything under 7% ABV. Speaking of the 7% ABV Moylan's has an unfortunate restriction imposed by the local municipality that beers above 7% ABV have to be served in 10 oz. glasses. A bit of a bummer.

Overall the beer selection is pretty good but most of the beers are pretty average. However, the Hopsickle triple IPA is really excellent and should not be missed. They always have 1 or 2 cask conditioned ales on the menu as well.

The food is actually quite good. I think the pizza's are a standout. Fish and chips are average. Sandwiches are decent. Ribs are good.

Jan 31, 2010
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Offa from California

3.35/5  rDev -16.7%
vibe: 1.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 2.5

I find this place to be quite disappointing, with inferior atmosphere and food.

The atmosphere is among the worst of any brewpub or microbrwery restaurant I've been to. First, the location is horrid and a major turn-off, set in a parking lot right next to the freeway in a massive, ugly, soulless shopping-centre complex with a huge parking lot right next to the freeway. This area is as characterless and pedestrian unfriendly as they come. Small though downtown Novato may be, this place would be a lot better situated over there rather than in this awful stip-mall sprawl. Second, the place itself is a painfully transparent, characterless, ersatz-traditional building that screams mass-produced cookie-cutter. It gives one the impression, both inside and out of an Applebee's turned into a brewpub, not the atmosphere I'm looking for.

The services is basically ok but not great.

The beer selection and quality are good, but uneven. In my experience, Moylan's beers range from simply outstanding to truly dreadful. They have a good range of styles, though, and ultimately they do produce some good beers.

The food is not very good, at least in my experience. The pasta we've had, for example, is watery, overcooked, and bland but extremely salty.

Overall, I would avoid this place unless you really want Moylan's beers. Even then, if you can, I recommend getting them elsewhere and in this region at least one can get their bottled beer at numerous stores while one can find some of their beers on tap at a few places. At the most, I would not go out of my way to try this place but would only stop if passing by and only then to try the beer and move on.

May 07, 2009
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JamesP123 from California

4.4/5  rDev +9.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

As others have noted this Moylans is owned by the same person as Marin Brew Co. I used to prefer Brew Co, but these days I have been leaning more and more to Moylans.

The atmosphere is pretty chill, you can usually strike up some conversation at the bar or grab a table if you are with a big group. There are a coupel Dart boards in the back that, drunken darts is always a fun game. The whole palce is lined with old beer cans, fun to look at some of the obscure names/breweries.

As far as quality, most of the beers are on point meaning they are average at worst and great at best. Only one I didn't enjoy was the Pomegranite Wheat, but hey, thats not really my style anyways.

Everytime I go the bartenders are quick and sociable. Table service is good too.

The selection is great, usually 10-15 beers to choose from with 2 on cask. Loved the Double KiltSickle on cask. They basically have astyle for anyone, except belgian...haven't seen on eon tap for a while. Also sell kegs & bottles. They even have acouple ciders and 10-15 wines for the non-beer drinkers in the group. Which is great for those whose girlfriend still hates beer.

As far as the food, nothing spectacular, but consistently good pub fare.

Overall a cool hangout with great beer. Really can't miss

Apr 17, 2009
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kaseydad from California

4.44/5  rDev +10.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

I have been to this amazing brewery many times and I have finally decided to give it it's due. When the Bros say "Support your local brewery", I listen. Being from Novato I am proud of this one and only brewery in my town.

I stopped by this great place after a local softball fundraiser. Brendan has generously donated some brew goodness to the event year after year and for that I am eternally grateful.

The pub was jumping for a Saturday night and the long bar was full of patrons trying to decide from the massive list of beers available. I like coming here and getting bombers directly from the brewery as I know the freshness is top notch.

There was only one bartender working the bar but he did his best to get to everyone. I asked if I could orders bottles from him and he said "Yes" and I proceeded to place my order for a number of Hopsickle's and Moylander's Double IPA's...but was sort of forgotten about soon after. The bartender did come back to ask me my order again and stated he was "Sorry for the wait." which I appreciated. He quickly got my order and I was on my way.

The great thing about buying from a brewery that actually sells bombers is that the price is usually less than a store. I was able to purchase a numerous bombers of Hopsickle for $6.05 and the Double IPA was $5 something. Not bad. Not bad at all.

There are numerous beer to choose from and they are listed in the lowest to highest alcohol content. There were a few cask brews available and it clearly stated which bombers were available...which was nice. The atmosphere ranged from college kids to mature adults and all were enjoying their food and brews in harmony. The bar scene has a small divider from the main restaurant (like Russian River) and a number of beer related items on the wall. A number of televisions telecast sports as well (+1).

Also nice....Moylan's is right of Highway 101 and parking is plentiful.

Again I must state I am proud of my local hometown brewery and highly recommend it to any thirsty travelers heading up 101 to other fine establishments in the Nor Cal area. Brendan is a class act in my book and I will support him in turn.

Mar 01, 2009
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mjl21 from California

4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Moylan's is a reliable standby. It is conveniently located right off 101 in Novato. This is the sister restaurant to Marin Brewing Company. It wins in every category except atmosphere. Brew Co. always seems to have more energy inside, but when coming for food and beer, Moylan's wins easily.

Moylan's has a huge bar with several tv's There is a raised area for table dining. They also have a tiny patio in the back.

The food is full of the usual suspects including sandwiches, burgers, and pizzas. I tend to favor their Sesame Chicken Salad.

They also update the tap selection daily on their website which is great if you are coming from out of town.
They have around 16 tap options and usually have two cask offerings available. Their beer selection is great and they always carry Moylander and Hopsickle.

The service is good at both the bar and in the dining area.

Feb 15, 2009
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largadeer from California

4/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I've been here quite a few times, so I guess it's due for a review. There's not much to say about the atmosphere - it looks like a pretty typical pub, albeit with a really big bar, which is something that I definitely appreciate. The beer selection is exclusively Moylan's, but that ain't a bad thing, because they brew some excellent beers. Aside from the 12 or so drafts, they've also usually got 2 casks. The beer covers a wide variety of decidedly West Coast styles, with 3 varieties of IPA (all very good), a couple of stouts, a pale ale, porter, amber, and of course the quintessential fruity wheat beer. Food is decent, typical pub fare, nothing outstanding but nothing to complain about either. A pretty solid pub all things considered, well worth a visit just for the beer.

Dec 07, 2008
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woodychandler from Pennsylvania

4.58/5  rDev +13.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Entering, there was a glass case of awards (medals and ribbons) to the left with the m.d.s. just beyond and logo items on display behind it. We were shown up a short incline, past a mirrored wall, into the restaurant area.

Back at the entry, by turning right, it led to the long, blonde wood bar that began with a glass case of logo items. The back bar fronted a series of windows looking into the brewhouse as well as a series of FVs. Above the windows were blackboards listing "Moylan's Ales On Tap TODAY"; "Wines"; "Specials"; and the "Moylan's Brewery Barrel-O-Meter" - YTD (24 July 2007) = 1,715 bbl. and since 25 August 1995 = 27, 041 bbl. All of the way aft, past the bar, was a working stone fireplace, a British dart board, and a library of beer/brewing books and magazines.
There were also loads of spent, vintage cans in the overhead rafters.

Also back that way and off to the left was the kitchen with daily specials cleverly advertised in the overhead. The specials were as follows: Calzone - Su; Tacos - M; BLTs - T; Lamb Shanks - W; Salmon & Chips - H; Steak Sandwich - F; Corned Beef & Cabbage - Sa; plus New England Clam Chowder in a Bread Bowl - every day. The menu was a bit pricey, but that was not my reason for just having a bowl of Soup o' the Day (Tomato-Spinach) for lunch. I had eaten fast food while riding Greyhound the previous day and my stomach had only just begun to forgive me. Off to the left of the kitchen was an outdoor patio area.

The highlight of the visit was getting to meet both Brendan Moylan and his new marketing director as part of my walking-
around/picture-taking phase. My life may seem frivolous, but this was actual research that I was conducting.

Beers: Twelve (12) on-tap - Unfiltered Wheat; Pomegranate Wheat; Celts Golden Ale; Tpperary Pale Ale; IPA; Irish Dry Stout on N2; Irish Dry Stout; Kiltlifter Scotch Ale; Moylander Double IPA; Hopsickle Triple IPA; and Old Blarney Barleywine.

Cask: Moylander Double IPA.

Aug 24, 2008
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hoegaardenhero from Virginia

4/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

moylan's has nice high ceilings w/ wood everywhere. the nice sit-down area with booths is separated from a nice bar area w/ flatscreens showing sports and a huge chalkboard showing what is on-tap. the brewing equipmet can be seen through the glass wall behind the bar. selection is good with about 10 on-tap and 2 cask. service is good and the fish was excellent but overall a little on the pricey side. i had three beers and an entree and it ran me $50. i also appreciate the music selection which is mostly 1980's power ballads. i was there in the afternoon so i can't judge the atmosphere that much but it seems like a place that is well equiped for any kind of event.

Jul 04, 2008
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MiScusi from California

3.56/5  rDev -11.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

Stopped in for a pint on a weekday afternoon.

Atm: Pretty nice looking brewpub. A really LONG bar with some flat screen tv's behind them to watch games. I like the setup a lot.

Quality: Fairly well crafted beers, and the establishment overall looks to be pretty nice. Most of Moylan's beers have never really excited me but they have a couple I would go back for.

Service: It was a lazy time of day when we were there, the service was ok.

Selection: They had around 10-12 beers on tap I believe, some interesting, some not. Hopsickle is there of course, and they try to hit a broad range of styles which is nice if you like to change it up a lot.

Food: Ddidn't try it but looked like they had a pretty busy restaurant area that I wouldn't mind trying out some day.

Jun 21, 2008
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USCTrojanBrian from Maryland

3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

Spacious, high-ceiling setting in Novato.

You can see the brewery staff at work from the lengthy bar, which is nice. Fascinating decorations of classic, old beer cans, unique coasters and other beer paraphernalia.

Typical food offerings of snacks, sandwiches, BBQ etc. which we bypassed for beer. Friends with with a sampler (which took a while to arrive, small complaint), my other friend and myself grabbed a pint each. I went with the tremendous Moylander double IPA (a personal favorite), friend went with the casked ESB.

There's some limited outdoor seating available if that's your thing.

Jun 13, 2008
Moylan's Brewery in Novato, CA
Brewery rating: 3.9 out of 5 with 6257 ratings