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
Reviews by TheLongBeachBum:
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TheLongBeachBum from California

3.64/5  rDev -9.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

After my first stop of the day at the Marin Brewing Company, it was time to continue my perambulation North and hit the half-brother Moylan’s. About 12 miles as the crow drives up the 101-N Redwood Highway. Very easy to find, take the Rowland Boulevard exit ramp, first right, then a quick first left onto Rowland Way and hey presto your there, or here rather!

As you get onto Rowland Way you turn left into a Parking Lot shared with a Carl’s Jr. From the outside large white hopper tanks proudly sport the Irish Flag and corner the exterior of the rather large cream & gray painted looking building. Well presented wooden style exterior of sorts gives it a looks of a hardware store from the Wild West with an updated pre-fabricated look.

The wind was rattling the doors on the greenhouse-like entrance hallway, but once inside the second set of doors, it felt warm and inviting…..but wait a minute… felt just like Marin Brewing that I had been to not twenty minutes earlier. No surprise there though as both have the same owner, but I think I expected a little more differentiation than I actually found. High banked ceiling filled with wooden eaves and trusses (decorated with lots and lots of old canned beers I should add) allow the collective sound to rise and keeps the noise down, even so, by the time I got here, reasonably early in the day I may add, it was quite busy. To your left the interior seems smaller than what the impression was from the outside, but it is still expansive nonetheless. Lots of wooden roof trusses, shelves, dividing walls, tables, chairs, etc. The bar runs a full length to your right as you walk in and all the way back to the restrooms and kitchens.

I decided to park my derrière at one of the many stools at the bar and take a quick slurp of one of the brews on sale. Wheat, Kiltlifter, IPA, Irish Red, Barleywine and a one other but I was drawn to the “special” White Christmas Double Wheat. I promptly ordered a rather flat looking Pint of said Crimbo brew and continued to survey the interior as I supped on it. Beer selection was like Marin “déjà vu”. OK, now I am really puzzled. Whilst I totally appreciate that not all beers will ever be on sale in any BrewPub, with such a great range of brews already in bottles for the free trade, why is it not possible to make at least 90% of them available at the Pub itself? It seemed like less than a handful of the bottled beers were on offer alongside a limited draft range. I perused the chalk boards behind the bar and counted about 5 or 6 brews on offer from 12 or so taps. Cask was advertised which is always a bonus.

Didn’t bother with any food here, but what I saw did not look as good as what was being served & eaten down at Marin. Service was attentive and quick, and came with a blarney smile.

I wasn’t really all that enamored with the place overall, the interior felt a little like being in one of those cookie-cutter Country Barn Steakhouse places. This mixed with the immense plethora of Gaelic style banners & posters all over the place really started to lend a pseudo-Irish Pub feel also, I know it has the background, but it feels like it is rammed down your throat a little. At first I thought the fact that a Carl's Jr. sat opposite Moylan's was rather off-putting, but on leaving it didn't seem that bad after all.

Still, that said, a nice enough stop, but really only worth popping by for the beers - I know that sounds obvious I suppose, but what I mean is that it is solely the promise of Moylan’s beers fresh from the tap/bottle that brought me here….so the fact that except for the White Christmas Double Wheat, I can get a better range of Moylan’s brews at home from the nearby Beer Stores in Long Beach means that this is more a “visit once in a while if I am passing by and I have the time and hope that they something special and tasty on” BrewPub, rather than a must visit. Strange, somehow I expected so much more.

Last Visit: Saturday 31st December, 2005.

Jan 07, 2006
More User Reviews:
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Cuervo_PCB from Florida

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

Sep 05, 2020
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BerryKumquat from California

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

Apr 27, 2019
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gr8fulbeerhead from California

4.23/5  rDev +5.2%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Apr 11, 2019
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Miesemer from Pennsylvania

4.16/5  rDev +3.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Mar 11, 2018
Photo of kylehay2004
kylehay2004 from Illinois

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

Feb 05, 2017
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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vonSchulze from California

4.01/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75

May 01, 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
Photo of WillDavis707
WillDavis707 from California

4.55/5  rDev +13.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

Really good food, and about 20 beers on tap.

Will fill any growler

Oct 28, 2015
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SmashPants from Australia

3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

Dec 15, 2014
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bobbyhands from California

4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

Dec 02, 2014
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smanrob from California

4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

Nov 16, 2014
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Breeden88 from Arizona

3.88/5  rDev -3.5%

Oct 29, 2014
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kingpin1010 from California

4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

Oct 25, 2014
Photo of MIrvine
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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BSanino from California

4/5  rDev -0.5%

Oct 13, 2014
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SanFranJake from California

4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

Oct 08, 2014
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Calvarro from Spain

4.36/5  rDev +8.5%

Oct 05, 2014
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2beerdogs from California

4/5  rDev -0.5%

Sep 28, 2014
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wrightst from Maryland

4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

Sep 18, 2014
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jakecattleco from California

4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

Jul 30, 2014
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Takashi from Canada

4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

Jul 21, 2014
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david18 from New York

4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

Jun 21, 2014
Photo of Hatzilla
Hatzilla from California

4.75/5  rDev +18.2%

Jun 21, 2014
Moylan's Brewery in Novato, CA
Brewery rating: 3.9 out of 5 with 6238 ratings