Moylan's Brewery

Moylan's BreweryMoylan's Brewery
Moylan's BreweryMoylan's Brewery
Brewery, Bar, Eatery

15 Rowland Way
Novato, California, 94954
United States

(415) 898-4677 | map

View: Beers | Place Reviews | Events
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Reviews: 46 | Ratings: 77
Photo of bcm119
3.71/5  rDev -7.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Suburban brewpub all around. Its spacious and pleasant enough inside, but lacks any real character. The beer is drinkable and pretty decent across the board, but no real show stoppers. The Hopsickle was nice and hoppy but a little cloying; the pale ale was a little musty, and the Kiltlifter was good for the style but not really interesting. Best of show was probably the Dry Stout, which had some nice flavors, if a little one dimensional. Didn't eat there so can't comment on the food, but it looked pretty expensive for pub food. If I was in the area and needed a beer I'd go again but I won't make a special trip here, especially considering its proximity to many better breweries and beer bars. The most lasting impression I had from this place was the expense.

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Photo of ubermick
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

The little brother of Marin Brewing Company, Moylans is right off the freeway and is a wee gem in the otherwise barren landscape of Novato. After a game of pickup soccer, me and some of the lads headed there for lunch on a gorgeous Thursday afternoon...

The beers on tap are all extremely drinkable, with shoutouts going to their award-winning stout, the ESB, and their signature Kiltlifter Scottish ale. Everyone ordered something different, and glasses were passed around for sampling.

Our waitress was friendly, quick, and our orders were all spot on. And she was pretty easy on the eyes too! (She also gets bonus points for hooking me up with a nice Moylans bumper sticker for my collection on the beer fridge at home!)

Food was typical for a pub - decent burger and fries, and the menu was very similar to that of Marin Brew Co. Unlike MBC tho, the clientele was a lot more of what you'd expect to see in a brewpub, with no kids at all present anytime I've been there.

All in all, a decent spot I'd recommend for a visit. I wouldn't make it my regular hangout, but the beers are worth investigating for sure.

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Photo of younger35
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Stopped by Moylan's for lunch and a couple pints with my roommate on a recent visit to California. It's a nice place really close to the interstate that was simple as hell to find. We were promptly greeted at the door and took a couple seats at the bar. They have an excellent selection of Moylan brews on tap and even a couple guest ciders. They have a cask that had the Hopsickle aged in wine barrels that turned out to be pretty decent. I also had a RIS that was damn good and the roommate had an Irish Dry Stout that was phenomenal.
The waitresses were fairly busy but quick to get us new brews and to serve our food. They have a decent menu and the clam chowder I got was really good. They also have most of the beers that they have on tap available in 22oz bombers and the Kilt Lifter in 12oz bottles. Great place!

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Photo of Fishdawg71
4/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I stopped by Moylans on my last trip up through Sonoma. My friend and I each had three pints and lunch. The food was good, fish and chips. The portion was huge, too much for me to finish, so you get your moneys worth. The beer was great. I really enjoyed the irish red and the scottish ale. It was a sunday and the brewers were there working, you can see them through the glass behind the bar. I recommend this pub highly. If you are traveling through the Sonoma area stop by grab a pint or some bombers to go.

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Photo of kleffman
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I went into Moylan's a little rushed, as I was on my way to the airport, but I had plenty of time to sit down for a meal and a quick noon time beer. I ordered up the Moylan's White Christmas Ale because I wasn't in the mood for something heavy, and ended up with only a cobb salad because my stomach wasn't feeling the best. Quite a nice beer, good food. Excellent beer selection overall including a cask. Quite a good menu, and the other food looked nice. If I lived in the area I'd probably pop in once in awhile to sit at the bar and have appetizers. Would definitely return.

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Photo of xhcadamx
3.38/5  rDev -15.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 2.5

I have been to Moylan's a couple of times. Every time I have left spending a lot more money than I have expected. I know it's in Marin but it's extremely pricey!!! Both beer and food. They have quite a few beers on tap but only a couple are interesting. Their Kilt Lifter is always a favorite but not always on tap. Kilt lifter is also served in a 10 oz glass (state law?) but Mountain Mike's sells it in pint glasses for 2 dollars cheaper. The bartenders hardly know anything about beer which is always a bummer. Again always feel like a paid too much for so-so beer.

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Photo of t0rin0
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3

We didn't arrive until about 9:30 or so but the restaurant was still open and full of people. There was a real nice atmosphere and the employees were helpful. The place looks more like a cafeteria than a brewery or a restaurant. Theres a long bar on the one side and theres plenty of beers to try from.

I got a sampler of everything they had which was about 16 different things at that time. What I thought was neat was the fact that they had some cask aged versions of some of their beers. Found some pretty good ones.

I got a burger that was really good especially after drinking a bunch of beer and my friend got the fish and chips which wasn't very good. The beer prices weren't too bad but the food prices made up for it. I think we spent $55 for the sampler, 2 meals, and a pint glass. I made off with their laminated sampler platter thing, so its not all bad.

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Photo of dedrinker
3.73/5  rDev -7.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

This place is right off the 101 about 30 minutes north of San Francisco. An easy trip and worth it. You can see it from the freeway. Don't second guess, just go. The atmosphere was typical brewpub/ chain restaurant, but that didn't bother me as the staff and patrons were decent folks, and the beer was good. The food wasn't bad, and does the trick if you just want something to soak up the booze from their Hopsicle triple IPA. Food not memorable, but no complaints. Beers are good. You can find some milder offerings, or go for the big stuff. You can knock it all out in two trips if you want to play it safe driving back into Frisco.

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Photo of tonistruth
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 2

A- just right off the 101. walk in right to two friendly employees. My buudy and I joke around with them until seated. One ended up being our waitress. Good start. This place is pretty much a bar with tables. Except you can see daylight, so thats a plus. A cozy brewpub to say the least.

Q- beer was awesome, the hopsickle was what i was expecting, the imperial stout was really good, so was the kiltlifter. The kiltlifter on cask was freakin show stopping though.

S- Service was attentive and friendly. Actually had a little conversation with me about the beer. which i really appericate.

S- 10 house with 2 that are cask, a handful of guest taps, mostly craft but i believe i saw some macros (i think, not sure)

F- food was the low point, dont get me wrong it wasnt bad at all, but it was just average. i split a pizza wityh my buddy, nothing fantasic.

Some side notes i feel are important though
- no free soda refills
- $15 for the sampler of brew
- and pizza was way overpriced considering its size and average taste

Other than that everything was cool, stop by this place, cause the beer is worth it, and thats all we care about right, good craft beer.

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Photo of SethB2
3.93/5  rDev -2.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

Stopped by this brewery over Memorial Day weekend, but haven't got around to transcribing my notes until now.

Moylans is located in a retail/industrial area about one block of of Highway 101. Super easy to find. In fact, the directions on their bottle is all you really need.

Upon entry, the first thing you notice is the long bar along the right side of the restaurant. Behind the bar, on the rafters, and just about everywhere there is any room at all, the place is decorated with old beer cans. Pretty cool, really. I really dug the atmosphere of the place.

The beer was good, but seemed a little expensive. I think it was about $4 for a small flute (12 oz) of Hopsickle. We didn't eat, but I glanced at their menu and it looked like decent fare.

In conclusion, it's a nice little place that is easily accessable and worth a stop if you're in the area.

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Photo of PuckLSHS
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

I always make a point of stopping at Moylan's anytime I am up in the area. The beers there are great and the service is fantastic.

When you walk in, it looks like the same old giant brewpub location. It has a rather long bar and plenty of seating for a large number. The people are very nice and know their stuff. I prefer to sit at the bar when I am with a couple of people or just want quick service. If I want to relax a bit, I will sit at a table because it is easier to lounge and talk to the people you are with.

The food here is great. I would suggest getting the ultra garlic fries and one of the many sandwiches on the menu. You really can't go wrong with any of them.

I am a fan of the Hopsickle and the Kilt Lifter here. The seasonals at this brewery are some of the best in the area and their regular beers are also pretty awesome.

Definitely hit up this place if you are in the area.

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Photo of carln26
4.28/5  rDev +6.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Moylan’s brewery an pub is located just off highway 101 in Novato, CA. It’s a great stop on the way to Sonoma County. The pub is large with a huge bar, and high arched ceilings. While the place appears to be new, they’ve made a lot of effort to “age” the inside. Lots of exposed wood, old beer memorabilia. There is outdoor seating for the nice weather days too.

The staff was prompt, friendly, and knowledgeable about the beer and food. I had an Oriental Chicken salad. The base greens were locally grown cabbage. I’m usually not a huge cabbage fan, but the produce was fresh and very tasty. I enjoyed the entire dish.

8-10 beers on tap with 2 casks. I had an ESB, Impy Stout, and the Hopsickle double IPA. All of the beers were fresh and quite good. The ESB may have been chilled a bit too much, but it was still quite good.

If you are in the area, take some time, and stop by this pub. I think they are underrated, and it’s a great location.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
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.

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Largish building just off of 101, easy to find, with the directions right off a bomber label.
Convient location when on the way from San Fran to Lagunitas and Russian River.
Big interior, lots of wood, with a long bar facing the tanks, taps, and beer selections.
Friendly bartender, helpful with making a selection from the lip smacking menu.
Great pizzas to go with an ultra-fresh IIPA and Barleywine.
Plenty on tap,10 that day with 2 casks going as well.
Midday was quiet, good for savoring some great brews and chow.
Bottles, pricey t-shirts and such were up front.

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Photo of baiser
4.14/5  rDev +3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Like Marin, the inside is full of wooden stools, tables and has a long wooden bar. Very nice atmosphere. The wait staff was very welcoming and efficient. They had 7 beers on tap and 2 cask offerings. We sat outside on the patio which was a disappointment because there was no view - just a patio enclosed by a wooden fence.

The selection was pretty good. All the beers were served at a good temperature. I enjoyed the imperial stout quite a bit along with the kiltlifter. I ended up buying a bomber of the imperial stout along with a pint glass.

Overall, the group I was with enjoyed this place much more than Marin. Simply because of the friendly and prompt service and the better selection of beers. The DIPA and imperial stout is worth a stop at this place. The food looked a bit overpriced though.

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Photo of Troyone
3.93/5  rDev -2.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

I think this place owns Marin Brewing or vice-versa. Kind of yuppy-ish bar area that faces the fermenter room with a few TV's. The fermenter room has a barrel chart above the entrance door.

Has all stainless steel tap nozzles. Appeared to have wooden tables, chairs, bar, and cushioned (I think) stools. Open kitchen with a real grill faces a coffee counter that can be seen when one walks to the restroom. There is a patio to the south of the building, had a clean restroom, and had a section for playing darts.

Service was good and prompt.

A good selection with two cask options which were their Golden Ale and Irish Stout. The cask Golden Ale was alright.

Some healthy options on the menu.


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Photo of Crotor
3.65/5  rDev -9.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

This place is very California.

What do I mean by that? Well, I mean it's located in "wine country" just outside the strip-malls, in a building that can't be more than 15 years old and could just as easily house an Applebee's or the like. I swear, if not for the silo outside, you wouldn't be able to distinguish this place (from the outside) from one of those chain restaurants that gets advertised on prime-time TV.

Once inside, the place is exceptionally clean, somewhat ritzy, and adorned with just enough brewerainia to keep the beer geek comfortable. This really is a nice establishment. If not for the strip-mall location, the atmosphere rating would be higher.

The service was friendly and quick, but really just your standard restaurant service - no beer knowledge was evidenced.

The selection was pretty damn good, with a refresingly non-PNW-dominated selection of ales, as well as a cask offering.

The food was damn good, if a bit pricey. Overall, I'd advise eating elsewhere.

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

Stop number four on the 2004 Great Sonoma Beer Run.

Moylan's is the sibling brewery of our 3rd stop, Marin Brewing. Located in a freestanding resturant on a corner lot with a big malt silo right next to the bar entrance.

Similiar to Marin, the room is dominated by a long narrow bar with a large restaurant area running behind.

Unlike Marin's beers, which tend to be along the lines of west coast hoppy beer, Moylan's brews tend to flow more to the UK side of the fence. This time D, the erstwhile navigator, joined me in a whopping sampler of 10 beers each. The funny part is once you move beyond the obligatory blonde and wheat beers, the remaining 7 beers were all in the same color range.

Service was genial and just aloof enough to allow road weary beer geeks the peace and quiet needed after a long period of tire hum.

Not a bad place, a lot quieter than Marin, but since I prefer Marin's beers, I have my preferences.

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Photo of StevieW
4.3/5  rDev +7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

My sweetie and I visited here on our Memorial Day '02 trip through the wine country and San Francisco. I just realized I never did a beerfly for it. This is still one of my favorite brewpub experiences, where I had the Moylan's Moylander Double IPA on tap. Wow !
Long wooden bar area with booths for seating. They had nearly a dozen beers on tap the day I visited. The staff was very friendly and informative about their beers. The stout and Double IPA were my favorites but nothing is mediocre here. I took bombers home, and recently just recieved another bomber of the Double IPA. This beer is worthy of top 50 status, just needs to be reviewed more.

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Photo of VegasBill
4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

This place has a very long bar that is separated from the dining area so that it has its own atmosphere. The bartenders are very knowledgable about the many fine beers, the servers for the most part are not but they have no problem asking.The beers are wonderful, my favorite is the the double IPA but a close second for me is the Kilt Lifter Scotch Ale . The food is way above average for pub fare, my favorite is the chili, don't laugh its hard to find a good bowl of chili on the west coast. Moylan's is just a few minutes north of the Golden Gate Bridge and seconds off highway 101, if you are coming that way you have to make it by Marin Brewing first!.

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

Nice big noisy pub and restaurant in my old residence of Novato. Food was good and the beer selection and beer itself was outstanding. Moylan's superlative Double IPA and the unique and outstanding Tipperary pale ale were both available cask conditioned. You know I went for the cask! This place is well worth the visit.

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Moylan's Brewery in Novato, CA
Brewery rating: 3.9 out of 5 with 6224 ratings