Best Brewery with an Actual Food Menu

The Rare Barrel

Home to more than 850 barrels, the Rare Barrel is already an all-sour powerhouse. But there’s something else that makes it a rare find: the food menu. Even if you’re not a sour enthusiast, the Berkeley brewery is worth a visit for the food alone. They have the classic shareable snacks that many other breweries offer, but the bottom half of their menu is where they truly shine. As envisioned by chef Charis Wahl, previously executive chef at Gather, the menu changes every few weeks according to seasonality. Co-owner Alex Wallash said it took a while for their kitchen to get to that level. When they first opened, they offered simple grilled cheese sandwiches. When they were finally ready to prepare a full menu, they focused on fatty foods — like their signature pork belly dish with grits — that would ideally complement their sour beer. The ultimate goal, Wallash said, is to mix the perfect beer with the perfect dish to make both pop.


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