Drake's Barrel House: Barrel-Aged Beer Tasting Oasis
Barrel-aged beer has proven to be more than a passing fad, but tap versions of these wood-aged beers can be elusive or destructive to your wallet.
Photos by Jason Henry
Enter Drake's Barrel House, a one-stop shop for your oaky fix. This beery oasis is hiding in plain sight behind a San Leandro Wal-Mart.
Of the four taps dedicated to a rotating selection of barrel-aged beer, standouts included the Brewer's Droop Bourbon Barrel Barleywine and How Merlot Can You Go, a rich imperial stout aged in merlot barrels. At $2.75 for taster pours of barrel-aged beers, patrons can sample a wide rangewithout demolishing their coin purses.
There's beer in these barrels
Just how hot are barrel-aged beers? Of the current top five brews on Ratebeer, three have spent time in oak. And SFoodie is on the record with our love of Russian River Brewing's barrel-aged sour beers.
In addition to the bounty of liquid treasures available on the premises, Drake's Barrel House is a good option for take-home potables. Many of the beers can be taken home in growlers, and the brewery has just launched a "Brew-Rhino" program where customers can purchase a keg at cost on their first visit and swap it for a freshly filled keg whenever they return. Disclaimer: Although modeled after the propane swap system, these kegs won't power your grill. They will, however, make for one heck of a barbecue.