Warmer weather is here, which means it’s prime time to spend a leisure afternoon at a family-friendly brewery to grab beers and food in the East Bay. Nowadays, parents can relax with a drink— or two— while the kids can occupy themselves, or better yet, tire themselves out in kid-friendly spaces. Many breweries are also pet-friendly, a huge plus for families with fur babies. We’ve compiled a list of favorite family-friendly East Bay breweries for some weekend or weekday (Thursday is the new Friday right?) fun.
Berkeley Family Friendly Breweries
Westbrae Biergarten, North Berkeley
Westbrae Biergarten is a recent discovery for us and we loved its large outdoor space, eclectic beer garden atmosphere, and food offerings from Brazil Cafe. There is a small kids’ area in the back and even though there isn’t too much in it, our daughter still occupied herself by playing with a few boat steering wheels attached to the walls. There were also a few chalk walls, but we didn’t see any chalk around to doodle. Parking can sometimes get difficult. We can typically find residential parking, but it might take some time or require a little walk. There’s more to do for families in the Hopkins neighborhood.
In the warmer weather (particularly in spring), we enjoy walking next door to check out the plants at Westbrae Nursery or taking a short drive for cashew ice cream at Mr. Dewie’s Cashew Creamery. It’s delicious! It baffles me that everything is made out of cashews.
Location: 1280 Gilman Street, Berkeley
Fieldwork Brewing, Northwest Berkeley
Fieldwork Brewing is a popular Berkeley spot with indoor and outdoor seating options to enjoy a flight of a great selection of beers. It’s a perfect spot to catch up with a group of friends with families and it’s pet-friendly, too. Pre-pandemic we usually preferred the indoor over the outdoor space because it’s larger and has a fun, industrial vibe — but the outdoor space is perfect on warmer days.
We love that Fourth Street in Berkeley is nearby where we can get some shopping done or buy the obligatory toy our daughters wants from Five Little Monkeys. During our last visit, I noticed some kids at the skate park around the corner of Fieldwork on 5th and Harrison, which could be a good activity for older kids who are into that scene.
Fieldwork also has other locations in NorCal, which are worth a visit. We particularly enjoy the Napa and San Ramon locations.
Jupiter Pizza & Beer, Downtown Berkeley
Jupiter Pizza & Beer has a charming outdoor patio and we love its prime location in downtown Berkeley. There are few more perfect pairings than beers with a wood-fired pizza. They have a selection of their own brews as well as other east bay options. Jupiter also makes an ideal pairing for visiting and exploring the beautiful UC Berkeley Campus. Here are some tips on what to do on campus with kids.
Location: 2181 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley
Oakland Family-Friendly Breweries & Tap Rooms
Arthurs Mac’s Tap and Snack, MacArthur Bartish
Arthurs Mac’s Tap and Snack is also a great family-friendly spot for kids and pets with its outdoor bar garden. They offer a rotating list of local craft brews, wines, and hard seltzers. Mega points that there are a few video games to distract the kids so you can enjoy your pizza, chicken wings, and drinks in peace, at least for a little while.
Location: 4006 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Oakland
The Terminal Tap Room at Line 51 Brewing Company, Jack London Square-ish
Line 51 Brewing Company is a relative newcomer (opened in 2020) and is unique in its public transit themed brewery with a large 7,500 square-foot space and an actual AC transit bus that kids can go inside.
We recently stopped by Line 51 to try a few bottled beers and ended up extending the beer pick-up to play in the AC transit bus, which was an instant hit. I had to set a timer to get our daughter out of the bus. We’re looking forward to coming back for an extended visit with some other families in tow. Line 51 also offers some food items (hot dogs and such) and had a food tent out front when we were last there.
Location: 303 Castro Street, Oakland
Drake’s Dealership, Uptown Oakland or San Leandro
Drake’s Dealership is a classic urban spot to grab some beers and indulge in a wide selection of food (it’s a full-service restaurant and has wood-fired pizza) with trendy outdoor and indoor seating options. It’s a top contender to visit with a group of families to grab drinks and food in the Oakland area.
If you can’t get enough of Drake’s, they also have another nearby location in San Leandro (Drake’s Barrel House) that has a more industrial, warehouse feel.
Locations: 2325 Broadway, Oakland and 1933 Davis Street, San Leandro
Looking to extend your visit in the area? Just take a short stroll down to Lake Merritt. Better yet, start your morning off with a walk around the lake, a visit to the Farmer’s Market, and a trip to the Oakland Museum of California before capping the day off with a beer. For an adventure, check out the Lake Merritt boating center before the brewery.
Alameda Family Friendly Brewery
Faction Brewery, Alameda Point
Faction Brewery is a former Alameda Navy base so it’s a neat spot and with pretty views. The brewery is both kid (so long as kids are supervised and able to stay within your seating area) and pet friendly. Faction Brewery allows patrons to bring their own food or to grab bits from partnered food trucks. Skee-ball is always a big hit.
Bridge and Tunnel Family-Friendly Breweries
Up for venturing to the other side of the Caldecott tunnel? We have two favorite destinations to share.
Headlands Brewing Company & Beer Garden, Lafayette
Headlands Brewing Company & Beer Garden in Lafeyette is a modern, taproom with an outdoor space that we discovered when they opened during the pandemic. The outdoor space has artificial turf, sun umbrellas, and wooden benches for enjoying a cool drink in the sun. It’s not a huge outdoor space, so it can feel a bit crowded during its busy hours, but it’s a great family and pet-friendly choice. They offer food and in the warmer months, soft serve and pink lemonade for the kids.
Location: 3420 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Ste A, Lafayette
Calicraft Brewing, Walnut Creek
Calicraft Brewing in Walnut Creek is a kid and pet-friendly brewery that offers a large outdoor beer garden with plentiful picnic tables, wide space for kids to run around (but remain watchful for cars) and, on the weekends, a rotating food truck. We love that Calicraft also allows patrons to bring their own food. We usually stock up on the POG Spritz to ensure we have enough supply for the summer months. Calicraft also offers live music and other events (such as trivia night), check out their event calendar for more info.
Location: 2700 Mitchell Drive, Walnut Creek
Junction Beer Garden & Bottle Shop, Mill Valley
I know that Marin isn’t in the East Bay, but I had to squeeze in The Junction Beer Garden as a superb family-friendly beer garden to visit for those up for a little longer drive. The Junction Beer Garden has a wide tap selection, an expansive outdoor area, a partnership with PizzaHacker, and a wooden ship play structure for kids to explore. We have an in-depth blog post featuring our visit to The Junc here. Pair this visit with a trip to the Bay Area Discovery Museum and you might win the award for Super Parent.
Location: 226 Shoreline Highway, Mill Valley
By far this is not an exhaustive list of family-friendly breweries in the East Bay so we’d love to hear from you. What are your favorites? Have you tried any on this list?