Beer in Palo Alto
September 16, 2008 12:52 PM   Subscribe

I'll be spending 5 days in Palo Alto next week, and I'm looking for good beer. Specifically, I want to find a carry-out shop where I can pick up a few bottles of Russian River and other good local brews. I'll be staying on El Camino Real and will have very limited access to a car. Bonus points for any good brew pubs in the area too. Thanks!
posted by slogger to Food & Drink (9 answers total)
posted by exogenous at 1:11 PM on September 16, 2008

If you have access to a car and don't mind driving just a few minutes up El Camino Real to Menlo Park, I'd highly recommend a visit to Beltramos liquors. They are one of the best wine and liquor shops on the Peninsula, if not in Northern California. Very well stocked store, very knowledgeable staff. Well worth the short drive, IMO.
posted by mosk at 1:17 PM on September 16, 2008

I've never been, but across the street from the Burlingame CalTrain station is Steelhead Brewing. It's eight stops north of the Palo Alto train station.
posted by oneirodynia at 2:02 PM on September 16, 2008

2nd-ing BevMo for a great selection of beers. And while I like Beltramos a lot for wine and liquor, I'm not really sure about their beer collection.

Since you mentioned you have limited access to a car, you might want to check out the SamTrans bus schedule. Depending on where you are on El Camino the 390, 297 or 397 should be nearby and will take you right to the BevMo in Redwood City. Or you can take the Caltrain, and BevMo is just a few blocks from the station.
posted by CruiseSavvy at 3:26 PM on September 16, 2008

Thirding BevMo.
posted by plinth at 5:20 PM on September 16, 2008

i've been to that steelhead place, it was pretty good. so is the tied house, if you can make it down to mountain view. and i recall beltramo's having a pretty decent selection of micro/local/unusual beers, but this was about 5 years ago, so maybe they've stopped.
posted by sergeant sandwich at 10:45 PM on September 16, 2008

BevMo is ok, but definitely one step down from any boutique you might go too. I'd recommend emailing your question to William Brand, who writes about beers for the Oakland Tribune (or whatever the hell conglomerate runs the small town papers around here). He often publishes questions he receives on his blog and solicits answers from his (knowledgable) readers. You can find his weblog here. It doesn't look super promising -- this Beerfly search returns only a handful of places: none over a B ... The liquor stores I've checked out from Beerfly that were around a B were probably the equivalent of BevMo, so maybe that'll end up being your best choice.

Also, never been to the Steelhead brewery, but I've enjoyed their beers this year! I'd definitely pay it a visit
posted by fishfucker at 11:15 PM on September 16, 2008

Also, I'd say that some Whole Foods can be* almost as good as BevMo -- usually they have a more interesting selection, although a lot fewer choices. There appear to be several in Palo Alto that you can check out.

* It really varies -- the store near my mom's house in Sacramento, for example, has probably 3 times as many beers as the crappy selection in the Oakland store
posted by fishfucker at 11:19 PM on September 16, 2008

On the brewpub front, there's a Gordon Biersch in Palo Alto (Googlemap), not far from El Camino Real. It's a bit trendy, but I've always found the beer to be good.
posted by Jakey at 4:35 AM on September 17, 2008

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