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San Carlos, California, is a quiet Silicon Valley suburb of San Francisco. There aren’t many things to do in San Carlos, but if you find yourself there, the city has several great craft beer spots. Here are my favorite places to drink craft beer in San Carlos, including local breweries, taprooms, beer bars, and bottle shops.
The Best Breweries in San Carlos, California
Devil’s Canyon Brewing Company
Devil’s Canyon Brewing Company beers can be found at many of the beer bars in San Carlos. Regarding drinking at the brewery, which is located in an industrial area of San Carlos, they are only open on Fridays. I made my way out to San Carlos on a sunny Friday to visit Devil’s Canyon (as well as the other local breweries and beer bars).
These Beer Friday openings are big social events with live music and food trucks. It’s also possible to stop by during other times to purchase beer to go.
Despite their limited opening hours, Devil’s Canyon still has a huge taproom, which functions mostly as an event space. They offer private events (in addition to their weekly public opening, of course).
In addition to this indoor space, which includes a huge tap wall, a stage, and a beer club space with its own private area, there’s also another indoor area with some arcade games.Book your hotel in San Francisco Bay Area now!
The Friday activity mostly centers around the huge parking lot beer garden with an outside bar, as long as the weather is nice.
Blue Oak Brewing Company
Blue Oak Brewing Company is another brewery located in an industrial area of San Carlos, just off Highway 101 at Holly Street, across the freeway from the Hiller Aviation Museum and San Carlos Airport.
Thanks to its location, the brewery has an expansive warehouse space and patio, with plenty of room for cornhole and TVs showing sports. Despite its industrial presence, it’s still inviting, with wood-paneled walls and skylights.
The brewery has 16 taps, focused on their well-regarded sours & IPAs, with a few other styles also included.
Hapa’s Brewing Company
Hapa’s Brewing Company has a brand new taproom that opened in September 2023 along San Carlos’ pedestrianized Laurel Street.
The brewery started in 2015 in San Jose but has since opened taprooms in San Carlos & Los Gatos.
The bright San Carlos taproom has around 14 taps, also available as flights. For non-beer drinkers, they also offer wine. There is also a food menu.
In addition to the patio on the pedestrian mall, there is also a large open window for fresh air.
Inside are TVs for watching sports, plus games like Connect Four and Jenga.
The Best Craft Beer Bars in San Carlos, California
Ale Arsenal is one of the best craft beer bars in the Bay Area. It alone is worth visiting San Carlos to check out. I’d always wanted to make it there, so I was glad to wrap up my first night in San Carlos by indulging in some of Ale Arsenal’s phenomenal beer selection.
There are 24 taps at Ale Arsenal, along with a fridge packed with stellar beers. They also offer wine & cider. The beer list frequently has selections from top Bay Area breweries such as Russian River, Humble Sea, Cellarmaker, Alvarado Street, Wondrous, Alpha Acid, and more. The beer bar strives to be the first to stock the latest new breweries. It’s the place to go to find what the next hot brewery is going to be.
On a related note, the beer bar is run by Lauren Bozicevic, and her brother Kyle runs nearby Alpha Acid Brewing Company in Belmont. He previously worked at Devil’s Canyon.
You never know what you might find at Ale Arsenal. I was pleased to see an interesting-sounding barleywine and doubly pleased to see that the bar offers half pours, which are good when some of the beers are so strong. It let me try more beers that way.
A beer selection like this is enough to make Ale Arsenal a destination for beer lovers, but the bar is also a wonderful chill spot. Between the indie & punk music playing & the friendly conversation with regulars, I didn’t want to leave.
Out of the Barrel
Out of The Barrel is the newest beer bar in San Carlos.
It has 32 taps, all filled by local independent breweries. The fridges also have tons more beers, so they also function as a bottle shop.
Thanks to its excellent location on the San Carlos Caltrain station plaza, it’s the perfect place to pick up beer before or after your journey.
You can also stay a while, either out on the patio or inside, where there are a couple of TVs. There are also empanadas and pizza, plus dog treats for your canine friends.
In addition to their San Carlos beer bar & bottle shop, there are other Out Of The Barrel locations in Campbell, Los Gatos, and Fresno.
If you’re looking for a place to stay, check out these San Carlos hotels.
Do you love craft beer? Check out more of my recommendations for the best craft beer around the world!