I love good surprises. You know when you're reading a good book but then there there's that twist you didn't expect. And now it's a great book.
So I'm driving down San Pablo Road in Oakland and am stopped at a red light. I see one of those sandwich style chalkboards on the center island and it reads "Brewery Open". I've driven by here a gazillion times and there is no brewery. What brewery? I look to the left and to my shock and awe, there it is. Novel Brewing. Of course I made a u-turn and made my way inside.
The Set Up
It turns out Novel had only been open for a week. It smelled brand new. That good clean, we are now open for business brand new smell. I took in the sights. Was I in a brewery or a library? I see the huge tanks, the walk-in cooler, the taps, the guys at the bar and of course someone's cute four legged furry friend. But I can't get over the walls lined with all the beautiful books. I pulled up a seat at a table made from pieces of an old printing press. I was quickly falling in love and thinking of all the friends I will inevitably bring here.
I reviewed their beer menu and couldn't pick just one so I got their Book Taster which is a flight of four beers. I picked the Upshot (IPA), Easy Reader (Bitter), Yabba Dabba (Dubbel), and Idiom (Stout). The beers are well done. Full rich aromas and flavors. I could review them all day, but what I truly loved was the presentation. Teresa, one of the owners and wife of the brewer, brought over the Book Taster and it arrives with a book that has holes drilled in it to hold your tasters. So cool. I wanted to know more about this brewery and the people behind it. And I thought you might too.