Microbrews, sustainable resources, and an emphasis on staying local: Elevation 66 Brewing Company is the quintessential Bay Area brewery.
The brewery’s name itself is an homage to its Bay Area roots. Located only 66 feet above sea level, Elevation 66 is firmly planted on the Bay. The small El Cerrito brew house was started just four years ago with a simple goal: Make quality, hand-crafted food and beer for the Bay Area. Everything from the brewery’s ingredients to its unique decor delivers on this mission.
On any given day Elevation offers six in-house beers and six beers from other local breweries. The names of Elevation’s beers continues the Bay Area dedication: East Bay IPA and Contra Costa Kolsch are among their most popular, along with the Esther Vanilla Stout, which is named after one of the brewery’s founding partners.
“Brian, David, and Esther started Elevation because they just liked making beers and thought they could provide a hub for the community,” my waiter explained. So far, the three partners — Brian Kelly, David Goodstal, and Ether Goodstal — are succeeding in their goal.
The local, community-hub vibe was in full (if subtle) force during a recent lunch hour. The brew house was quiet, with just three patrons floating around the open space of the bar. Psychedelic paintings from a local artist hung on the walls, and my fellow patrons — locals looking for a midday pint — were all pals with the waiter. Elevation is kind of like a hip version Cheers — everybody knows your name there.
But it’s not likely that you could find a grilled portobello curry sandwich with an organic side salad at Cheers. The curry portobello sandwich, along with an East Bay IPA, made the perfect lunch. The grilled portobello mushrooms were warm and tender. Stacked between two toasted slices of sub bread with baby spinach and a smear of spicy curry spread, the dish carried a huge punch of flavor in an unassuming package.
The hoppy flavors of East Bay IPA at first battled with the spicy curry sandwich for control over my taste buds. At first hoppy and biting, the flavors of the beer mellowed out after a couple sips and eventually left me with a malty aftertaste. The beer is complex with many layers that unfold as you drink it.
Though I don’t tend to be overly concerned about where my food comes from, it was cool to think about how everything on my plate came from local sources. Even the bar I sat at was made from reclaimed materials.
Elevation 66 has a lot to offer as a community hub, a brewery, and an excellent restaurant. And conveniently located just a few blocks from the El Cerrito Plaza BART station, it’s easy to commute home after a few beers. Next time you want a local beer and a very Bay Area vibe, check out Elevation 66 Brewery.
Elevation 66 Brewery
10082 San Pablo Ave, El Cerrito
Tel. (510) 525-4800
Monday - Wednesday: 3 pm to 11 pm
Thursday: 11:30 am to 11 pm
Friday and Saturday: 11 am to 12:00 am
Sunday: 11:30 am to 11 pm
View their website here.