The pale ales at Temescal Brewing are very often hazy, soft, grassy, and juicy – but don't call them New England IPAs. "We prefer not to call them that," laughed owner Sam Gilbert from his seat at the bar.
Either way, Oakland's local hot spot is garnering praise for their brand of easy drinkers. Mostly pilsners, saisons, blondes, and pale ales pepper the popular draught list at the minimal white tile bar. Enter through the side door says the simple website, and get your free popcorn.
The entire message is one of mellowness. A lack of pretention and an openness to all sorts is obvious from the patio inward. Dogs, kids, people of any flavor, please come inside. You'll hear it in the music choices, too.
Bartender Keenan says that it's chosen by the bartenders, who mostly live in Oakland and Berkeley. "We choose by mood and weather," he said as he cleaned the taps. "No structure, we just choose."
That sunny afternoon, it was some Gotan Project, simple electronica for an early spring Tuesday sitdown. "We have a wild spectrum on weekdays," Keenan smiled. "But on Friday night, if it's me, it's something new. Or just Mac Dre."
It's all tied together, and though the music is chosen at random, there's some plan to it all. "Not much classic rock or metal," said Gilbert. "But a lot of modern R&B and electronic." That kind of lineup reflects the bartenders, obviously, but then since they are of their city, it also reflects the average Oakland local walking through the door.
Young, hip, and relaxed is the vibe. "Not bored craft beer drinkers," continued Gilbert. "But local drinkers from Oakland looking for a sunny patio."
He might have gotten one thing wrong: bored craft beer drinkers might really take to these fresh, drinkable pales. They just have to find their way to the pink side door near Telegraph and 41st. There probably won't be a line or tickets.