Booze Clues: Where to Drink This Summer in the Bay Area

By Tamara Palmer  |  August 2, 2013

'Tis the season of new East Bay beer gardens, game-changing alcoholic snowcones and boozy binges in honor of the America's Cup. These spots will keep you happily intoxicated and well fed all summer long. Take a look at our picks and if you have a favorite new watering hole to share, please let us know about the fresh drinking spots that are on your radar this summer.

  • Credit: Sharon Vaknin

    Roka Akor/Roka Bar

    Roka Akor, the luxe Japanese robata grill and sushi bar from Scottsdale and Chicago, debuted in San Francisco on June 27. At the helm in the 68-seat Roka Bar lounge downstairs: bar manager Daniel Hyatt (pictured), formerly of the Upper Haight alcoholic institution known as the Alembic. His refined cocktail list includes a sophisticated whiskey program (including several from Japan) and his own complex gin and soju infusions.

    801 Montgomery St., San Francisco

  • Credit: Gilles Martin Raget

    America's Cup Sports Bar

    The 12,000-square foot waterfront pop-up bar and restaurant debuted on July 4 with indoor and outdoor service, and will sail away on September 21 after the America's Cup extravaganza ends. Star drink designer Scott Beattie is the captain of the local craft cocktail list. There's space for 500 people to celebrate the end of a workday alongside 13 private SuperYacht slips at the America's Cup Basin.

    Pier 27, San Francisco

  • Derby Cocktail Co.

    The new beverage arm of Stag Dining Group offers inventive drinks - including San Francisco's first snowcone cocktail program - at Off The Grid's weekly Fort Mason market. Standards include snowcones in Hurricane, Brown Derby and Bramble varieties, but if you ask nicely you can likely turn anything on the menu into a frosty treat.

    Fridays 5-10 PM at Off The Grid Fort Mason, 2 Marina Blvd., San Francisco

  • Moxy Beer Garden

    The proprietors of Alameda's Hobnob debuted Moxy in April, in the former Casa Vino space. The beer selection includes bottles as well as drafts available in small and large pints, with a focus on local breweries such as Almanac, Thirsty Bear and Drake's.

    3136 Sacramento St., Berkeley; 510-547-6699

  • Brotzeit Lokal Boathaus & Biergarten

    This is clearly the summer of beer gardens in the East Bay, and this new addition overlooking the Oakland Estuary opened on June 13. Come here to ponder 16 mostly German beers on tap with sausages, burgers and charcuterie by chef Lev Delany.

    1000 Embarcadero, Oakland; 510-645-1905

  • 55 South

    This bar debuted in December and has been an immediate fixture on the downtown San Jose ever since. The double five has been hosting events such as movie screenings, winemaker meet-and-greets and whiskey tastings.

    55 South First St., San Jose; 408-288-6000

  • El Techo de Lolinda

    The former Medjool rooftop has been reimagined as a pan-Latin bar, but the spectacular views of San Francisco remain. An arm of downstairs Argentinean restaurant Lolinda, El Techo opened just this past May and features classic tropical comforts such as caiprinhas and coladas.

    2518 Mission St.; 415-550-6970

  • Steins Beer Garden and Restaurant

    The beer garden craze of the year may have started in the South Bay when Steins debuted in January. Inspired by traditional European biergartens, it boasts an 8,000-square foot inside beer hall, a 4,000-square foot beer garden outside, an enclosed area reserved for families and 30 taps of imported and craft beers from Europe and America.

    895 Villa St., Mountain View; 650-963-9568