I was very excited when I first learned a brewpub was opening in El Cerrito, as previously I’ve had to travel to either Berkeley or Walnut Creek to find the closest one. I’ve been to Elevation 66 Brewing Company a few times now, and they’ve really put together a winner. Their menu features small plates as well as entrees, emphasizing fresh, locally sourced ingredrients where possible. I was a tad bit disappointed on my last visit, though. I had the Fish & Chips. Overall they were quite good, and the pieces of fish were huge. However, I found the batter to be a little heavy and greasy. I was expecting something somewhat lighter. Still, this is a very minor complaint and didn’t take away from my overall experience.
Beer-wise, they offer a great selection of six to seven house brews, and about as many guest taps as well. Even with the guest beers, they try to be as local as possible. Every time I’ve been there, they’ve carried at least one brew from Linden Street in Oakland.
On this visit, I tried their own White Rabbit Double IPA. Wonderful beer, very tart for an IPA. One of the smoothest doubles I’ve ever had. It’s 9.2% ABV, but deceptively easy drinking. I’ve had their Ramble Tamble Red in the past (in honor of CCR, who hailed from El Cerrito), a wonderfully complex, aggressively hopped Red Ale.
So if you’re in town and looking for a great spot for a bite and a brew, be sure to make stop by. And maybe catch a movie while you’re there.