Brotzeit Lokal

This is probably the most fantastic find of the last few years.  Brotzeit Lokal is a German themed alehouse on the waterfront in Oakland.  It’s actually right alongside 880 just east of the city, on Embarcadero.  The area might seem a bit rough, being next to an abandoned wharf, but the area is under redevelopment, and the beer garden is adjacent to the “Homewood – Suites by Hilton” hotel.  The view is over Brooklyn Basin towards Coastguard Island and Alameda.  For the non locals, that’s the water between Oakland and Alameda that isn’t the view from Jack London Square.

The beer garden is a spacious deck, right up to the water where a small jetty houses a half dozen yachts and motor launches.  As you would expect of a biergarten, big refectory benches offer seating for groups of 6-10 people each.  Shade is provided in summer months, but bring a sun hat and tinted glasses.

Inside is cozy, tables will sit up to 8 people, but are designed for 6.  There is a bar height counter too, and in front of the windows a bench where you can sit side by side in smaller groups.  The walls decorated in tin signs, all in German (maybe also Bavarian), some street signs, some beer posters.  The music generally is a mix of rock, new wave (new romantic), indie and alternative from say ’75-’90.  I’ve seen it busy, but never crowded, we normally visit weekend afternoons.

You can get a good burger, or fish and chips, but you probably want to try the house specials which are varying mixes of wurst, sauerkraut, spätzle and bretzel.  The portions are generous, so bring an appetite.  The menus change, and daily specials are on offer.

Though German themed, they offer a pretty full range of beer.  After listing dozen German beers the menu offers a handful of other European drinks and a good mix of local craft beers.  On my last visit I had a very tasty dry french cidre, and with my meal a local imperial stout.

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