Above: Photo by Sweetwater Music Hall
Posted in Blogging Marin on Monday, January 16, 2017 by MCVB Staff
By Megan Eileen McDonough
Football season is in full swing, so grab a barstool and order that extra pint. Football is one of the most American sports, so of course you’ll want to cheer on your favorite team. Several of Marin’s top bars cater to football fans through special promotions, featured brews and, best of all, a surplus of snacks. Here are five of Marin’s best bars for grabbing a pint.
The Best Bar for Pale Ale
While Marin Brewing Co. is well known for its delicious eats, don’t overlook its extensive bottled beer collection, in particular pale ales and IPAs. For something local, order a bottle of Mt. Tam Pale Ale. As one of their bestsellers, the brew has a bright golden color and medium body and is incredibly smooth. Another local favorite is their Marin India Pale Ale, crafted in the same style designed to withstand the trip to India. For something a little unexpected, opt for their fruity and refreshing Raspberry Trail Ale.
The Best Beer Garden
Novato’s Hopmonk Tavern is a popular spot for Sunday Night Football, but that’s not the only thing drawing patrons through the doors. Hopmonk has a spacious beer garden decked out with a fire pit, fountains, string lights and more. By day it gives off a picnic feel, but come nightfall the space transforms into a romantic date spot or even an outdoor concert hall. In addition to its extensive menu of fresh beer on draft, Hopmonk also serves bottled beer—Guinness, Alaskan Amber Ale and Green Flash Imperial IPA, to name a few.
The Bar With the Best Ambiance
Sweetwater Music Hall might be Marin’s top music venue, but their Sunday Night Football crowd is just as entertaining. They sell a bit of everything, from draft beer to ciders and canned beer. Their Trumer Pilsner from Berkeley is a safe bet, as are their seasonal selections. For something a bit heavier, order their 12-ounce North Coast Old Rasputin Imperial Stout. When you take your eyes off the screen, you’ll notice rustic decor that really suits the cozy space, like exposed brick and a ceiling chandelier.
The Best Food and Beer Pairings
With all that Sunday Night Football cheering, you’re bound to work up an appetite. Flatiron San Rafael serves all the pub grub to satisfy your greasy cravings. From truffle parmesan garlic fries to chili lime cauliflower, there’s always a fresh spin on a classic dish. Pair your apps and snacks with one of their draft beers. Some beers rotate seasonally, but for the most part you’ll have your pick of beer all year long. Their Amber Ale from Anderson Valley is a popular hit, as is their Gluten Free Organic Bourbon Cider from Sonoma.
The Best Bar for Craft Beer
Choosing the best bar for craft beer can be a tough call. But BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse at Northgate has been crafting up beer since 1996, refining their technique year after year. There are 11 award-winning signature beers and cider on tap daily, as well as a rotating list of seasonal beers. With 160 awards under its belt, you’re likely to like any brew you try. That said, their strong Belgian-style ale, Grand Cru, is among their most popular beers. The space is fairly large, but you’ll want to come early to snag the best seats.
For all you need to plan your Marin County vacation, visit the Marin Convention and Visitors Bureau’s website or Facebook page, or download the mobile app.