Sip in or Take Out in Oakland
Let's face it: Wine can be intimidating. So it's refreshing to see a wave of younger owners opening hybrid wine shop/tasting rooms with a decidedly unstuffy vibe. Josiah Baldivino and Stevie Stacionis are more likely to spin hip-hop than classical on the record player at Oakland's Bay Grape, where you can buy a bottle to take home or pop it open right there. The Punchdown's larger wine bar in Uptown Oakland allows D.C. Looney and Lisa Costa to bulk up their retail selection focusing on natural, biodynamic offerings. (Try the Georgian selection served in traditional earthenware dishes.) Bradford Taylor launched his combo wine bar and retail shop, Ordinaire, while working on his Ph.D. in English literature at UC Berkeley. The space feels as welcome to grad students as professors.
San Leandro Beer Triangle
For years, the taproom at Drake's Brewing Company was a hidden gem, squeezed between a Walmart and a Home Depot. A newer neighbor offers more reasons to visit. In 2015, 21st Amendment launched its massive 95,000-square-foot brewery in a former Kellogg's cereal plant, where the tasting room is complemented by a food truck.