Brewery Name: Woods Beer Co.
Type of Brewery: Retail Brewery
Location: 5 Locations - Visit was to the Woods Island Club (Treasure Island)
Background: Woods is a fun brewery that I had previously only gotten to sample at beer festivals. They've got five locations around the city, and were on my short list for next visits when a friend asked if we were interested in spending a day out on their boat in the bay. Obviously the answer was yes, and the plan came to include stopping at Treasure Island for lunch and some beers at Woods Island Club. For those not familiar, Treasure Island is right in the middle of the San Francisco Bay, between the city and Oakland:
Their other locations all have their own vibe and setting but I’ll be talking specifically about the Island Club. My plan is to visit the other spots and I’ll be sure to supplement with some of the neat stuff they’ve got going on there too!
Growlers: Yes! Growlers are welcome, and I personally encourage the growler-for-the-boat exit strategy!
The Beers: Woods has a TON of cool beers. Travel forced me to miss it this year, but they do an annual release of beers themed after some well-known cookies that come out around the holidays (careful of copyright here, of course) including can/draft releases of beers like a chocolate peanut butter stout, coconut caramel dubbel, chocolate peppermint porter, and a couple of others. When I hit the island club, it was a warmer day and I went right for the bright beers. Here's what I snagged:
Vibe: Wonderfully chill. Because of its seclusion, this location is really unlike any other brewery in the area. That seclusion (despite being right between two major cities) provides a really relaxed environment and ample room for things like volleyball courts, a huge tasting room, tons of seating, bike storage, and all the other things that most urban area breweries can't justify the space for.
The staff was great and chatted with us about the different Woods locations, as well as a few of the more odd beers they had on tap. Lots of patrons seemed to have incorporated Woods into their biking/walking routine on the island, as a huge number of people showed up via bicycle or in running gear. Woods makes for a great oasis in that sense, with comfortable space to sit for a few minutes and enjoy outside air with a fresh craft brew.
Dogs: Dogs are most definitely welcome here. Wide open brewery and tons of outdoor space make it a perfect pooch spot.
Price ($ to $$$$$): $$. About normal for city beer, perhaps closer to the low side of the median. Certainly fair for being at such a unique setting.
Food: No food at this location, but you're welcome to bring whatever you'd like with you. Lots of people seemed to go with the picnic-style concept to take advantage of the outdoor areas.
Final Thoughts: Really loved the vibe this place has. It's built into an old manufacturing plant, and, now boasting a "beach," it's surely been quite a transformation for the venue. Not terribly convenient for the average city-goer, but that's part of the concept here and Woods has nailed the perfect combo. A perfect stop if you're out on the bay or exploring the island, and definitely a good reason to go visit Woods' other locations.
PS. I wrote the "beers" section of this review last, and I want to note how rare it is to not only find a gruit on the West Coast, but to have it be as notable as the Morpho. Woods killed it with that beer, and I'd be remiss if I didn't give one last shout out to them for going for (and nailing) an interesting style against the IPA grain.
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