Bellying up for Beer in Wine Country
There are a lot of places to get a beer these days. But in Livermore, California there are more places to get wine than beer. With over 100 wineries in the area craft beer plays second fiddle in one of the fastest growing wine regions in the country. But, that doesn’t bother the folks at Eight Bridges Brewing Company for the simple fact they just want to make great beer. And they want to make it for you, the craft beer drinker.
Eight Bridges Brewing is located in an inconspicuous business park in not far off the 580 Freeway. It’s not a destination brewery in terms of where it is or how it looks but, it’s a destination that’s about the beer. The Beardsley’s (George[Dad/President], Justin [Son/Brewer], Debbie [Mom/Taproom]) started Eight Bridges in 2014. Built with Justin’s passion for brewing and George’s business acumen, they created a beer and brand that speaks to those who love beer. Eight Bridges isn’t flashy or fancy. But, it’s fun, friendly and comfortable. And the beer….is damn good.
Monthly Fun at Eight Bridges Brewing Company
While it the location isn’t inherently cool, Eight Bridges brews up a monthly event “Brewzza Palooza” with food trucks, music, and exquisite craft beer. Every November, Black Friday to be exact, their monthly fest is the launch party for their Russian Hill Imperial Stout. A barrel aged, booze bomb that will impress any dark beer lover. So, if a lineup of 12 house beers on tap isn’t enough to get you out to Eight Bridges any of the other 11 months, November and Russian Hill Imperial Stout should do it.
We got a shot at all 12 beers on tap at Eight Bridges during our visit. My reviews of the beers ar are below. I use the Untapped Scale from 1-5. If you want to check out Eight Bridges and see what it’s all about before you go, check out our Eight Bridges Brewing vlog here!
Eight Bridges Brewing Company Beer Lineup
Golden Nektar – ABV: 4.99%
So fresh and so clean, clean. If you’re a fan of Czech Style pilsner and those Eastern European Hop flavors, you’ll find the Golden Nektar agreeable. Prost! Bobby’s Brew Review Score – 3.75
Brewno Marzen – ABV: 5.8%
Kari was hoping for some 24 Karat Magic in this one, and it delivers. Smooth as silky AF…(as the kids say).So authentic Malt flavors with a perfect amount of caramel to bring the UpTown Funk. Solid beer. – Bobby’s Brew Review Score – 3.75
Nottingham Brown – ABV: 4.5%
This beer is in smack dab in my wheelhouse. A spot on English style beer will transport you straight to a neighborhood English pub. Smooth, Creamy, Excellent.Bobby’s Brew Review Score – 4.0
Twisted Red – ABV: 7.0%
One of the best red ales that has ever gone down my throat. With the 7% ABV, you’d expect some of that on the tongue…but no, my friend. This one goes down easy with malty smoothness throughout the drink. Masterfully done. Bobby’s Brew Review Score – 4.5
Wit From Tangier – ABV: 4.5%
George, Eight Bridges’ President and father of the brewmaster, says this is currently his favorite beer. Can’t blame him. It’s light but tasty. The nose on this beer is juicy, fun and the flavor follows suit. Bobby’s Brew Review Score – 4.0
OneBox IPA: Merker – ABV: 6.5%
Justin makes the same base IPA monthly and dry hops with a single hop variety. During our visit it was Merker. It’s not the sexy fun hop like Galaxy or Simcoe…but it makes a damn fine beer. Smooth, hoppy solid. Very Drinkable. Bobby’s Brew Review Score – 3.75
Hoppy Salvation – ABV: 7.4%
Usually, any beer with “Hoppy” in the title I tend to avoid…but, I’d give this one a second go ’round. It’s got solid citrusy notes and heap of hop flavor that balances nicely to make a well executed IPA. Bobby’s Brew Review Score – 3.75
Experimental IPA – ABV: 6%
This was a project they had just test batched during our visit. It was really well done, and Justin and George seemed to think it had a chance to make a regular rotation. This brew featured Simcoe, Mosaic, and Eureka…a 3-headed hop monster. Bobby’s Brew Review Score – 4.0
Silenus the Dude – ABV: 7.1%
Belgian style IPA, one of the better brews I’ve had that falls into this category. I really liked the play of the Belgian style and hoppy IPA notes. Bobby’s Brew Review Score – 4.5
Ananas- Anator DIPA – ABV: 8.7%
What I loved about this is the strong tropical pineapple (=ananas in many languages) flavor blasting your buds with massive double IPA octane. It’s a mouthful, but a good one. Bobby’s Brew Review Score – 4.0
O’Beardsley’s Stout – ABV: 6.0%
Bold up front with a mellowing aftertaste. Everything you want in a stout. No punches pulled. Bobby’s Brew Review Score – 4.5
Besmoked Porter – ABV: 6.5%
Smokey with hints of coffee and some woody notes. What I liked about this porter is the light body. A good porter for the California climate. Bobby’s Brew Review Score – 4.5
Russian Hill Imperial Stout (2016) – ABV: 11%
We tasted this monster with the 2017 version aging in barrels just mere feet from us. After tasting these, Eight Bridges was lucky I didn’t hijack a barrel. For 11% ABV, this baby went down smooth. This is an amazing winter beer. They bottle release this each year on Black Friday at a special version of their monthly event, “Brewzza Palooza”. If you’re game, they’ll be offering a 3 year vertical of the Russian Hill Imperial Stout (2015, 2016, 2017).
Cross all the bridges you need to get to Eight Bridges Brewing Company
Eight Bridges Brewing is a comfortable place to go and drink and talk beer amongst people who like to be comfortable and drink beer. If you’re in the East Bay, maybe passing through, maybe tasting wine…make some time to swing by Eight Bridges and check out something from their excellent lineup of beers with varied styles. They’ve got something for everyone.
Check out our vlog of our time at Eight Bridges Brewing Company!
For more great places to drink beer check out more of Bobby’s Brew Review!