South of S.F. – Beer by CalTrain

We started by listing good craft beer destinations via BART, the Bay Area Rapid Transit system. Of course, if you go to the southernmost BART station on the west side of the bay, Millbrae station, you can transfer to CalTrain, and the San Francisco Peninsula opens up to you. You can start from San Jose or Silicon Valley just as easily, and make your way up to BART.

CalTrain runs less frequently than BART, but you can actually eat and drink on their trains if you like, unlike on BART. Get out and try some real local west coast ales and craft brews within walking distance of public transit.

Here’s our sampling of good beer destinations near CalTrain — an easy transfer from Millbrae BART. We’re actively building it out as we try venues that care about great craft beer.

(One shoe less than a quarter mile is up to a Quarter Mile walking, one way from a CalTrain  train 28 image station.) From North to South:

  • train28 Burlingame CalTrain Station
  • train28 San Mateo CalTrain Station
    • Grape and Grain (Beer and Wine Tasting Shop) less than a quarter mile less than a quarter mile
  • train28 San Carlos CalTrain Station
    • The Refuge (Restaurant) less than a quarter mileless than a quarter mile
    • Ale Arsenal (Beer Bar) less than a quarter mileless than a quarter mile
  • train28 Redwood City CalTrain Station
    • Gourmet Haus Staudt (Beer Bar and Germany Food Shop) less than a quarter mile
    • Harry’s Hofbrau (Restaurant and beer bar) less than a quarter mileless than a quarter mileless than a quarter mileless than a quarter mile
  • train28 Palo Alto CalTrain CalTrain Station
  • train28 Sunnyvale CalTrain Station
  • train28 San Jose CalTrain Station
    • Original Gravity (Beer bar with snacks)  less than a quarter mileless than a quarter mileless than a quarter mileless than a quarter mile


More details to come.  Suggestions more than welcome.  Our list is limited to beer destinations we like. For a more extensive list of interesting bars, including many with decent craft beer lists, see Wet Your Whistles.

Happy Rails.


  1. Hi!

    Great site! We just visited for the first time and are so happy to find a kindred spirit! We use public transporatation regularly to discover new places to enjoy craft beer, good food and fun times.

    If you are looking for a great list of bars, brewpubs, and restaurants along the Caltrain line, please visit our website:

    We maintain a comprehensive and ever-expanding list of quality watering holes (and a few good dive bars!) you can reach by traveling on Caltrain.

    Joey & Jen
    Where Will You Drink Today?

  2. Ah, a grand ole pastime of mine is catching the train to the Giants game. And a grand ole pastime of grabbing a brew pre game and/or postgame is great to go along with it! Very well organized site! Cheers!

  3. Thanks, Mr. Mike. We, too, find ourselves at 21st Amendment Brewery before and/or after watching the Giants, making it a perfectly lovely day. BTW, they sometimes have cans of their IPA and Watermelon Wheat beers for sale there. Perfect for a CalTrain ride.



  4. Good beer along the Peninsula Caltrain line (other than Steelhead and Firehouse Breweries):

    San Carlos — Pudley’s Tavern (El Camino, two blocks)
    Redwood City — City Pub (Broadway, one block)
    Palo Alto — Rose & Crown (Emerson, two blocks)
    Sunnyvale — Faultline (Oakmead, about a mile by bus)

    Note that I did not mention Gordon -Biersch or Tied House, although both are close enough to stops.

  5. A great pub near the Millbrae BART station is Fiddler’s Green. Proper Irish pub, great selection of beer and spirits and friendly staff. Best of all its maybe a 5 minute walk up El Camino from the station.

    1. Hi Ian,

      Thanks for the tip. We look forward to checking it out. We are a little light on Peninsula beer spots.



  6. We stopped at the Lawrence caltrain stop last weekend and hoofed it to faultline brewery. About a twenty minute walk or so…well worth it. Great beer including an ipa on cask

  7. Add Tied House to the list. A 10 minute walk from the Mountain View Transit Station (Caltrain and VTA light rail).

    Any Sharks TV game feature half pints (manager’s choice of beer)for 50 cents during the first period.

  8. The Refuge in San Carlos just made the Chronicles top 100 bars in the bay area. They have 18 taps and a huge bottle list. All rare brews from Belgium and elsewhere. Incredible pastrami and gastropub fare as well.

  9. In Redwood City there’s also:

    Gourmet Haus Stoudt – German Kitsch and a great beer garden in the back. Across the street from City Pub on Broadway (1 block from Caltrain station).
    Martin’s West Gastro Pub – on Main Street, 3-4 blocks from the station.

    1. Scott,

      Thanks for your suggestions. We are working hard on beefing up our South Bay listings. Lots of great SF Beer Week events there. Will get some more up soon.

  10. Steins is less than five minutes from Mtn. View station. They’ve got more than a dozen rotating taps (changed monthly or so) and a dozen more regular taps.

    Also, Jane’s Beer Store in Mtn. View is very close and has an excellent selection if you want beer to go (aka to drink on the Caltrain).

  11. Tied House in Mountain View is a couple of blocks from Caltrain, brews their own beers, and has food.
    (They’re related to Tied House in Emeryville, which I assume is not very BART-accessible.)

  12. ISO Beers near the downtown San Jose station has 40 beers on tap and six refrigerators full of bottled beer to purchase. It’s bring your own food with an outdoor seating area available!

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