BERKELEY — Coconut Milk Double IPA. Churro Cream Ale. New Orleans Iced Coffee Imperial Milk Stout. Salted Cucumber Saison.
Since opening more than one year ago in 2015, Fieldwork Brewing of Berkeley has lived up to its adventure conjuring name, breaking out into the Bay Area craft beer scene with exploratory beers that blend styles, hit traditional ones on the head and create new flavors with their boldness alone.
Their innovativeness isn’t going unnoticed, either, as even weekdays bring in a full taproom full of eager beer drinkers looking to explore and experiment with Fieldwork’s creations.
But drinking a Fieldwork beer at a Fieldwork-branded taproom won’t be only a Berkeley thing soon: a Sacramento taproom is slated to open in August, with a Napa one to follow in the Fall, and another in Monterey next year.
Building on the momentum from a recent in-house expansion that brought its total barrel capacity to 20,000, Fieldwork will supply its satellite taprooms with beer brewed in Berkeley — of which Barry Braden, co-founder and owner of Fieldwork — says will help max out what the Berkeley brewery can produce.
“We want control over how the product goes,” Braden said. “How it’s being consumed, how the customer experiences it — and we can do that from the taprooms.”
The success of Fieldwork, Braden says, is largely owed to the quality of beers produced by Alex Tweet, co-founder and head brewer at Fieldwork.
“Alex is making tremendous beers,” Braden said. “He and his team are making really inspired beers. They pay attention to quality — it’s first and foremost in their mind, and they don’t let a bad beer get out of here.”
A quick look at Fieldwork’s beer menu yields beer descriptions that speak for themselves. Take a look at their description of their Morning Time Breakfast Stout:
Speaking to the quality of Fieldwork’s beers, Braden says “they’re very time intensive flavors.” Some of their biggest hits, like their Coconut Milk Double IPA, are as intensive as the quality produced, requiring a day’s worth of coconut toasting in the brewery’s “little” convection oven before hitting the taps and quickly into drinkers’ glasses.
For those unfamiliar with Fieldwork and in the East Bay, Sacramento or Monterey Peninsula areas, Braden says there’s always something for everybody.
“The fact that we’ve made over 100 unique beers here encourages people to keep coming back,” Braden said. “There’s always something different on tap — an old favorite or something new to try. And I think Alex can keep doing that for as long as we need to because he can create new beers.”