Just a few years ago, the list of breweries to visit in Hayward was small – just a few that you could count on the fingers of your hands. Today, the city is inundated with craft breweries, each with its own quirks and characteristics.
Hayward is a small, comfortable city in California with a thriving craft beer scene. New breweries are popping up all over the city, offering flavors for every palate – from sweet to sour and dark to light. Here is our round-up of the best breweries worth a visit.
Alameda Island Brewing Company is another one of Hayward’s greatest places for all things beer. Opened in 2015, the brewery has been serving a range of hopped and fruited brews in-house. It is committed to keeping the brewery process on the cutting edge. It was jointly founded by Bill Phua and Matthew Fox. Their entire life is dedicated to artisanal brewing. Their taproom boasts various choices, including Big Paddle Pils, Alameda Genuine Draft, and Coastal Classic. Make sure to try them all in their tasting room before committing to a pint.
Alameda Island Brewing Company has gradually expanded its brewing operations since 2014. Alameda sets itself apart for having a full-service taproom with flavors that cater to all palettes. Alameda Island Brewing Company is open Tuesday through Saturday from 12 PM to 10 PM and on Sundays from 12 PM to 9 PM. For more information, check out their official website.
Drake’s Brewing Company is one of Hayward’s oldest breweries and first opened its doors in 1989. It has an interesting origin rags-to-riches story of its founder Roger Lind who opened up shop in a former Dodge car factory. Since then, the company has grown, thanks to the persistent efforts of its founder. Wooden barrels are the heart and soul of Drake’s Brewing Company which explains the complexity of their delicious beers. They age their wine and spirit in barrels for a period ranging from 6 months to 2 years and often include a wide range of ingredients such as cherries, coffee, cocoa nibs, and wine grapes.
This means that every beer you taste is unique, with a special flavor profile you won’t find elsewhere. Their in-demand beers are special events in their own right, with beer enthusiasts lining up to get limited-release beers. At times, anticipation for their beer release is so high that beer lovers line up to get their hands on the beer the night before. Their menu changes constantly with limited releases that keep everyone on their toes.
Paying Homage to the country’s history of love for beer, 21st Amendment Brewery is one of the OGs of the beer scene in Hayward. Its expansive and colorful taproom serves as an ideal gathering spot with local art and ample seating. The welcoming interior decor makes the place feel welcoming and uncluttered, regardless of how you feel about beer. You can also visit the place with non-beer drinkers too since there are so many things to do here.
21st Amendment Brewery also plays host to a number of events throughout the year including the Cornhole Tournament of Champions where you can visit for a fun, all-outdoor beer party. They also offer tours of limited-release beer, such as the recently held Close Encounters of the Hop Kind which gives visitors a learning experience. For more information on their latest events, make sure to visit their website to stay fully informed.
Freewheel Brewing Company is a little off the beaten path for its emphasis on cultivating breweries in the British style. They are so dedicated to the British style of the brewery that they consulted experts in the UK for craft beer. There are rotating and seasonal brews here that you can try in the tasting room.
The spot is large and polished but like their beers. Their staple is called the Big V Amber, named after the UK manufacturer Vincent Jonson from Johnson Brewing Design in Sheffield. It would be hard to argue that there’s a brewery in Hayward with a portfolio as impressive as Freewheel Brewing Company. The brewery is open Monday through Saturday from 11:30 AM to 9 PM and Sunday from 11:10 AM to 9 PM.
Shorehaven Brewing was founded very recently in 2018 but has quickly made a name for itself. The owners’ approach to beer making is conventional and unfiltered. You are bound to find a variety of beers every week, including staples and seasonal offerings. Make sure to try all of them.
The brewery and tasting room at Shorehaven Brewing features an exciting selection of products and live music performances. When you visit, you can take a local tour of the place and enjoy the full-service tasting room. Favorite beers include Nate’s Citra Bomb IPA (brewed with Citra), Hefe 2022, and Sean’s Irish Red. Order a small sample and get a taste before you commit to a pint.