The best seasonal brews capture the flavor of the season effortlessly, making them the go-to drink when you’re ready to celebrate that time of year. Whether you’re searching for a light and fruity beer to enjoy during the last days of summer, a spice-filled ale for fall, or a dark and warm beer for winter, these San Mateo-area breweries have what you need.
Fieldwork Brewing Co.
Founded in Berkeley, Fieldwork Brewing Co. now has taprooms across the Bay Area, including San Mateo. In addition to offering a large selection of brews on tap at each of their locations, Fieldwork also sells a variety of their beers in growlers to take them on the go.
This popular brewery offers a variety of ales for every season. Brews like Strawberry Parfait, which is made with a base of oats, milk sugar, and strawberries, and Salted Watermelon, which is only made once per summer with 50 watermelons per barrel, are refreshing summertime drinks. The fall brings brews like Leaves of Fate and Howling Forest. And in the winter, sip on some Imperial Hot Chocolate, which is filled with delicious chocolate notes with undertones of cinnamon, nutmeg, and chili peppers, or celebrate the holiday season with the brewery’s holiday offering, Hors De Saison, filled with notes of hay, plum, and dark cocoa. Gilmore Girls fans can even take part in the seasonal fun with a Stars Hollow brew, featuring a toffee-like malt with hints of fresh fruit, or a coffee maple stout called Luke’s Diner.
BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse
Celebrating more than 20 years of brewing expertise, BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse is a great option in San Mateo for beer drinkers searching for a brewery with acclaim. The brewhouse continually has 11 award-winning beers and ciders on tap, with flavors ranging from blonde brews to more complex dark stouts and a berry-flavored cider.
The brewhouse also rotates 10 seasonal brews into its menu throughout the year. These seasonal drinks include Mad Crazy Mango IPA, Zany Zitrus IPA, Pumpkin Ale, Oasis Amber, Magnolia’s Peach, and Oktober Fest, among others.
Steelhead Brewing Co.
This Burlingame brewery and restaurant, which is located across from the historic train depot, was the first brewery to pop up in town. Its building is more than 100 years old and features a dog-friendly beer garden, a 200-seat dining room, and a pool room with six regulation-size pool tables.
The restaurant always has at least 10 house-made beers on tap at any given time, with flavors ranging from light-bodied beers to darker porters and stouts. In addition to its regular selection of brews offered throughout the year, Steelhead Brewing Co. typically has one seasonal beer available on tap, with flavors varying at different points in the year.
Devil’s Canyon Brewing Company
Devil’s Canyon Brewing Company, further south in San Carlos, is a brewery with a focus on handcrafted and sustainable beers, offers an ongoing selection of six beers in its taproom, with flavors ranging from a blonde ale to a deep malted scotch ale. Most regular ales are also available for purchase in bottles and cans at local retailers.
In addition to its regular offerings, the brewhouse also makes a selection of seasonal and specialty beers available only in the Devil’s Canyon taprooms. These seasonal drinks include Belle, a champagne-based brew, Vic Smash, a single-malt IPA, Hefeweizen, which is brewed with California oranges, Black Lager, brewed with Southern German lager yeast, Barrel of Monkeys, a bourbon-barrel-aged brew, Bourbon Cherry Stout, which uses West Coast cherries, and Coconut Porter, featuring coconut milk and toasted coconut.
Whether you prefer a crispy light beer or a dark rich beer, these craft breweries are perfect for a day stop along the San Mateo area.