Original Pattern Brewing Co.

Original Pattern Brewing Co. opened an Oakland taproom in 2018.

Original Pattern Brewing Co. opened in the spring of 2018 near Jack London Square in Oakland, joining forces with several other breweries to form the Jack London Brewing District. With several other breweries in easy walking distance from Original Pattern, it’s easy to spend a full day visiting them all.

Original Pattern’s brewery and two-story taproom share a space that juxtaposes the exposed red brick and timbers of a vintage warehouse with its gleaming stainless-steel brewery equipment.

Food is provided in the taproom by aptly named Good-To-Eat Dumplings, which prepares fresh Taiwanese-style dumplings, bao and noodles, as well as highly addictive house-made chips, a perfect beer-drinking snack of fried wonton strips generously coated in salt, lime and spices. While the tap list is heavily hopped, with a number of West Coast and hazy pale ales and IPAs at any given time, Original Pattern also represents a number of other brewing traditions, with multiple lagers, sours, dark beers and other Continental-style brews.

Collaborative series

In keeping with the egalitarian approach of an employee-owned brewery, Original Pattern also brews a “staff series” of beers, wherein everyone who works in the brewery has the opportunity to help create recipes. Some excellent beers result from this collaborative model.

• One such staff series brew on a recent visit was Yemanjá Munich Dunkel, a German brown lager that weighs in at 5.6% alcohol by volume (ABV). Pouring a clear brown color with orange-copper highlights and a moderate white head of foam, the beer has a subtle aroma of toasted bread. Flavor-wise, bready malt and very light roast combine to give the impression of pumpernickel, accentuated by the light spicy notes of subdued Noble hop bitterness. The beer is medium-bodied, with crisp carbonation and a dry, bready finish.

• Easy Bird Extra Special Bitter, another entry in the staff series, is a brightly clear copper color in the glass, with a persistent dense white head. True to the British origins of the style, the aroma features biscuity malt character and earthy hops in the aroma. The flavor is focused on substantial floral hop bitterness, supported by light caramel and biscuit malt notes. Sessionable at 5.6% ABV, the beer’s medium body and moderate carbonation lead to a smooth, bitter finish.

• Pipsqueak Kettle Sour Ale is brewed with sweet cherries and raspberries, resulting in a vibrant purplish red color with a light white head. Tart candy-like cherries and raspberries share center stage in the aroma, and the flavor is a pleasant balance of tartness and sweetness, with the raspberries and cherries also serving as equal partners in the taste. The 5.8% ABV brew exhibits medium body and carbonation, and the finish is bracing and acidic but very clean and refreshing.

• Over Yonder IPA showcases the crystal-clear golden color and dense long-lasting white head of a classic West Coast IPA. The beer highlights an intense and captivating hop aroma of citrus and tropical fruits, including lime and tangerine peel and sweet pineapple from the Citra and Waimea hops. On the palate, the initial impression is hop bitterness redolent of dank forest floor, followed by some citrus notes. Along with a mild, pleasant carbonic bite from generous carbonation, light malt character emerges to provide balance to the long bitter finish of this medium-bodied, 6.7% ABV brew.

Derek Wolfgram is a Certified Beer Judge and an officer of the Silicon Valley Sudzers homebrew club. For more information, visit sudzers.org.

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