I just moved out of the area (Sunnyvale)last year after a couple years.
As David said right in Mountain View your best option is Tied House. They are fair. Nothing to shout about, but some decent samplings of various beer styles. Every now and then something really neat shows up on tap and the food is decent.
Other options are further away. Faultline Brewery in Sunnyvale is maybe 20 mins away. They are a step up from Tied House and even have a hand pulled on tap from time to time. Call them first as they keep odd hours and no weekends.
BJ Restaurant and brewey in Cupertino. Fair. Nothing too special
Going further out, maybe 30-40 mins Rock Bottom Brewery in Campbell. Very good selection of well crafted beers. Also the best French Onion soup I ever had (they make it with their stout beer) I do miss that Yum!!!
Never found a unique place to pick up craft beer in bottles. Bevmo always has a strong selection, and they do sell some good stuff, just not super exotic.
Now for another day I recommend highly 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall in Santa Cruz for a great selection.
** And Highest reccomendation, (for another day of course) best place I ever been is Toranados in the Lower Haight in San Francisco. Pretty Divy, bad bathrooms, but lots of local flavor, place on the main strip with like 50 or 60 really exotic beers always on tap. You name it. Beligians, Double IPA's, Shimay, Reds, Stouts, Browns, Lagers, Ales, Pilsners and always 3 or 4 hand pulled taps. Great sausage place next door. Happy hour every day till 6PM I think, including weekends. Half price taps, so about $3-4 a beer. It gets crowded and slow service on the weekend. It's as happy as you can get and still have your clothes on. If you've never been there try it!. You will thank me.
Both 99 Bottles and Toranados are not brew pubs, just really well tapped bars.
Primary: German Hef, Belgian IPA, Scottish 80, Belgian Dubbel
On Tap: Oatmeal Stout, Vanilla Oatmeal Stout, Belgian Dark Strong, Munich Dunkel, Dunkel Weizen, Oktoberfest, Bock, IPA, Black IPA, English IPA, Pale Ale
Using the mind to look for reality is delusion. Using your senses to look for reality is awareness.
"One time I was so desperate for a beer I snuck into the football stadium and ate the dirt under the bleachers." Homer Simpson
Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Hoppiness
Last edited by Zen_Brew; 05-14-2009 at 05:48 AM.
Reason: spell edit