Go ahead, compare the place to an old-world monastery—with its high ceilings, reclaimed 1880s barn wood floor, two-story stone cellar and all those monks. Okay, we’re kidding—no monks.
You’ll want to take over the sole window booth and grab the beer list (hint: it’s under the table). If you need a moment, we’ll understand: the list has roughly 100 bottled beers, 20 on tap and a handful poured by the glass from 750 mL bottles. (If you’re wondering how they store all of this, look no further than the 500-case-capacity cellar in back.)
With a three-star ranking from Michael Bauer and a longlist nod for Outstanding Bar Program in this year's James Beard Awards, The Abbot's Cellar has taken its intended place as a national leader in craft beer and beer and food pairing. The restaurant is the second effort from the Monk's Kettle team of Christian Albertson, Nat Cutler, and chef Adam Dulye, and its massive 100-seat space was intended, in part, to help assuage the near-constant waits at its much smaller predecessor.
The striking bar shimmers with a tower of 40 types of glassware, many used for one specific beer. Abbot's Cellar offers 20 beers are on draft (including two old-style hand-pumped casks), along with 100 bottled varieties, and a rotating selection of 10 specialty beers, only made in large-format bottles and available by the glass. There's also a custom brew by Dying Vines in Oakland. This is the only Northern California location where you can score a glass some of Great Divide's fantastic products.