On Friday and Saturday, December 16 & 17, The Trappist in Oakland will be hosting their version of the Kerstbier Fest. The event is billed as offering the best assortment of Christmas beers outside of Belgium.
This is no empty boast; The Trappist is currently ranked as the best beer bar in California and among the top 40 in the world by members of RateBeer. If you have plans to buy holiday beers, this is a great opportunity to sample the best of the lot.
The original Kerstbier Fest is held in Essen, Belgian about this time of year and is the most celebrated Christmas beer festival on the planet. Aaron Porter and Chuck Stilphen, owner-operators of The Trappist, have been hosting this namesake fest for several years. Chuck notes “All our 30 taps plus one or two gravity casks will be on starting Friday. Although all the beers are considered "Christmas or Holiday beers,” many will not follow the usual spiced brown formula, so there will be many different styles to taste.”
See the event page on The Trappist’s website for the list of beers on tap as well as another dozen or so holiday brews in bottles. And if you tire of the malty holiday spirits, they also have their usual array of 100 or so bottled beers. If you can’t make either of those dates, don’t despair. Chuck says, “There should still be some holiday beer after Saturday since we have at least two kegs of each, but if you don't come on Friday or Saturday you won’t get the really cool Kerstfest glass.”
The Trappist - 460 8th Street, Oakland, CA 94607
Starts Friday, December 16 at 5:00 p.m. and Saturday from noon until 1 a.m.
$25 gets you a festival glass and a tasting flight of 4 six-ounce samples.
Although there’s parking in the area, it’s easier to take BART. From San Francisco, take BART to Pittsburg / Bay Point and get off at the 12th Street Station in Oakland. Walk four blocks to The Trappist.