Part of what makes a hole-in-the-wall bar special is its location. The tougher it is to find, the cooler it becomes. If that’s true, then Concord may have one of the coolest bars around… if you can find it.
Once you locate the non-descript building a few blocks behind the Costco on Detroit Avenue, you walk through the open gate, past the forklift, hang a left and enter through the rolled-up warehouse garage door. And there you are: Ale Industries (“AI”), Concord’s industrial speakeasy.
Sure, it may lack the bouncer and required password of an old-time “speak”, but it becomes even cooler when you realize you’ve entered a working brewery. With a Tap Room!
The slab floor, random utility items and brew tanks all contribute to the “décor”, which includes wine-style aging barrels for special creations. There’s even a bit of history to the place, as it was the pre-restaurant home of E.J. Phair.
Take a seat on one of the five stools at the nicely-finished bar, or at one of the few large barrel table-tops and try a sampling of the six beer selections they currently have on tap.
Start with the mild and refreshing Golden State of Mind, created with locally grown ingredients including orange peel and organic chamomile. Move on to others like the Rye’d Piper, a hoppy red with a roasty/chocolaty flavor to it. AI’s Northern California hoppy selection is called Uncle Jesse’s. It includes a honey malt to even out some of its hoppiness. All of their creations are as unique as the place they come from.
Sure, you could buy these and other AI brews in some local stores, but then you’d be missing the AI experience. This place is all about having a beer on tap while you check out the aging barrels and chat it up with the other beer lovers who have cracked the code and found this modern-day answer to the speakeasy. Their beer and tap room are “required drinking” for local beer fans.
Enjoy this place while AI is still small and local — especially on a Thursday “Open Mic” night from 6-9 p.m. when they feature live, local music artists.
Ale Industries is open Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays from 4-9 p.m., Saturdays from 2-9 p.m. and Sundays from noon-5 p.m. and is located at 975 Detroit Avenue in Concord.
No need for a password, but you will need a jacket.
Interested in a cigar with your beer selection? Concord is home to the Bay Area's only mobile cigar lounge: CigaRv — The Mobile Man Cave. In the weeks ahead we'll tell you more about special cigar and beer events coming to the Concord area! In the meantime, check out the Mobile Man Cave at CigaRv.com and Facebook.com/CigaRv.