Long-time visitors to Sunnyvale’s historic retail district on Murphy Street may remember Stoddard’s Brewhouse, which opened in 1993. More recent visitors might remember the second craft brewery at that address: Firehouse Grill & Brewery, which opened in 2005. For those visiting in 2019, there’s now a third craft brewery at that site: Off the Rails Brewing Co.
Based on my visit, I think the third time’s a charm.
Unlike many new breweries, which tend to focus solely on beer, Off the Rails has a full restaurant menu. Order at the counter — appetizers, salads, sandwiches, burgers and flatbreads — then pick up the food when the electronic buzzer tells you it’s ready. Don’t miss the garlic curry fries and the Cowboy Sandwich, a delectable combination of grilled flank steak, caramelized onions and jalapenos, lettuce, tomato and mayo.
Right now, Off the Rails has seven house-brewed beers on tap, along with a cider from Sunnyvale’s Red Branch Cider Company. OTR head brewer Michael Barker, who also brewed at Firehouse, says he plans to increase the number of housemade beers on tap. Current offerings include a Pre-Prohibition Lager, which is on the hoppy side for a lager; a well-made Mexican Lager; a pale ale and and an IPA, both brewed with classic American hops and leaning on the piney side. There’s also a German hefeweizen with strong banana notes, and a sweet, malty oatmeal stout.
The place, which opened in January after renovations, is much larger than most brewery taprooms you’re likely to visit, with the brewery itself tucked away mostly out of sight. The large downstairs area includes a bar with counter seating and a plethora of flat-screen TVs, making this an ideal place to catch a game. In addition, there’s outdoor seating with umbrellas for shade, and an upstairs area with a pool table, foosball and even a few arcade games.
DON’T MISS: Try the Rose Rail Line for an outstanding example of an Irish red ale. It’s crisp and a little malty, with a spicy hop undertone. And at only 4.7 percent alcohol by volume, you’ll be tempted to have more than one.
DETAILS: Open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily at 111 S. Murphy Ave. in Sunnyvale; www.offtherailsbrewing.com.
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Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle