Hit the ale trail in downtown Martinez

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Who knew Martinez would end up with such a buzzy craft-brew
scene? The newest and most impressive addition to the city’s
beer offerings is Del Cielo Brewing, which opened its doors in May
as the third brewery in a one-block radius. The brewery newcomer
dwarfs its neighbors, Rocksteady Brewing and

Five Suns Brewing
, in size and in quality, with 16 housemade
beers on tap.

Del Cielo is tucked inside a historic brick building with high
ceilings, huge windows and exposed beams. Long communal tables
provide extensive seating and encourage you to get to know your
neighbors over a pint or two.

Owner Luis Castro won plenty of prizes during his home-brewing
days, so his jump to professional brewing is not surprising. The
name Del Cielo means “from heaven” in Spanish, and hopheads
will feel like they’re on cloud nine here. There were nine
hop-forward beers on tap on the day we visited, including a hazy
pale, an India pale lager, a session India pale ale, four IPAs, a
double IPA and a black IPA (my favorite of the bunch).

Castro’s beers are more balanced than many IPAs, with less
bitterness and more focus on hop flavors and aromas. If you
aren’t fond of the hop juice, don’t despair — there are many
other good choices. The Orale Mexican lager is a great example of
the style, and the blonde ale and American wheat are very well-made
light beers. Three stouts and an American brown ale were also
available, including a golden coffee stout — strange, but

Pint pours are $6.50 to $7.50 and taster sets of five pours are
also available. Crowlers and growler fills are also offered.
Limited food offerings include a hot dog, a roast beef sandwich and
pretzels with cheese, but outside food can be brought in, and the
tasting room is both kid and dog-friendly.Related Articles

Don’t miss: My favorite beer was the Smooth
Ride Foreign Extra Stout.  This beer, 7 percent alcohol by volume,
is roasty, chocolatey and very full bodied, with excellent malt/hop
balance. El Cielo has a peanut butter version of this, as well,
appropriately called Heavenly Nutty.

Details: Open from 4 to 9 p.m.
Tuesday-Thursday, 3 to 10 p.m. Fridays, noon to 10 p.m. Saturdays
and noon to 8 p.m. Sundays at 701A Escobar St., Martinez; www.delcielobrewing.com.

More breweries: Find Rocksteady Brewing at 613 Escobar
St.; www.rocksteadybrewing.com.
And Five Suns Brewing at 701C Escobar St.; www.fivesunsbrewing.com.

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Source: FS – All – Interesting – Lifestyle
Hit the ale trail in downtown Martinez