Milpitas’ very first taproom is impressive


Our first review of 2017, because Pizza and Beer


by Catherina Silva

Just in time for SF Beer Week which started on February 10th, a part of our Caliplate team went to the IBU Taproom and its neighbor restaurant Stuft Pizza in Milpitas for a couple of craft brews and some hearty slices. IBU has over 30 to 40 craft beers available on tap at any given time; which is quite impressive for Milpitas’ first taproom. What is notable as well is their stock of bottled beers that are kept in store-sized refrigerators to the left of the taproom from the main entrance.

Some of the many bottles of beer available Source: IBU Facebook page

Quick tip: If you’re just there for the bottled beer, take it home instead of drinking it at IBU and save yourself the $4 dine-in fee.

The taproom serves mostly California brews like: Almanac Coffee Barbary Coast by the Almanac Beer Co. of San Francisco; Half Moon Bay Brewing Company’s unique tasting and interestingly named brews such as Half Moon Bay Bat Flip, Half Moon Bay I Need a Miracle, and Half Moon Bay Lost In The Fog; and many more from various breweries both state-wide and out-of-state, and occasionally an international selection will be available on tap. However, their selections change every week or so.

A memorable beer selection that I tried was the Bison Organic Chocolate Stout by Bison Brewing Company, which is based in Berkeley. This dry stout was surprisingly smooth, dark in color (almost black with a beige head), thick texture, bitter-dutch cocoa aroma, and the taste was reminiscent of chicory coffee yet the cocoa essence counteracted the bitterness giving it a nice finish.

This beer and others served at IBU go well with the thick yet crispy slices from Stuft Pizza. Our team tried the basic Stuft Special: a basic tomato sauce pizza that comes with pepperoni, Italian sausage, red onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, and tomatoes. The crust has a nice balance of texture, crunchy but still soft and chewy. The sauce is thick with low-acidity which makes it sweeter than most tomato sauces I’ve come across, and the hints of rosemary and oregano add depth to it as well. However, the toppings could have been minimized. The vegetable toppings were too al dente simply because the pizza maker was heavy-handed, if they would go lighter on the toppings the slice would be well-balanced thus more palatable. Still, this slice is likely to satisfy anyone’s pizza craving.

Quick tip: If you want to sit in the taproom, Stuft Pizza will bring your order into IBU. However, if you’d like to sit in the restaurant, you can’t bring a beer from the taproom with you (I’m assuming for legal reasons).

The service was fast and friendly, but considering it was so busy when our team went at times it was difficult to flag down the servers for a box for our leftovers.

The connected establishments provide a well-rounded sports bar atmosphere with about a dozen of HDTVs in both the taproom and restaurant. From the basketball game, to football, to hockey, or whichever sporting event is on, IBU’s got you covered. This makes IBU an excellent choice for any avid sports fan or any beer connoisseur!

Also, in honor of SF Beer Week IBU is having many of their favorite SF and Northern California brews available on tap. Check out their Facebook page under “Events” for details.

Cover photo credit: IBU Facebook Page




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