We like to cross the Golden Gate Bridge and hike Mt. Tamalpais whenever we can, and lately Farmshop in Marin has become our favorite post-hike watering hole. With more than 50 miles of trails on Bay Area’s highest peak at 2,571 feet, Mt. Tam offers a selection of different hikes through tall redwood forests such as Muir Woods, fern-lined creeks, a panoramic rim trail and one that goes all the way down from the peak to Stinson Beach.
When possible, we try to time our hikes when the members-only Friend’s of Nature German Tourist Club is open to the public, generally the first weekend of each month. When open, they offer hikers a great place to drink a pint or share a pitcher of draft beer in the middle or the end of their trek. With the shortest hike about one and a half miles in, many people go there just to drink and relax all day then hike back out. It is the closest hiking experience that we have encountered to our trip to Baiersbronn in Germany’s Black Forest, where mountain chalets or huts serve alcoholic beverages and food. The Tourist Club doesn’t really offer gourmet food, but do sell meat sticks and bags of potato chips to pair with the beer. They highly encourage picnickers, but do prefer that you pack out your waste with you.
Getting to the Tourist Club can be an easy one and a half mile hike or a more strenuous one if visited post-trek. In either case, all trekkers are greeted with the unmistakable path leading up to the multi-story cabin nested in the trees (the driveways allow access to replenish supplies, but are closed to public):
On closer inspection, one is greeted with the throngs of fellow trekkers spreadout on the patio enjoying the sun:
A few club members staff the Alpine-style bar where hikers can purchase beer, sodas and chips:
We opted to quench our thirst with a pitcher of Trumer Pils for $20, and seated ourselves at one of the three indoor tables since it was the only open space available. This time around we hit the Tourist Club pretty much pre-hike where we enjoyed some respite from the sun before we continued on our journey:
We completed about an eight mile hike that day and stopped by the Farmshop in Marin for an early post-trek dinner. We started with a couple of classic cocktails that provided the proper attitude adjustment: a Sazerac and an Aviation:
An early evening view down the long bar illustrates why this has become one of our North Bay hangouts, especially on a Sunday when the bar is mostly mellow:
We switched to a couple of glasses of white wine to pair with our California Tomatoes Pizza made with cherry tomatoes, Ramini Mozzarella di Buffala, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, purple basil and sea salt:
It was a deliciously fresh tasting pizza, baked with just enough char to our liking. We sliced the pizza using scissors they provide:
With a very seasonal and farm fresh nature, FarmShop’s menu changes frequently. For example, the fried smelts we had last time were no longer on the menu, and we had spied this side dish of Sweet Peas with Smoked Salmon, which unfortunately is no longer on their current menu. It’s too bad since the dish, which featured almost equal amount of legumes to fish, was spectacular with the perfect amount of dill and mint herb flavoring. If only we could make the pea season last longer:
With our Indian Summer in the Bay Area just about to start, another hike or two in Mt. Tam followed up with a trip to the Farm Shop will be warranted. It is highly suggested to check out the Tourist Club calendar using the link below prior to going if you expect to pay them a visit.