The bar most Berkeley students think of when it comes to a 21st birthday celebration is Kip's. As a Berkeley staple for years and a spot for a free birthday shot, Kip's is a natural first location. However, the Berkeley bar scene offers a few more locations where a birthday warrants a free item. I took a trip around the eclectic, diverse Berkeley bar scene to celebrate my own 21st trip around the sun. I found that Berkeley sure knows how to make someone feel special on their birthday. 

#SpoonTip: Drink responsibly—it's cooler than you think. Spoon University does not support underage or binge drinking. Educate yo'self and have fun.

Triple Rock Brewing Co.

Listed as one of the top breweries in Northern California, Triple Rock has a lot more to offer than the famous "Monkey Head." If you go there on your birthday, you will get a free half-pint of beer with which to "race" the bartender. However, you are more than welcome to take the drink and sip at your own pace. 

Tupper and Reed

This recommendation is for those looking for a more sophisticated cocktail. Although, Tupper and Reed will not give out one of its fancy, multi-ingredient premium cocktails as a gift, a birthday patron and their friends can expect a free taste each of the bartender's choice of liquor. A sophisticated dash of bourbon perhaps? 

Raleigh's Bar and Grill

Raleigh's Pub on Telegraph has a very particular request of birthday goers. The free half-pint of beer is expected to be consumed while standing on the bar and being cheered on by the rest of the bar patrons. If this is not your style, Raleigh's is still a great place to check out with friends for its impressive drink variety and spacious back patio. 


Spats offers birthday patrons a free wheel spin on the wheel of drinks—which is normally $12. If you're lucky, you can win an entire bottle of celebratory champagne! 


beer, liquor, shots, Whiskey, alcohol
Sam Jesner

Though mostly known for its delectable pizza, Jupiter also has a great selection of premium beers and will provide a free one on a birthday. Jupiter is also a fantastic place for a big birthday dinner as its reservations can accommodate a large group. 


Drinking is certainly not for everyone though. If you're looking for a reliable free non-alcoholic birthday drink, Starbucks is always a great spot.

If you find yourself around Berkeley on your birthday, make sure to grab some great friends and hit the town. Berkeley's bar scene will not let you down. Just remember to celebrate responsibly and enjoy your special day! Check out this article for other free birthday treats in Berkeley.