TAP STEPS Sunnyvale's TL Beer Garden features a wide variety of beer on tap.

My family and I recently went to TL Beer Garden in Sunnyvale to check out their beer offerings and atmosphere, but we were surprised by how much we liked the food, such as the falafel appetizer—homemade falafel balls served with garlicky hummus and a delicious spicy sauce—and the garden burger with fries.

Our server, who was new, was friendly and attentive as she tended to the customers at the bar, the indoor dining area and the outdoor beer garden. The outdoor beer garden is one of TL’s best features, certainly where we would’ve chosen to sit on that sunny day if not for the Big Game being televised indoors on one of the 10 TVs.

The food menu features quite the selection of burgers, including numerous lamb burgers as well as other Mediterranean-type items. This influence stems from owner Emrah Gures, who also owns Taverna Bistro restaurant and hookah lounge in downtown Sunnyvale specializing in Mediterranean cuisine.

TL Beer Garden was previously the Taverna Lounge, which explains the TL, and it used to be more of a hookah lounge until Emra decided to do a revamp and shift the emphasis toward the bar and grill aspects, though hookah is still available. And, of course, there is the new beer focus. Bartender Lizzie passed on the following from Emra: “The market for craft beers is growing fast, thus we chose to steer ourselves in that direction,” and “the customers absolutely love our selection of beer.”

Indeed, there were several beers among the 14 taps that I wanted to try, so I went for the six-beer sampler for $13. Recent examples of the variety of draft beer at TL include Rogue Ales Dead Guy Ale and Double Dead Guy Ale, K–stritzer Schwarzbier, Licher Hefeweizen, Bear Republic Brewing Red Rocket Ale, Mad River Brewing Jamaica Red Ale, Triple Voodoo Brewing Inception Belgian Style Ale, Grand Teton Brewing Sweetgrass American Pale Ale, Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA, Bear Republic Racer X Double IPA, Mad River Brewing Steelhead Double IPA and Rogue Ales Shakespeare Oatmeal Stout. Current pricing is $5.50 for a half liter and $11 for a liter.

Despite opening just two months ago, Emrah notes that “business is getting better every day,” a signal that good beer continues to grow more popular in the South Bay.

TL Beer Garden
769 N. Mathilda Ave., Sunnyvale