With a few-dozen stops along 50-plus miles, from the foggy banks of San Francisco to the rural reaches of South County, Caltrain gives its riders plenty of space to explore. And with most stations positioned in downtowns, around shops, restaurants and bars, the train line makes for a next-level pub-crawl—with more ground to cover and a conductor doubling as designated driver.

That was the idea behind Wet Your Whistles, an online drinking guide for Caltrain riders created by husband-and-wife drinking buddies Jen and Joey McDaniel.

“It began as our own list, but eventually we thought, ‘Why not share this with everyone else?’” said Jen, who lives in Menlo Park with her husband.

Applying their mutual talent for web development, the pair built an easy-to-navigate online guide to their favorite watering holes—and some restaurants—clustered around Caltrain stations. For each listing, they note walking distance, menu options and an oft-snarky summary of the place.

In Burlingame, for example, they list a handful of destinations ranging from “stumbling distance” to an “effin easy walk,” including Steelhead Brewing, Blue Line Pizza, Straits and Barrelhouse. There’s always an extra observation, like how Barrelhouse features a bar plated with pennies.

Palo Alto, one of the McDaniels’ favorite stops, is a goldmine for thirsty Caltrain commuters. Gravity Wine Bar, The Patio at Rudy’s, The Rose and Crown and Scotty’s all lie within a fifth-of-a-mile radius to the train station. A little more than stumbling distance, they note, but no more than “a very easy walk.”

The vicinity of San Bruno’s station lacks the range of more bustling downtowns like Palo Alto or San Mateo, but boasts what’s probably the only casino along the train route: Artichoke Joe’s.
“A wild West-themed casino in San Bruno,” Wet Your Whistles’ description reads. “Seriously. With a cowboy bar and servers wearing bolo ties.

Seriously? Seriously.”

The website encourages people to submit their own listings. Once in a while, the McDaniels host a pub-crawl to some of their favorite spots—some with as many as 100 attendees.

“On the surface, it’s all about having good drinks and good beer, but the biggest win for us has been meeting new people through this,” Joey said. “We’ve gotten a better feel for the beer culture in the Bay and have made friends that we’ve known now for years.”