Santa Barbara County

In addition to the craft beer staples we have grown to love and respect in the Santa Barbara area it appears that there are quite a few newer breweries that this reporter has not yet explored. In this issue let’s take a look at the City of Goleta. Goleta’s go-to Hollister Brewing Company is the brewpub that award-winning brewer Eric Rose has operated with his family since 2007. Hollister has been joined by three additional Goleta-based breweries.

Captain Fatty’s

Jon Wadell, Bryan Anderson and Preston Angell opened Captain Fatty’s Craft Brewery in 2014. Starting with a small one-barrel system, they graduated to a new 15-barrel system last March as part of an extensive makeover of the space. Retooling began in late 2015 with a new draft system, followed by trenches and installation of the new brewhouse and tanks. The family-friendly place even has a kid’s area and draft root beer. For many it’s all about the beer. A recent look at Captain Fatty’s tap list revealed a wide array of styles and nine beers on tap. The brewery is located at 6483 Calle Real, just north of the 101, off of Los Carneros Road, and has tasting room hours Wednesday through Sunday.

M. Special

M. Special Brewing Company opened in September of 2015. Co-owner brothers Emmett and Brendan Malloy teamed with their cousin Chris Miller and brewer Josh Ellis in opening M. Special. The brewery’s sizeable tasting room also features a large wrap-around patio for outdoor enjoyment. The Malloys both come from backgrounds in the entertainment business. With Grammy award winner Emmett’s connections and experience, you can expect top-notch music on the weekends to accompany Josh’s selection of brews.

M. Special Brewery and Tap Room is located at 6860 Cortona Drive, Suite C just south of the 101 Freeway at Glen Annie/Stork Road
E of Stork, N of Hollister. It opens every day at 11:30 a.m.

Draughtsmen Aleworks

Opening in early 2016, Draughtsmen Aleworks is Goleta’s newest brewery. This venture is brought to us by the creativity and talents of Goleta native Reno King, Scott Stefan, Kris Turner, Tami Snow and Chris Van Meeuwen. Reno King’s background in professional brewing began at Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co in 2011. In 2014 he moved to assume the head brewing duties at Poseidon Brewing Company in Ventura and assisted with the opening of that brewery. Draughtsmen tap list of up to ten beers always features a beer flowing from its “Karma Tap.” This tap rotates each month in supporting a different local charity. Currently, one dollar from every pint sold is donated for the benefit of that charity.

Draughtsmen Aleworks is located at 53 Santa Felicia Drive also south of the 101 Freeway at Glen Annie/Stork Road, also N of Hollister, but W of Stork.

Draughtsmen, M. Special and Hollister Brewing are all conveniently located within close proximity of the Glen Annie/Stork Road exit of the 101, while Captain Fatty’s is only one exit east. This reporter looks forward to a return trip to the Santa Barbara area soon and the opportunity to visit these new breweries as well as those long enjoyed.

Lucky Number Sevens

Three of our Southern California breweries celebrated seven years in business in January.

Starting on January 16, Agoura’s Ladyface Ale Companie began its week of celebration with its MLK Day Anniversary Ale and glassware release. The limited glassware release entitled purchasers to happy hour pricing on refills for the coming year. On January 22, Ladyface also celebrated with an Anniversary Invitational Party. Select breweries that included Smog City, Crooked Stave, Lost Abbey and Russian River, attended and poured rare and award winning beers.

Eagle Rock Brewery held its 7th Anniversary Party on January 21st with a parking lot carnival. Pie throwing, a dunk tank, cornhole and giant Jenga could be enjoyed along with La Suerte, Eagle Rock’s specialty anniversary beer and other delicious offerings. La Suerte is a whopping 14% alcohol by volume Imperial Mexican Stout that incorporates chocolate, vanilla, flaked maize, cinnamon and chile in its recipe.

San Luis Obispo’s Tap-It Brewing Co had also planned to celebrate its 7th on January 21. Due to impending stormy weather the party was postponed and will be rescheduled. Consult the Tap-It’s website or Facebook page for details on the new date that will honor seven years of amazing beers and include food & beer pairings, live music and raffles.

Regulatory Review

The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control ABC is one of the regulators that govern the distribution and sale of alcohol in California. This past May, Timothy Gorsuch retired as the department’s director. Earlier in the year Governor Brown had also appointed Gorsuch’s chief deputy director, Lori Ajax, to oversee California’s new medical marijuana agency. With both positions vacated, retired CHP deputy commissioner Ramona Prieto assumed the duties as acting director. CHP lieutenants Sunshine Garside and Julian Irigoyen have assumed and share the duties of acting chief deputy. Their backgrounds in law enforcement have been coupled with increased funding for the department and its initiatives. As a result we have seen an increase in news and reports on the escalation of programs targeted at enforcement of the law. We can expect these programs and their visibility to continue building momentum for the foreseeable future.

An award recently bestowed upon the LAPD is an illustrative example of these increased efforts. In January, Director Prieto announced that the Los Angeles Police Department was selected to receive the California ABC’s Significant Achievement Award for its work towards reducing alcohol-related harm through the ABC Grant Assistance Program GAP. The award was granted to the LAPD in recognition of 2003 arrests, increased visits to ABC licensed businesses and its efforts in building stronger relationships between law enforcement and the community. The LAPD exceeded 145% of grant goals, which included 21 multi-agency ABC task force operations, 63 Shoulder Tap Operations to reduce youth access to alcohol, 144 inspections at ABC licensed businesses, training of 570 officers on ABC enforcement and prevention strategies, and completion of more than 150 STAR Responsible Beverage Service training sessions for LA area businesses selling alcohol.

The GAP Program is an effort to strengthen partnerships between the ABC and local law enforcement agencies. It was also designed to provide education about public safety and the need for compliance with alcoholic beverage laws. Funding is directed in an effort to reduce alcoholic beverage sales to minors and intoxicated patrons, and to reduce illegal solicitations of alcohol, and other criminal activities.

Societe Gives Back

In November and December, San Diego’s Societe Brewing released 500-milliliter bottles of its wine-barrel-aged, cranberry sour ale, The Urchin. Sales of that beer were incorporated as part of an effort to raise funds and food for needy families in San Diego County. Through the end of December, for a price tag of $50 or a donation of 50 pounds of food + $5, participants received a bottle of The Urchin. The drive resulted in the collection of over 23,000 pounds of food for the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank. This translated to over 19,000 meals for San Diego County families.