Santa Barbara

A couple of issues back, we talked about weekend coastal destinations north of LA County, leaving off with Carpinteria and teasing the next area north, Santa Barbara.

If you are reading this early, October 2nd and 3rd are slotted for The Brewhouse, Santa Barbara’s 10th annual Oktoberfest. Word from Head Brewer Pete Johnson, “It’s always the best party in town as we transform our parking lot into a German beer hall, complete with drinking tent, 12 piece tuba band called Oktubafest, real German glassware, food, games and prizes.” The beer pouring station will be filling liter steins of traditional Oktoberfest Marzen brewed by Pete and team. In addition, his Vixen Weizen and a roggen bier will be featured and other German beers will also be flowing. The Brewhouse is located on the south side of the 101 on Montecito.

Nearby The Brewhouse is Santa Barbara’s extension of Buellton’s award-winning Figueroa Mountain Brewing. With Tuesday night quiz nights, firkin Friday’s, and live music Friday through Sunday, there is more than beer to go for.

On the north side of the 101, about five minutes away, is Brian Thompson’s Telegraph Brewing Company on North Salsipuedes Street. Telegraph has a beautiful tasting room, where you can expect extraordinarily crafted beer from this multiple Great American Beer Festival award-winning brewer.

Relative newcomer Pure Order Brewing Company is just a block away on North Quarantina Street. Opened in 2014, Brewmaster James Burge and family’s brewery is on this reporter’s list of brewery visits the next time in Santa Barbara. Also on that list is a revisit to Santa Barbara Brewing Company on State Street, one of the first Santa Barbara brewpubs. Word has it that the current brewer is creating some nice product.

One of the first brewing gigs for Eric Rose also GABF decorated was at Santa Barbara Brewing Company long before he and his family opened Hollister Brewing Company, a few minutes north in Goleta. He typically has over 15 house-brewed beers on tap ranging from his kolsch-style Beachside Blonde on one end of the spectrum to a number of IPA variations on the other, with alts, hefes, browns and porters in-between. A full menu of a wide range of conscientiously prepared dishes can also accompany your liquid fare. It’s once again time for Hollister’s football Sundays, with NFL package on 7 wide screens. If you aren’t a football fan, the comfortable sea-air patio has Sunday drink specials, breakfast and complete menu including Chorizo and Egg Tacos, the Hollister Scramble, Huevos Con Chile, Bacon, Egg & Avocado Sandwich, Mushroom & Goat Cheese Frittata, and more.

San Diego Continued

Second Chance Brewing Company

For those of you that have been around the San Diego craft beer scene for some time, you are likely familiar with Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery in La Jolla and the beers of Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup award-winning Marty Mendiola. After 17 years at Rock Bottom, Marty left and recently opened his own brewery with business partner, Curtis Hawes. Second Chance Beer Company is a new opportunity for Marty and team to shine and put forth some great beer in an area of San Diego that could definitely use more quality beer destinations. Second Chance is located just south of Rancho Bernardo in the Carmel Mountain area of San Diego.

We’ll talk about Abnormal Beer Co Rancho Bernardo next issue, as well as LA and Orange County.

Green Flash Brewing Company

Mike & Lisa Hinkley opened their original Green Flash Brewing Company facility in Vista in 2002 in a property now occupied by Latitude 33. Chuck Silva joined as Brewmaster in 2004, developing most recipes, including West Coast IPA, which became the brewery’s flagship beer. This beer put the brewery on the map and eventually prompted the move in 2011 to its current Mira Mesa location, a 45,000-square-foot facility that dwarfs the original location. Green Flash is currently building an East Coast brewery in Virginia Beach, Virginia, expected to open sometime in 2016.

Its more-recent acquisition of Alpine Brewing Company, another great-beer San Diego County brewery that also began in 2002, now finds many Alpine beers also brewed on premises. On recently touring the facility, it was good to see additional equipment i.e. hop-back purchased so the brewery can stay true to the way Alpine beers have traditionally been brewed. [Note: Alpine’s popularity and inability to keep up with demand ultimately led to the agreement for its purchase by Green Flash.] In the 4,000-square-foot tasting room and beer garden you can enjoy up to 30 Green Flash beers on tap at reasonable prices. Green Flash also has its own house-branded gastro food truck. In another issue we can talk about Cellar 3 in Poway, home to the barrel-aged and sour beers of Green Flash.