Tuesday, 21 April 2009 04:49

Ventura Brewing

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Anacapa Brewery is a nice spot to taste some local brews and some scrumptious food. Enjoy some filet medallions, Channel Islands fish tacos, or the two story brewhouse burger, while quaffing on the Pierpont India Pale Ale or the Rye Pale Ale.

Dan Saldana is grateful to live in Ventura’s surf beach community, as the owner of Ventura County’s only brewpub. Serving a wide clientele at the heart of the historic Main Street, Dan started working at Anacapa Brewery in June of 2000 as a waiter. He knew back then that the business was profitable and the previous owner wanted to invest by flipping it. Saldana bought the Brewpub with the 12-tank stainless steel vats in May of 2007.

Since then, he hired long time Karl Straus brewer, Adam Ball. Since May 2007, Adam now keeps busy by keeping their popular brews in stock and coming up with newer beers. Just last week, he brewed a Belgium Wit that came out mid July. They will also release an ESB humorously named “The Fugly”, due to the fuggle hops that were used during the process.

But their most popular beer? “It’s the [Pierpont] IPA. We can’t keep it in stock. We try and try...it takes 22-24 days to make a batch of IPA and it takes about 8 days to drink,” explained Saldana. Not too coincidentally, I enjoyed the IPA while I was there in April. It’s tasty. Or, as Scott Martelle, who recently embarked on a week long, beer drinking road trip throughout the California coast described, it’s inspired. For Scott’s full L.A. Times article on his beer drinking adventures, click here.

Smooth, with a slightly bitter palate, the Pierpont IPA pours a hazy, orange gold and has a nice hops aroma. However, you might want to also try Saldana’s current favorite, which is the Rye Pale Ale. “It’s still got a lot of hops, but it’s not quite over the top,” he describes. Another favorite in the community is one of their specialty beers, called Two Trees Double IPA. Named after the historic story, it’s told that at least two trees were planted on the hilltop above Ventura as a beacon for seagoing ships, to aid them in making their Ventura landfall. Now, it’s a much-loved symbol of the city and one of Anacapa’s specialty beers brewed twice a year, in the early Spring and late Fall.

What may be in store for Saldana and Anacapa Brewery in the future? “I’d love to have an offsite production facility, so we can start to sell more kegs… sell 22 oz bottles and specialty beers…and possibly at the same time to do a home brew store.”

Anacapa Brewery is located at 472 E. Main Street, Downtown Ventura, CA. Tell them The Beer Goddess sent you.

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