Hollister Brewing Company
Since my brother has moved to Santa Barbara, it has been an easy excuse to skip out of LA to meet him and grab a few pints. The Santa Barbara region is booming now with new breweries and brewpubs and none is better than Hollister just a few minutes north in Goleta.
I would kill for a place like Hollister in Los Angeles or even a place half of what Hollister is. Set in a shopping plaza (perhaps the only drawback), its décor is modern but not stuffy. It’s a bit more than your average brewpub but still a place you could feel comfortable catching a game and throwing back a few pints.
The brewer who’s name escapes me, formerly of SB Brew Co has big awards – most notably a GABF Gold Medal for his Santa Barbara IPA, a mighty fine beer at that. At Hollister, he shows that he can do many styles and do them well. Of there many beers, that change quite frequently I’ve tasted the gamut from Saison to DIPA, from Brown Ale to Hefe Weisen. All have been quite tasty. I’m an IPA guy at heart and his IPAs are nothing short of outstanding.
The food is a bit better than you would expect from a brewpub in a big college town. There’s some creativity in the menu – not just your traditional pub faire. The duck fat fries are a must. Yum. I’ve never made it to any of the entrées, but I’ve been compelled.
The reason we’ve stuck with a few beers and some appetizers is that the location makes it a little bit difficult to really make a night of it if you are in / staying in SB. We had some big beers and wanted to be sure we could make the drive back down the 101 out of Goleta. Again, a minor drawback, but certainly no reason to not stop and have a few beers at this fantastic brewpub.