Hollister Brewing Co.
Active Beers: 62
Beer Ratings: 313
Beer Avg: 3.71
Taps: - / Bottles: -
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
Ratings: 31 | Reviews: 29 | Show All Ratings:
4.28/5 rDev +3.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
This is my local joint, I live about 2 miles from this place and I go there weekly if not more often. I do love the beer here but it must be said they have a heavy hop-hand. I'm personally not a real hop-head and I find many of the beers here too hoppy for my taste but, luckily, they always have a great and varied selection on the board. My favorite is "The J" a smoky brown ale brewed with hemp seeds (not too different than Nectars Hemp) and the Table 42 Red. The Loudmouth, Weizenbock and both the orange and pumpkin seasonals are good to my taste as well.
Food wise Hollister is good but not great. They do make a great burger and their Friday Pulled Pork special is insane. Otherwise they're still fishing around for the right items and I'm sure eventually they'll find them. The ingredients are always fresh but it seems like the menu needs to go back to basics and just do them well, ditch the attempt at sophistication.
The service is always very good, even when its crowded, and the staff seems to stick around so they're more likely to know the beer and food well.
It does get noisy inside where everything's stone, glass and metal, but 80 percent of the year its so nice outside around here the patio is a better bet.
Beer and food prices are creeping up but are still in line with the area. Happy hour is still a decent deal though.
07-22-2010 18:27:06 | More by DigitalEye
3.88/5 rDev -6.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
Stopped in on my way to SF beer week on a Friday night. I didn't realize that this place was in Isla Vista and had I known that I probably would have kept on driving. If you like the party atmoshere this place is for you as there was a healthy mix of college kids and older people. I did manage to squeeze in at the bar and try a sample of everything. I told the bartender to only fill the sample glasses half way (which I believe were 4 oz) as I had to drive. He was nice and accomodating and even gave me a couple samples for free. I think I ended up paying about $10 for 14 samples. I didnt try the food or even look at the menu as I still had some of the burger in my system that I had eaten at Anacapa earlier that night.
They certainly do make a couple hoppy beers here. I tried a couple of pales, a couple IPAs, and an imperial red. The rest were a healthy mix of blonde, belgian pale, porter/stout, and even a scottish ale. After checking BA and seeing that they make a lot of different beers that were not on tap I think I'll have to stop in again at some point.
03-01-2010 20:35:56 | More by t0rin0
4.18/5 rDev +1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Stopped off here on the way to San Diego. Located in a strip mall not too far from the 101-HBC is easy to find. Walking in the bar is straight ahead and seating on both sides of and in front of the bar. The atmosphere was strip mall restaurant-they had some TVs with ESPN on, etc. They had 15 beers on at the time of our visit. Including Hip Hop DIPA. My wife and I split two samplers of 6-we skipped the Wheat, PA, the Golden. Our friends split a sampler as well. The standout brews were all three of the IPA/DIPAs-with The Pope IPA being our favorite. We also really liked Shaky Hands ( a java imperial porter). The other beers were good.
Food-We had flat bread and cheese dip to start-our friends had the BBQ pork pizza, and my wife and I split a open-faced Bacon and Leak sandwich, and a curry chicken salad-the food was excellent.
Service was very good even when they got busy for lunch. The prices are reasonable.
This is our new go to place when driving the 101.
12-25-2009 14:44:23 | More by bradybeer
4.45/5 rDev +7.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
This is my local brewpub (just across the freeway), and I've waited quite a while to review it. I stop every time proximity and finances allow it. The only places I have ever been that I would prefer to having 5 minutes from my house are Stone (because of the extraordinary guest taps) and Russian River (because of the sours/Belgians on tap). High praise. Quality 4.5
Atmosphere . . . it's in an upscale strip mall area; once inside it loses that feel. Multiple sports HDTVs (which can be a real positive or negative, depending) which are placed high, easily escaping from your line of vision if you so desire, often crowded and loud. Outside seating with those heat fan things. 4.0
Service is generally excellent, and it is increasingly hard to find a service person who does not know quite a lot about the beer. They don't take reservations, but I haven't had to wait more than 10 minutes. I have only once had snarky service. Often the owners/brewer deliver the beer, and are quite willing to converse about it. 4.0
The selection is fantastic. There are always at least 14 taps up, with a nitro, and often there are 16+. All are Hollister brews. Consistently they range from 3-4 beers in the 5% range to 3-4 7%+, with common and rare styles at either end and in between -- and often there are two different takes on the same style (IPAs, e.g.). There are always some very unique, risky beers, and the staples are always covered. 5.0
The food quality has taken a huge jump up over the last several months, with a new chef and multiple, often inventive daily specials. Mostly California cuisine, great salads, plenty of red meat, consistently good panini sandwiches and pizza for the folks who just want regular pub-style food. As a brewery, it's a 5, compared to restaurants at the same price, it's a 4.0 -> 4.5
$5 pints and $14 growlers. That's pretty much the going rate. The food can be expensive for a brewpub, but there are cheap options, and similar dishes at restaurants here and in the city (Santa Barbara) are similarly priced. $$
Really worth a stop if you're passing through.
11-22-2009 07:59:17 | More by jdouge
3.85/5 rDev -7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5 | $$
This is a re-review from my first visit in early 2008. I must say that things have really gotten better.
Nice place. Atmosphere was like a regular restaraunt rather than a serious brewpub. Clients ranged in age. Guys at the bar were regulars. The beers range from average to very good. They make GREAT IPAs. The bartender Ryan is a nice guy, very social and always on it. However, do not expect any of the other servers to know much about beer. Selection was GREAT. Food was alright, standard pubgrub. A must stop!
Usual stop in here once a month with mixed reviews on service at the bar.
10-18-2009 02:17:25 | More by barleywinefiend
3.63/5 rDev -12.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | $$
This was the one stop we made on the way up to San Luis Obispo a few weeks back although we stopped at a bunch of different places on the way back, we pulled into a shopping center with a Costco, phone store, several places to eat, etc., weird area for a place like this to be in my opinion, atmosphere was a little bizarre too, place just seemed like a little bit nicer version of BJs, more food centric than beer, it was super clean and had a lot of people dining in, we were the only ones at the small bar, service was okay but would expect more from the bartender as we were the only ones he was really helping and he barely said a word the whole time, they had twelve different beers all made by themselves on tap and one of the offerings of cask too which was their Double IPA, I had three ten ounce beers while I was here including Pope IPA, Hip Hop DIPA, and their dreaded Irish Red which is one of the worst beers I have had in quite some time, wish I was hungry when we went here because the tacos a lot people seemed to be eating looked good, the beers were good, average, and bad from the three I tried, as was this place in general, it was just mediocre to me all the way around, might be because I expected a lot more after hearing so many great things but it is a good spot for the area it is in, I would stop back here in the future
09-15-2009 00:48:02 | More by Floydster
4.83/5 rDev +16.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$
Went into Hollister brewing on Friday July 3rd. Was pleasantly surprised to find a board listing 13 house beers. Among those were 5 varieties of Pale Ales(Belgian Country, APA, XPA, IPA, DIPA) which I used to make up most of my 6 taster flight. All 6 beers were solid with the Belgian Country, XPA,DIPA being real good, but the Pope IPA was my favorite so I opted for a pint of that after the tasters. The waitress was very friendly and noted her favorite was the dunkelweizen which I tried with the stout after eating and semi clearing the palate.
My wife and I both really enjoyed the burgers we got and the duck fat fries were good, but not noticebally different than regular fries. Overall really impressed and eager to go back.
07-05-2009 17:50:06 | More by rhertan
4.58/5 rDev +10.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
Visited Hollister for the first time this afternoon (Sunday) on the way home from a camping trip where we also visited the Firestone Taproom.
I had been hearing about this place on BA for a while now and finally was qable to stop in with my wife. Initially we ordered 2 samplers I believe 6 beer samples for $7. Our bartender ended up going the extra mile and giving us a taster of all 14 I believe. My favorites were the Pope IPA, the Hip Hop DIPA, and their Anniversary dark IPA. We left with a growler of the Anniversary.
My wife enjoyed a "white pizza" while I helped her with the crust (I'm lactose intolerant and wasn't too hungry). I ordered a pint of the Pope IPA on cask which was very nice and shared that with my wife. And after that a I ordered a 10oz. Hip Hop DIPA.
We sat at the bar which was a great spot. We had a friendly bar tender who had a knowledge for their beer. It was also nice chatting with other friendly locals also sitting at the bar.
The growler was around $20 and I believe it will be $11 for refills. This is extremely reasonable.
The food looked to be reasonably priced and it looked like there were a couple of less expensive options in each section of the menu.
Beer was very reasonably priced.
Overall, it was a great experience and my wife and I enjoyed their beer and food. I will recommend this to other people and will return myself.
06-01-2009 00:51:26 | More by Bungletronics
4/5 rDev -3.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
A good little spot just down the street from me. Where to start...
Well, the atmosphere inside the place is pretty nice despite its location in a strip mall. Classy, simple interior design with a lot of friendly locals. Not a lot of beer knowledge in the average patron here, but everyone is open to good beer.
The quality is pretty good. The beers here are hit or miss. I've had a couple great beers and a couple lousy ones, but almost always, they are above-average drinkable.
Service is good, in that you are generally greeted with a smile, and the waiters are willing and able to help you, but from a BA's perspective, there's a surprisingly small amount of beer knowledge coming from those serving it. Most waiters clearly just have the one sentence description memorized from the menu. Tonight I heard one waiter suggest one of their porters to a customer disappointed to see their Belgian Pale Ale missing from the menu, "because it is similarly dark."
The selection is fantastic. For such a small brewpub, they have a very nice selection of styles. Extreme beers, mild beers, Belgian, German and American styles. They aren't all gold-medal-worthy, but they sure as hell have something for everyone.
Food is consistently good, but not great. Overpriced.
The prices here are high on food (12 bucks for a sandwich??), good on beer. Monday nights, they have 3 dollar pints, and their happy hour holds some good deals as well. Normally 5 dollar pints and 3.25 10oz pours.
Growlers are expensive. 25 dollars for the initial fill and 22 for refills I believe.
Overall, I'm very glad this place is here, and love being surprised by their occasional great beer. Your bill will shoot up quickly if you get anything beyond beer, but you won't leave disappointed. A fine establishment.
05-05-2009 04:45:58 | More by photomike
4.66/5 rDev +12.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$
This is the best brewpub I have ever been to in my life. Thanks to BeerFly, I found this place looking for things to do on a 4 day bike tour of Santa Barbara. It was a short 20 minute bus ride Goleta.
My fiance and I did their entire 14 beer flight. I lost my tasting notes, I know, I suck. My recall of all the different styles and names are fuzzy as I left Hollister with about 7 beers under my belt. Riding my bike 100 yards back to the bus stop was an amazing adventure itself.
The few beers that stuck in my hop soaked head were the Banana Wheat beer (not usually a fan of fruit beers, but this was pretty damn tastey) and there was a double IPA that I drank 2 or 3 of. The name was Bowling something something. It was amazing.
So hazy. So much fun.
What I don't understand is why these guys don't start bottling this liquid magic. This beer deserves to be shared with the world.
Hollister, I love you.
04-23-2009 17:23:14 | More by QUERCUSAGRIFOLIA
Hollister Brewing Co. in Goleta, CA
92 out of 100 based on 31 ratings.