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Hollister Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Hollister Brewing Co.Hollister Brewing Co.
BEER AVG
3.69/5
Based on:
50 Beers
300 Ratings
Place Score: 91
Ratings: 38
Reviews: 29
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 11.52%
Taps: --
Bottles: --
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

6980 Marketplace Drive
Goleta, California, 93117
United States
phone: (805) 968-2810

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: JayTheFinn on 05-18-2007)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 38 | Reviews: 29 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rhertan
4.83/5  rDev +18.4%
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.

Photo of JDFernandez
4.75/5  rDev +16.4%

Photo of QUERCUSAGRIFOLIA
4.66/5  rDev +14.2%
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.

Photo of ReederX
4.58/5  rDev +12.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Stopped in here during a recent camping trip with a group of the guys doing an "ice run" for the benefit of the campsite. :-) We were the ones who got to benefit from the great service and phenomenal beers! A great selection of somewhere around 14 beers, including a cask. Nothing "run of the mill" here, with each beer exhibiting a unique spin on the chosen style. The J was one of my favorites - a smoky brown with a definite bacon flavor, and who doesn't like bacon?

Caught them at a fairly slow weekday mid-afternoon, so plenty of time to learn from our server at the bar. He was very knowledgeable and provided samples to help us choose the next pint. We also peered into the brewing area, which appears small, so they are making the most of it. My main regret is not living closer to this place, but will put it on my list of go-to places if I'm ever within a 30-mile radius!

Photo of Bungletronics
4.58/5  rDev +12.3%
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.

Photo of ndolover
4.55/5  rDev +11.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Holister is located in a stip mall near the airport. I spotted it while traveling on business and didn't think I would bother, but instead head to the Brewhouse in Santa Barbara. I am glad I didn't.

While the location and the interior space don't give you warm and fuzzies about the beer, I was dead wrong. The beer was exceptional. They had 2 IPA's, a Dubbel, Hefe, Orange Blossom Tripel/Golden (which was REALLY good), a Pale Ale, etc. They offer samplers, but I went with the 10oz pours. Happy hour specials put my at $2.25 for a pint!!! Then their guest beer was Pliny the Elder?!?!?!? The only reason they didn't get a 5 from me was they were not using their 1 beer engine.

The food was really good too! I had a well executed salad, with fried pickles.

Matt was a great bartender and engaged the bar patrons.

Don't judge a book by its cover, this place makes REALLY GOOD BEER!

Photo of sloejams
4.53/5  rDev +11%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

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.

Photo of jdouge
4.45/5  rDev +9.1%
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.

Photo of DoubleJ
4.45/5  rDev +9.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Hollister Brewing gives the meaning of a beer stop legitamacy. It's nearby both the US-101 and UC Santa Barbara, and as a personal bonus, brings back memories of my cross country days when we use to stop in this shopping center before heading up (or back down) to/from San Luis Obispo. I already knew about Hollister Brewing, but the question was always what they served.

Modern brewpub interior. Metal and abstract design behind the bar. An outdoor patio that allows you to drink your beer. TV's dotted around the restaurant. A small display of medals won from competitions across from where their brewing equipment is situated. Overall, it's clean and easy to get around.

Situated near the bar is a big written list of their house beers available. 14 different house beers is a lot for a brewpub, and I saw a cask displayed behind the bar (though it didn't seem like it was pouring). Classic American breewpub styles such as the blonde ale, pale ale, IPA, and porter are each available, and addition styles include a smoked beer brewed with hemp, kristalweizen, Belgian Blond, and an India Red Ale. The two beers I ordered were very good quality.

Service was very good, as our server sounded interested about my opinion of their smoked beer. Beforehand, he warned me about it (I could see why), but I assured him about my love for the smoked style. In addition, the food was great. Pulled pork under a bed of fried red onions and house BBQ sauce = great. And it got better; we had just arrived at 2pm, which indicates the start of their happy hour ($3 beers!).

Hollister Brewing is killer. If you're traveling via the 101, treat yourself for a moment. I certainly did, and then it was back on the road...

Photo of colonelforbin
4.44/5  rDev +8.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4

Definitely a fan of this place. Stopped in twice during June of 2011, once on a Friday around 5pm and then on Sunday around 11:30 am. Completely different atmosphere both times, as you might imagine.

Lots of great beers on tap. The imperial stout was great, as were the IPAs. Had the sampler on Sunday morning when no one else was around. Everything was solid, and there were some standouts, as mentioned above.

Great service both times, when it was slammed, and when we were the only people at the bar. Certainly impressed with the beers.

Location is in a big mall area, gigantic parking lot. Nice outdoor seating area and a pretty spacious indoor area, though it was crowded on a Friday afternoon. Plenty of TVs for sports, though somewhat unobtrusive, if that makes sense.

Definitely check this place out if you are in the Santa Barbara area.

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Visited last week in the afternoon. Been several time before, but this review is from the most recent. Located just of the 101 Fwy tucked in the corner of a shopping center. Fairly non-descript from the outside, as it looks like any other restaurant. Inside it has a typical casual feel with a nice outside patio facing the parking lot. The bar is slightly set towards the side with the kitchen in the back. Sat at the bar and was given great service by Ryan. Tried the new IPA (Beer for Brit) and a pizza. Happy Hour prices in effect which meant only $3 pints and $2 off pizzas, plus other similar discounts on food. Offered tasters of a few others too. Very good variety of house made beer. Glass enclosed brewing room where Eric could be seen busily making a new batch of something. Overall, very clean place, good beer and food, reasonable priced during the time I went, and great service. Always try to stop by when in the area.

Photo of Smidge
4.4/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of rallison
4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

One of my favorite things about visiting the parents in Goleta is getting to stop by Hollister Brewing.

They basically always have at least one exceptional beer on tap, be it a DIPA (almost always at least one DIPA - awesome!), RIS, smoked beer, Belgian Strong Ale, Black IPA or something else creative. The standard house beers are above average as well overall. Guest taps are well though out too - last time they had Pure Hoppiness, and they've had Russian River stuff as well.

Food is very good overall. Varies from good to great, but I've generally been impressed by the food. The quality of the food also seems to have improved since the beginning.

I've been to SB Brewing Co and the Brew House, and Hollister is definitely a step above them both (and I've always enjoyed BrewCo for what it is). So, if in the SB/Goleta area, you must stop by Hollister.

Also, they can be a bit expensive, but they have a good happy hour.

Photo of bulletrain76
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

I can't believe that it's taken me this long to get around to reviewing Hollister, as I'v been probably a dozen times in the last nine months. The atmosphere is modern, bright, open, and clean. I like the set up, but I can see how it might feel a bit commercial and less homey than some wold like. Plenty of flat screens around, and if you sit on the rail in front of the bar, you have your pick of half a dozen. The beer is excellent. Ive yet to have a single one of probably over twenty that was off or bad. A few that I didn't particularly care for, but they were still clean and well made beers in their own right. If you love hops, this is a brewpub that you will fall in love with. There is always a DIPA, IPA, and at least two pale ales on tap at all times; all of them typically following the dryer, super hoppy west coast style. The selection is huge, with about 14-15 house beers on tap, and new beers come on every couple weeks. The service has always been good and quite friendly. I haven't had a server that knew too much about beer, but they can usually give you a decent description, and the bartenders always give me free samples when I'm curious about a new beer. The food is a bit pricey, but is also a bit fancier than normal. Everything that I've had has been good, but I usually just stick to a couple beers and maybe an appetizer. Value wise, house pints are 4.50 for normal, 5.00 for high-grav. Happy hour is good though, with three dollar pints, 2.25 10 ouncers, and ten dollar pitchers. They also do brewers choice nights, with 2.50 pints of a couple selections all night, and the beers are usually the more interesting ones that the masses don't drink as frequently, which is fine by me. In my opinion, Hollister is the best beer stop in the Santa Barbara area; much better that SB Brew Co and Downtown brew co, and pretty comparable in quality to The Brewhouse, though with a better selection and service. Basically, the spot to stop for beer if you are in town.

Photo of ILikeGoodCider
4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Hi BA. First time, long time (sorry, radio humor).

On a Saturday trip to Santa Barbara, we decided to land at Hollister (instead of Santa Barbara Brewing, since that's on State St. and it's Saturday in August - read: tourist haven).

Aside from a few patrons holding up the bar, the place had yet to fill up when we sat around 3:30pm. Very clean place all-around with an open floorplan. A plentiful outdoor table area as well. Several flat-screen TVs around the restaurant that are viewable from just about everywhere - inside, that is.

Started off with a 6-pack sampler (4 oz mini-pilsners - $6), Barman's choice. Notable here was the Hip Hop DIPA & Table 42 Red. I also enjoyed a pint of Kristalweiss afterward. My girlfriend had a sampler as well. She enjoyed the Passionfruit Wit & Orange Blossom Golden (hmm, think the bartender was profiling...?). She did request the Edward 40 Hands Malt Liquor; purely because of the name, but I don't blame her, it is a great name. While neither of us has a good palate for the malt brews, it wasn't terrible.

As for the food, I agree with fellow reviewers regarding the Duck Fat Fries. They were very enjoyable. Also on the table were the Steak Sandwich & the Wedge Salad. Both were good. The menu was a bit better looking than most. I did see a lot of "Upstate" Buffalo Wings exiting the kitchen, so imagine those receive good reviews as well.

By the way, by 6pm or so the place was more than half-full.

Overall, with the extensive beer menu & the delicious grub, you almost forget the place is located in a typical outdoor California mall.

[edited for grammar]

Photo of ReDave
4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5

This is a nice pub. I went [unplanned and unknowingly] at UCSB's graduation weekend, and it was a little crowded and noisy. But they accommodated us well, had a nice cheery waiter, and [one of the owners i believe] came by several time to chat, discuss the virtues of IPA's and DIPA's, and he discussed the brewer and his virtues as well.

Apparently it is a converted previously Mexican restaurant, but it seems to suit a brew pub well.

I didn't have any food, but all the food that wafted by smelled delicious, and looked good too, I want to try that American Kobe burger. The prices seem okay as well

Can't wait to make a trip the Goleta [the good lands] and come back

Photo of DigitalEye
4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

Photo of charlzm
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Visited at lunchtime on Sunday, 05/25/08.

Tucked away in one of those ubiquitous Southern California outdoor shopping centers, Hollister is a stone and glass oasis of beer in the midst of a bunch of chain restaurants (Chili's, for example).

Parking is ample and not a problem, though manuevering around the farmers' market in the parking lot was.

The staff was friendly and knowledgable about beer; our waitress told us they had to take classes! The bartender was also personable and helpful.

Our food was above average; I had their artisan version of a BLT and found it tasty. Their duck fat fries were a bit of a letdown, though, as they were only single-fried and, to my palate, tasted no different than standard fries.

There were no less than 14 house beers on tap that day! Wow! While I didn't love of any of them, I also didn't hate any of them, either. Well, maybe the malt liquor. Anyway, that didn't stop a steady stream of growler fills at the bar during my visit.

Lunch for four and two 6 beer tasters came to about a hundred bucks. This seems about right for the level of food and service.

I peeked into the brewery that was behind a glass wall; it seemed mighty small for such a large number of brews. I noticed a bourbon barrel, marked as filled four days before my visit. I asked the bartender what was in it. She told me it was a Russian imperial stout, but that it was probably going to a festival or judging and would not be available to the public. What?!?

Anyway, I gather that the brain behind the beer here was once the brewer at Santa Barbara Brewing Company. That would explain some of the duplicate beers at Hollister (White Star XPA, for one) and the wide variety. Sadly, SBBC has really gone downhill of late; looks like it might be due to the loss of this guy.

If I lived anywhere near the Santa Barbara area, this would probably be a regular stop due to the decent food and service, nice physical space and rotating tap list. Looks like the brewer keeps tinkering with his recipes, too, as everything I had was marked with a higher ABV than than the older reviews indicate.

Hooray for beer! (Red Stripe's got a great slogan)

Photo of bradybeer
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Stopped in here for the first time last night on my way back from San Diego. I ordered a dinner entre (grilled eggplant panini) and two beers (Push & Pull, Tiny Bubbles). I left very satisfied.

Hollister Brewing Co. is located in a medium-sized shopping complex, so even though it's got a bunch of outdoor seating, the view of the parking lot ain't too special. The interior is rather plain with few decorations and a few TVs hung here and there. That was all fine though, because the young, vibrant crowd gave this place a very homey feel. I could definitely see it being my regular hangout if I lived in the area.

The food menu was comprised mainly of pub grub (burgers, sandwiches, pizzas), but with a bit of gourmet flare. The beer selection was somewhat similar with a strong focus on hoppy pales and other popular west coast styles, although a few exceptions existed: namely a wild ale (4th Anniversary) and a gose (Tiny Bubbles). I didn't get around to sample the wild ale, but the gose was surprisingly good! Once the food arrived, it proved to be pretty damn good as well.

Even though Hollister was packed while I was there, that service was spectacular. I also love the deals that Hollister offers up: $6.50 growler fills on Saturday; "Brewer's Choice" ($2.50 pints of select beers) on Tuesdays; all day happy hour on Mondays; discounts for AHA members.

If you're in the area or just passing through, hit up Hollister Brewing Co. You'll be happy you did!

Photo of orsulacp
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

This place was a very nice find on a business trip to the Goleta area, thanks BA. I came here after work with a few collegues for dinner and was very impressed with the quality and service. We came to watch the World Series but one of our party wanted to sit outside, the two big screens were visable outside so everyone was happy. There was a wide selection of house brewed beer, from the light and wheaty to the big and hoppy double IPA. I had the IRA and the double IPA, both were above average. Everyone else in my group was very happy with their beers, which considering the group of people, speaks volumes to the wide range of selection and quality of the beers here. The food selection wasn't all that wide but it had something for everyone, burgers, pizzas, fish tacos, etc. Everyone in the party was happy with their food, but not as excited as with the beer. There was a slight delay in getting our food and the server told us about the problem and what they were doing to fix it. I think this is the sign of a good place, if they have a problem they tell you as soon as they know it and let you know they are working on it. This was a small problem and the server took the time to let us know what was going on, very good service. This place is a nice addition to the SB brewing co and the Brewhouse in the Santa Barbara area.

Photo of JayTheFinn
4.08/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Hollister Brewing Company is the new kid on the block in the Santa Barbara area and the first proper brewpub in Goleta. So far so good! I've had three of their own brewed beers and they've all been excellent. The J, an amber with roasted hemp seeds, was probably my favorite. Let's run down the ratings list:

A - HBC reconstructed the restaurant previously on this site. They opened up the large space to make it airy and bright. It gives the interior a lighter, happier look but the lack of walls means the crowd noise goes unimpeded, and it gets crowded here. To escape the noise you could sit outside in their fairly large patio/beer garden area. Adding to the color of the place is a massive plexiglass wall set up so that patrons can look into the brewing room for a glimpse at how it's done. Also, I give HBC extra atmosphere credit for the "good feeling" you get while here. Because of the prompt and upbeat waitstaff, you feel better about the place in a general sort of way.
Q - As mentioned in the opening paragraph, the beer quality has been top-notch thus far. It's tasty and very fresh. The food is good and I applaude their attempts to make it better than usual pub fair, although it seems to be a work in progress.
S - HBC keeps a lot of waiters on hand, so there's always someone around if you need something. Every waiter I've had since coming here has been very attentive. I docked a half point for an unsatifactory answer I got on a beer question and also because when it gets slow here the waiters get antsy for something to do, so they keep trying to take away your plate which is annoying if you're not finished eating. But they've generally been great so my complaints are minor.
F - The food is interesting. HBC is attempting to create better, more varied pub grub. So far it's been somewhere between delicious and a mixed bag. However, reading the menu makes your mouth water ("duck fat fries") so if they can cook up some dishes that match the anticipation brought on by those descriptions HBC will have the tasty food to match their flavorful beer.
V- The price is pretty reasonable, though I haven't found any amazing deals yet. The $2.75 a pint happy hour is nice. But I'd love to see some of those rock bottom deals places like this do to draw you in, like "Get polluted by the Pacific! $1 Pints from 2am to 2:15am every Sunday!" Just kidding, but you get the picture.

Photo of RidiculedDisplay
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Well, this was a pleasant surprise.

Being a BA in the SB/Goleta area, the pickings are somewhat slim. You have Santa Barbara Brewing Company downtown, which is fine, but has mediocre food and a mixed selection in terms of beer quality, in my opinion. Then you have the Brewhouse tucked away behind the Santa Barbara Amtrak station, which has better food, and some bold beers, but their flavor profiles tend to be a little one-note and they don't have much of a rotation for their beer. Both of these places have only decent guest taps (Firestone), and the Brewhouse does have some Westmalle, Chimay, etc. for bottled options, but that's about it. Otherwise, you have Zodo's in Goleta, which has a huge tap selection, but most of it is comprised by BMC.

So I wasn't expecting much when I heard about Hollister. However, I was pleasantly surprised when I dropped in. First, the guest taps were incredible - Alpine Pure Hoppiness, Avery Flying Pig, Racer 5 IPA, etc. Wonderful. And in the back near the brewing equipment, there were kegs with labels from "PORT BREWING" among others waiting to be connected, so you can tell it will only get better from there on out. The house beers, surprisingly, were also nothing one should dismiss. I started out with the Hip Hop Double IPA, which had a nice, deep citrus and pine hop character with some pretty heavy malt backbone. I also had their Milk Stout, which had a nice smooth chocolate and medium body coffee character to it.

Service was attentive but not intrusive at the bar I sat at.

My friend and I shared some Onion Rings, which were good, but very, very thinly sliced. A bit difficult to share, and you almost needed a fork to properly consume. The "duck fat" french fries sounded interesting.

Atmosphere is good. Sort of an industrial feel. They created better ambience vis-a-vis the lighting, which they dimmed to make it less bright and gaudy.

The guest taps alone make it worth a trip, but the beer is also pretty phenomenal for the area, with a huge amount of variety.

Photo of photomike
4/5  rDev -2%
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.

Photo of t0rin0
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

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Hollister Brewing Co. in Goleta, CA
91 out of 100 based on 38 ratings.