Hollister Brewing Co.
Ratings: 36 | Reviews: 29 | Display Reviews Only:
4.45/5 rDev +9.3%
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...
09-11-2012 16:03:38 | More by DoubleJ
3.85/5 rDev -5.4%
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
3.84/5 rDev -5.7%
We stopped in at Hollister on the way home from the Firestone Invitational. It's more of a restaurant with a brewery in it than the other way around. There is a main seating area and a smallish bar area. The brewery equipment is behind glass adjacent to the bar. We sat at the bar and got pretty good service even though it was busy. They had about 13 of their own beers on tap with a wide variety of styles represented. I got a 6 pack sampler for $7 but they sell individual tasters, half pints, pints, and growlers. The quality of the beer was good and served in proper glassware. I also had a pulled pork sandwich and duck fat fries and it was pretty tasty (moreso the fries). Prices were reasonable for beers but a bit expensive for food in my opinion. I would stop in again to see what's new if I were in the area.
06-05-2013 02:56:47 | More by UCLABrewN84
3.63/5 rDev -10.8%
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
4.18/5 rDev +2.7%
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!
03-30-2011 20:41:30 | More by ThreeWiseMen
4.18/5 rDev +2.7%
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
3.88/5 rDev -4.7%
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
4.25/5 rDev +4.4%
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)
05-27-2008 03:26:33 | More by charlzm
4.55/5 rDev +11.8%
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!
12-16-2010 04:30:23 | More by ndolover
Hollister Brewing Co. in Goleta, CA
91 out of 100 based on 36 ratings.