The Brewhouse

Not Rated.
The BrewhouseThe Brewhouse
BEER AVG
3.67/5
Based on:
32 Beers
123 Ratings
Place Score: 89
Ratings: 33
Reviews: 25
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: n/a
Taps: --
Bottles: --
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

229 W Montecito St
Santa Barbara, California, 93101
United States
phone: (805) 884-4664

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

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Place added by: bcm119

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Ratings: 33 | Reviews: 25
Reviews by JayTheFinn:
Photo of JayTheFinn
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4

Booths, tables, a couple bars and beer garden along the front make up the varied seating at the Brewhouse. It's fairly large and can get noisey when it's busy.

The beer was good to great. The brewmaster has given the patron numerous choices in numerous styles: pale ales, blondes, a porter, Belgiums, etc. There's also other microbrews offered in bottles.

The food menu was large and varied, with lunch and happy hour specials.

The service we received was excellent, especially for a busy Friday night. Our waitress checked on us quite a few times regardless of the fact that she was running around crazy.

I set the "value" at "reasonable", but that's relative to Santa Barbara where everything is a little more expensive than average. So here in SB a $14 salad isn't considered all that much. Apparently everyone but me is making big bucks around here.

Original Ratings (5-20-06): 3.5/4.0/4.5/4.5/4.0

***

(2-6-08)

I've been back a few times since my first visit, so I figured I ought to update the ol' review here.

The atmosphere (vibe) is laid back and relaxed. This is a "chill" kinda spot off the beaten path (State Street). It's a good place to get away from the crowds...unfortunately it seems many other people feel the same way, so it ironically can get crowded now and then.

The beer quality is some of the best in town and the surrounding area. It was when I first came here and it's never lagged since.

The service gets a bit spotty now and then. But on occasion the brewer or an assistant will be roaming about, chatting, which is nice to see at a brewpub.

The selection can be a little sparse. I think that may be because they focus on crafting a small handful of brews and tend to push those as opposed to carrying a large stock of other brands.

The food's decent, although some menu items are better than others...while some are downright hits with the locals. I'm a fan of their huge shepherds pie.

The value is mostly reasonable, especially when factoring in happy hours and other various specials.

NOTE: The Brewhouse is THE PLACE in Santa Barbara for Octoberfest. It's a dang good time!

More User Reviews:
Photo of oneaday
4.4/5  rDev +12.2%
vibe: 1.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

Be willing to stay when you walk in. What you see is not what you get. My group had a variety of food and it was all outstanding. Elephant Seal DIPA was very good. Our server was friendly and prompt but not rushed. I'm ready to go back.

Photo of SteveTheDog
4.4/5  rDev +12.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Came here after a long hike with our dog, grabbed a seat outside and they were real quick to bring out menus and a dog menu. Whenever I started walking towards the chalkboard of daily taps by the entrance, my server walked out to see how she could help and had good recs. ribs were great, PB pie was delicious, my dog loved the frozen marrow bone and water bowl and beers were great. It was so nice I came back the next day and am writing this review at the bar.

Photo of TheMarkE
3.63/5  rDev -7.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4

The place to go for Sunday brunch. Good food, whether it's off the menu or off of the weekend buffet. It can get crowded at times, especially on a warm summer day. Service is hit or miss, depending on how busy they are. The staff is usually courteous and helpful but can sometimes get overwhelmed by the volume of customers.

Most of the beers I've had are good. Nothing great, but nothing to complain about either.

If you're a dog owner, bring Fido along and eat on the patio. They even have a separate dog menu.

Photo of DesMoinesMike
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

Stayed at Brisas del Mar and this place was 2 blocks away, so for the location was good. It's easy to miss. It's not the Neighborhood bar on the corner, go past that 1/2 a block. They didn't go for anything fancy with the decor, they just focused on making some outstanding beer. It reminded me of some of the brewpubs I've been to in Colorado Springs, kinda rugged but great product. I had the Dubbel and thought it was fantastic. The nachos were nice, but not Freebird's quality. The next day I came back and had the honey brown, VERY nice. The wait staff seemed decent, not overly chatty though.The beer menu had penty of variety.

If you want a decent brew pub experience, you'll be happy with SB Brewing Company. If you want some amazing beer with eclectic atmosphere, come here.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.74/5  rDev -4.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5

Went here for a pint (no food) to check the place out. A little out of the way from the normal tourist areas of SB.

The atmosphere in here is definitely the low point. The place is fairly run down and normally would be a place that I would walk right by without even considering going in to it for a beer.

The beer selection was quote impressive. I had a porter that was quite tasty. The selection contained about 12 or so beers and included a pilsener, apricot wheat, porter, IPA, DIPA, Saison, a couple of other Belgian style beers and one or two others that escape my mind.

Prices were very good - $4.50 for my pint. Service was friendly but didn't seem too interested in talking about the beer with me.

Photo of Offa
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Of the two brewpubs we visited in Santa Barbara, this is by far the better. It’s across Hwy 101, just outside downtown, so is more out of the way and less showy, but the place itself is nice. It has some good outdoor seating and inside, although nothing really special or artistic, seems honest and friendly. Although loud, it is loud in a comfortable way of people truly having a good time with friends and family, enjoying good food and beer, not of loud people showing off.

The beer is not outstanding, but it is very good, solid, flavourful, and holding up well to the food. It also has some good guest selections and some Belgian beers which we didn't try.

The food itself is very good, several notches above normal brewpub fare in terms of both quality and variety of choices. The menu is large with a number of more thoughtful, interesting, and creative dishes and everything that we had was prepared very well. Service, even when exceedingly busy, has been both friendly and efficient.

Photo of t0rin0
3.81/5  rDev -2.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Visited 3 times over the past couple years. Always enjoy stopping in to try the new ticks. They have something like 15 taps going all the time.

The place is divided into a couple rooms, one with just tables and one large room with the bar and on Saturdays a stage for a live band.

The place can get loud and busy but is still roomy enough to be comfortable. It's kind of hidden off the side of the freeway on a dark street that seems to have a number of popular bars.

The beer is all over the place. Some decent some not. To date I've tried 24 different beers from them and those cover about 15 different styles. Definitely an interesting place to visit.

Photo of ndolover
3.45/5  rDev -12%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 2.5

The Brewhouse is right off the highway and very easy to find. However, I did see a drug deal while passing the gas station nearby. It has nice patio area and is located next to another bar.

Inside the place is like a well worn shoe. We sat ourselves and were greated prompty. Service was laid back but attentive.

The beer menu had everything you would expect (Milk Stout, IPA, Brown Ale) and some that you would not (Jalepeno Pilsner, XXXXChristmas beer). I thought the beers were well executed and had some variation of selection. I did not note a beer engine.

The food was average at best. However, the did have an eclectic selection.

While I would not go out of my way to visit The Brew house, I certainly reccomend it to anyone in the area!

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

This was the favorite of the 3 brewpubs in Santa Barb. We liked the atmosphere more here than anywhere else in town. Had more of an everyday Joe type gathering. The beer was better and the staff was sooo laid back. Food was average. The beer slection was ummm different. They had a dubbel and trippel, BOP on the taps. These guys like Belgians. I was disappointed in the selection. No porter, stout, IPA. Outside is a patio area and inside is a little run down but who cares. They had 3 belgians on and an Extra Pale Ale. Reasonable. Overall, if you wanted to get away from the State Street crowd this is the place to go. When we go back to Santa Barb this will be the stop for us. Again, beers are average, selection is more belgian, food is average and service is slow but friendly.

///

Re -review 9 Aug 2009. Much better on the beer quality and selection! Very good, everything from IPAs to belgians, barleywine and bourbon strong ales. Service is still adequate.

///

Wife and I went in for dinner 5 Dec 2009. Beer was still very good. Our food was phenom! Very reasonable on price. We got a half rack ribs, fillet mignon, two beers and 4 flight of tasters and a new growler fill of St Barbs Honey Trippel...$60! AWESOME. All good.

Photo of wd40
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4

Good food, adequate service, more about the atmosphere than the beer. A bit loud. Has outside seating which is a plus.

There selection isn't great, I think they only had one or two taps outside of the beer they brew themselves. I believe one of the guest taps was Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.

I decided I'd give their belgian style ales a go and tried their house tripel, dubbel and quad. The dubbel tasted more like a stout than a dubbel, but was interesting. The quad had an interesting use of american hops. I think the tripel conformed more closely than the others to what I expected stylistically.

The food is good. My girlfriend really liked their cheeseburger. It's a fun place if you want to relax with the locals, get some decent food and have a beer or two.

Photo of radshoesbro
4/5  rDev +2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

this is slighty off the beaten path for santa barbara. it's not a tourist destination, which is quite nice. two dining rooms and two bars. we were told to seat ourselves. immediately our waitress came with water and menus. gave us a few minutes to look over the menu, got our drink orders and a few minutes later got our food orders. the beer here isn't stellar, but the food is good. had a mahi mahi sandwich with chowder and oysters on the half shell. their oysters were huge and cheap, but their chowder wasn't great. the sandwich was definitely good. my wife liked her oktoberfest and salmon salad, and we would definitely go here again if we come back through!

Photo of charlzm
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5

Visited at lunchtime on Monday, 02/18/08. The decor is funky and local with local artworks that tend towards surfing and landscapes for sale on the walls. Walls and restrooms have fairly well-done murals depicting Santa Barbara scenes. The vibe of the place was relaxed and local. Seems as if this place was two businesses once upon a time and a wall got knocked out between them. Confirmed this with Pete the brewmaster later. There were seven of their own beers on tap, and all were at the very least okay. The whole flight of seven in my taster may have been the most consistent and well-done batch I have had in a SoCal brewpub. In addition, there were Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Bitburger and North Coast Old Rasputin on nitro. The waiter was a youngish guy who reminded me of Keanu Reeves. He knew a lot about beer and was friendly and attentive. There were an amazing array of foods that all sounded good on the menu. I ordered a mixed grill of tri-tip, shrimp, suasage, pork and chicken with a side of mashed potatoes and peas. My friend got blackened pork loin. Both our dishes were very, very good. The wait for the food was about thirty minutes, but it gave us plenty of time to talk and enjoy our beers. Overall, I loved the vibe, the beers were very good and the food was excellent. This is my new go-to place in Santa Barbara.

Photo of 86sportster883
3.89/5  rDev -0.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4

The Brewhouse is a small 7 barrel brewpub and restaurant that’s just a short walk from the train station in downtown Santa Barbara. I visited late on a mid week December afternoon. The smell of a recent wort boil greeted me as I walked in the door and, in fact, the brewer and his assistant were in the process of cleaning the brew kettle as I took a seat at the bar.

The inside of the main bar area is pretty simple. A moderate sized bar separates the brewing equipment and taps from the small, late afternoon crowd. The music was a mellow blues mix that seemed to fit the Brewhouse's laid back atmosphere. Out front, sidewalk seating accommodated the smokers and a small raised platform in one corner looked well worn by the area’s bands. Peter, the brewer, was in a jolly mood and greeted most patrons by their first name.

The Brewhouse has a nice selection of their own beers, and I ordered a sample of all but the triple that clocked in at 9% abv. I was really impressed with their beers, and each sample that I tried seemed better than the one before. I thought their Beyond the Pale Ale (brewed with Belgian yeast) was outstanding, although the brewer himself wasn’t overly impressed with his recent creation. The Weizen was excellent, the milk stout was solid, and the Bad Santa Dark Lager was extremely easy to drink. Peter felt that his Pilsner was more like a Dortmunder due to the hard water that was available to him, and after he said that, I had to agree. But I would have been hard pressed to find much of anything that I disliked about any of his beer.

This place definitely had the right vibe and the beers were mostly very good, or better. In addition, Delirium Noel and Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale were the guest beers on tap. A small but decent collection of bottles and cans (displayed across the room’s main crossbeam) included a sampling of good German and Belgian wheats.

I think that if I were ever to find myself looking for a place to live in Santa Barbara, I would start by trying to find a place within walking distance of the Brewhouse. Great beers, but didn’t have the opportunity to try the food.

Photo of winpig3
3.88/5  rDev -1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I recently went to the SB area for a weekend getaway and decided to try the Brewhouse as an alternative to the shopping mall atmosphere along State Street. We had some trouble finding the place but a local enthusiastically gave us directions that guided us through a series of back streets.

I was immediately impressed by the size of the place, with plenty of inside seating, a large bar area, small stage for a band, and tables outside. Even better, the outside eating area was divided into smoking and non-smoking sections. The place has a nice relaxed feel to it – perfect for spending a long Sunday afternoon with a few pints.

The service was a little hit-or-miss. The servers were fast and friendly, it’s just that I got a wheat when I ordered an IPA, which was quickly corrected. I also got fries instead of onion rings but that was alright.

The menu was great with plenty of food, beer, wine and alcohol choices but I stuck with the $8.50 cheeseburger and pint special. A great deal. The IPA tasted like the old standard but their Oatmeal Stout was delicious and the Abby ale was the perfect pairing to the burger.

I plan to drink here whenever I’m in SB.

Photo of rallison
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

All in all, I like this place. Service can be spotty at busier times, but when it's been earlier in the day the service has been quite good actually. Weekend evening though, and things get a bit hectic. Atmosphere is definitely a locals sort of place - I like that. Feels way more authentic than the brewco on State Street (I also enjoy that too - these two places just cater to very different crowds).

Selection is very good for a brewpub. They often have 4-8 of their own beers on tap, and they try some different styles: scotch ales, belgian styles, habanero pilsners, etc. Some work well, some don't. They've had a few knockouts for sure - the scotch ale was delicious; I liked it better than the couple versions I've had from Pizza Port. That, plus they have some guest beers on tap. Last time they had Delirium Noel! That was very good.

Food is on the whole quite tasty. Calamari with the dipping sauce, the cruel prawn, the hot potato chips with gorgonzola - all enjoyable. Normal menu items though are a bit pricey. Lunch and happy hour specials are where the deals are - 8 or so bucks for a cheeseburger, fries and a pint - not bad for Santa Barbara.

Value varies from cheap to expensive. The beer is very cheap (relative to Santa Barbara prices) during happy hour, and pretty reasonable otherwise. Food is cheap during lunch/happy hour, but can get quite expensive for some entrees.

So, all in all, if you go at the right time, this place is fun, has tasty food and beer, and is just a cool little place. I recommend it.

Photo of bradybeer
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

My wife and I stopped off here for a bite of lunch before heading on down to San Diego. From the outside we were a bit worried-was it a sports bar, a dive bar, a brewpub? My wife Tdawg-threatened to stay in the car.

There are two doors to enter through-one that has a host station and one that leads directly to the bar. One half of the space is dinning and the other half is the bar (with the ex-John Harvard brewing equipment visable behind) with seating and a stage.

The were 8 beers on tap: A Scotch Ale, Abbey, Dubble, Tripple, Pils, Stout, Brown Ale, and a just tapped IPA.

I am going to say that we found the beer to be some of the best we have had-I tried 8oz pulls of the Abbey, Dubble, Brown Ale, and IPA-and I can't say that I had a favorite-since I enjoyed each-and wished I didn't have to drive.

My wife had the Scotch Ale and the Stout-she was blown away by the Scotch Ale-and she is still talking about it.

The food was good not great-we both had a patty melt-but found the onions too sweet.

The staff and service was great-we were able to talk to the brewmaster and found him to be a hoot.

We got a growler of the Brown Ale to go-and we plan to stop by on the way back for a refill of our bellies and our growler.

If you are driving through Santa Barbara on the 101 stop off here-it is right off the highway and easy to find-

We LOVE this The Brewhouse.

Photo of orsulacp
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

I had to check this place out on a trip to SB based on the reviews on this site. There are tables and booths all over and a decent sized bar. I went to the bar and had dinner there. The bar was fully stocked with liquor and wines, and a wide range of brewed on site beers and other beers. I had the pilsner, the pale ale, and the stout. All were good the stout was the best of the three. The menu was varied and there was something for everyone. There was a bit of a problem with my dinner it took a real long time to come out and the soup was served with the main dish, the bartender didn't acknowledge this was a problem. I would definitely come back for the beer and maybe try the table service, the bartender was overwhelmed, she had no chance to serve better than she did. If you want a more local SB experience this place is better than the SB brewing.

Photo of BeerGoodness
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I live directly behind this place for better or worse. This pub has the best happy hour of any bar I have visited. Get here between 4pm and 6pm 7 days a week and you are drinking and eating cheap.

Love their beer but there are consistency issues. One batch will have your mouth watering for more but the next batch may have you looking at other options. Food is great with a large menu to fit everyones taste. They are known for slow service when they are busy but its a freindly atmosphere with no rush to get out the door.

Something special to note about this pub: They throw one hell of an Oktoberfest during the tradtional times with traditional beers and food.

Photo of Yetiman420
3.29/5  rDev -16.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2 | selection: 4

In early May 2006, I had the opportunity to visit Santa Barbara on business. As is usually the case, I fit in a couple brewpub visits with each trip (~170 brewed-on-premisis site visits to date). I've traveled quite a bit and Santa Barbara is a great place to visit. I visited The Brewhouse first and hit Santa Barbara Brewing later in the evening (see review but SBB overall was better). I hit the Brewhouse around 7 and it was really crowded. They have two bars but to my surprise, the front bar does not have beer taps. The service was very unorganized and I sat looking around for 10 minutes until someone finally asked me what I wanted (had this attitude pretty much throughout my trip to so Cal). I stuck with beer and had a pale ale and then a wit. Yes, that's in the wrong order but the pale ale was average so I decided to try something else and am getting ready to brew a wit. This place certainly had more of a local vibe than SBB, but you should check them both out if you're ever in town.

Photo of mickeymac
4/5  rDev +2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

On a recent run to Santa Barbara, I stopped in here for lunch and a couple beers. Wandering inside, the place smelled a bit like Lysol, so I made for the patio. The patio is spacious, if not particularly scenic. Expect the sight of a self-serve carwash and the sound of passing Amtrak trains. However, the patio filled up with a lively lunchtime crowd and all seemed right with the world. The menu is fairly extensive, but I went with the basic cheeseburger special: burger, fries, and a brew for $7 is a damn good deal. The burger was loaded with carmelized onions and a chili mayo that had just enough kick. The beef was quality, making for quite a nice lunch. I washed it down with one of their IPAs: a nice but not extaordinary effort. After giving lunch time to settle, I had the abbey dubbel, which was also nice. The service was prompt and friendly. I'd be interested to see what the place is like on a weekend night and would certainly recommend it for lunch and a beer. Skip the chi-chi spots and look for the joint across from the self-serve carwash.

Photo of jonnylieberman
4.43/5  rDev +13%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

The most important thing to know about The Brewhouse is that current owner/brewer Pete is a former homebrewer and The Brewhouse reflects this fact. His passion for what he is doing is evident in every aspect of the pub.

The environment is absolutely ideal for drinking and enjoying beer. From the comfy tables, to the spartan walls to the outside tables on a quiet tree-lined street, I believe that the atmosphere is identical to what most homebrewers who dream about going pro envision for their respective joints.

And then there is the beer. No standard brewpub blonds, reds and brunettes to be found here. While not up the dizzying innovation of say Russian River, Pete puts out so goodies. My favorite was an IPA pitched with Saison yeast. All his Belgians (the St. Barb line, after the patron saint of Santa Barbara) are very tasty with his St. Barb's Double leading the charge. The IPAs were very good and are capable enough to compete with the best from San Diego and North of the Golden Gate. Which is rare in itself. I also loved the Habenero lager.

The food I had was great. Pub grub, but with enough of a twist to be fun and memorable. The beer stroganoff with cheese and mushrooms particularly stands out.

To conclude, if you happen to find yourself in Santa Barbara, forget State Street and head to The Brewhouse--a true beer drinker's destination.

Photo of Rumrunner
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

I stopped by for lunch. A couple of beers would cool me down on a warm summer day.

The brewhouse is located away from the touristy part of Santa Barbara. A quiet street right off the freeway lets one feel they are part of the local scene.

What a strange and at the same time normal pub this is. Describing it is not easy. It looks rundown like a California dive bar, yet some aspects of the interior are eclectic and old fashioned. The main room is large. A long uneven bar is straight ahead with the brewing equipment behind the bar to the left. There is a second room with some old wooden booths and a small rectangular bar by the kitchen. Local art adorns the walls which can be purchased. A few t.v.s which were showing sports. One t.v. had soccer on it for the footie fans. I felt very comfortable at the bar having my lunch, but there is a funky feel to the interior that took some getting used to. There is a patio in front with some tables to sit outside.

The service was adequate. My food came in a timely fashion and the bartender made sure my glass did not go dry. The people were friendly and I talked to the brewer for a couple of minutes. They were brewing the pilsner when I was there. The place had that brewery smell, that is for sure.

The menu is quite large. Appetizers, burgers, salads, steak, pizza and much much more. Since this was my first time here I certainly have not explored the menu. My sandwich was good but nothing spectacular. The fries were okay. I will try something different next time.

They had about eight of their beers on tap. The pilsner, pale, saison, dopplebock, dubble, triple, stout and the wheat. Their beers were very tasty and went down nicely. They also had a few guest beers and a decent but small bottle selection. A few Belgian beers in the bottle as well.

I recommend this place and their beers. State Street is great, but it was nice to have lunch and a couple of pints in a real local's hang out.

Note: They have growler service.

Photo of drewbage
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Drew's Note - Revisiting this place on my club's recent brewery crawl. Much of my original review remains in place. The food's better, the beer's better. What can a man do? If you're in SB, go here, please! These guys are good for you. The overall attitude is better than the SBBH. It's a more "real" place

First ventured into this brewery this past weekend after meeting the brewer Pete in San Francisco.

The brewpub (as elucidated by the previous review) is a strange organicaly grown place off the touristy track in Santa Barbara. The brewery is an old "Pub" 7 Barrel system from a John Harvard's Brewery in a fairly tight corner behind the new major bar in the resturant.

Food is an interesting blend of various California type of cuisine (and is very tasty.. particularly those potato chips with gorgonzola melted on them)

The beers that I had there were tasty, but were all univerally served way too cold to start with .In addition to ~7 house beers, the taps were filled with a varied selection of American and Imported brews. Full service bar for those desiring more kick to their day.

Can't comment on the night scene as I was there for a laid back Sunday lunch.

This is a great pub and though I've only been the once it has all of the feel of a neighborhood joint that's comfortable to hang at and comforable people to be with. Definately an inspiration for all who are interested in how to run a chummy place instead of a more coldly efficient place.

Photo of bcm119
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4 | food: 5

The Brewhouse is a unique place, especially for beer lovers, and especially for Santa Barbara. Its location isn't the only thing that sets it apart from the overpriced, touristy corridor of State Street. It was opened in 1998 as a restaurant and locals bar that served outstanding food at outstanding prices. Marketing and advertising were never part of their gameplan; they simply provided a great atmosphere and great food and allowed the word to spread. Since its opening, its clientele has evolved from working class locals to a younger, hipper crowd; its beer selection has expanded as they've added a microbrewery, but the feel of the Brewhouse, while changed slightly, is still the best in town.
The food has always been the strength of the Brewhouse. The entrees are all outstanding. For an appetizer, order a "cruel prawn"- its a grilled prawn with habenero paste that will leave you sweating and speechless. And try the chipotle cheesecake for dessert- even if it sounds repulsive- it will surprise you.
Despite their name, the Brewhouse just started brewing their own beer in late 2002. They bought the small space next door and converted it to a brewery, and added a larger bar right in front of the brewing equipment. The brewmaster, Pete, is an accomplished homebrewer and president of the Santa Barbeerians homebrewing club, who still meet at the Brewhouse weekly (at least). Pete brews some tasty beers. The pale ale, which is called "Sierra Nirvana" pale ale because its an all-Cascade recipe, is usually really good. The stout is very good as well, and the red ale is worth trying for its unusually toasty malt flavor. He usually has a brown ale, a pilsener, and a hefeweizen on too. If you'd rather stick to an old stand-by, they also serve the real Sierra pale ale, Anderson Valley oatmeal stout, DeKonick, and Bitburger Pils. Several Belgians are available in bottles, as are various west coast micros.
The atmosphere of the Brewhouse is very inviting; although it can be loud on weekend nights, everyone is friendly, relaxed, and you can almost feel how glad everyone is not to be on State Street. The walls are covered with local artists' work and local bands play several nights a week. I recommend going on a weekday, when the crowd is minimal, the outside seating is easier to get, and the service is better. Santa Barbara doesn't have much beer culture, but the little it does have can be found here- along with great food.

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The Brewhouse in Santa Barbara, CA
89 out of 100 based on 33 ratings.