Downtown Brewing Co.

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Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

3755 State Street
Santa Barbara, California, 93105
United States

(805) 682-7803

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Added by JayTheFinn on 05-17-2007

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4 |  Reviews: 4
Reviews by JayTheFinn:
Photo of JayTheFinn
3.23/5  rDev +12.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Downtown Brewing Co is still going through some growing pains it seems. There have been a few complaints of warm, flat beer and when I went they were already out of 2 or 3 of their ales. The waitress chalked it up to them being overwhelmingly busy. Sounds like a reasonable excuse. Although it's very new, this isn't Downtown's first location. They have a successful brewpub up in San Luis Obispo, so you'd think that knowledge would translate to a more smooth transition. I also have to take our waitress to task for not knowing what the current tap situation was. This is a brewpub, you should know if you're out of a certain beer or two...or three. If you fail to notice that the place is out of pickles, that's fine, but get on your game when it comes to the beer! In general she had a very "first day of school" look about her. That's been a complaint of a few other customers too.

HOWEVER, having said all that, I think Downtown has set the ground work for a successful pub. They've got a good location. I really like multi-choice seating: bar, small booths and huge booths, a lounge with couches, basic pub tables and outdoor patio space. Plenty of tvs everywhere and a pool table. The bathrooms need a little up keep. But they've brought the great beer of Downtown from up north. The Honey Blond I had was delicious! Aside from about 8 of their own taps they had 4 guests: Blud Moon, Guinness, Firestone and Bud Light. The bottle situation catered more towards BMC. The food was good, but nothing to write home about. The menu is mostly salads, pizzas and sandwiches. Overall the price is nothing to complain about.

Here's to hoping they improve the little imperfections in the coming weeks and months.

Original ratings (5-20-07) 4.0/4.0/2.0/4.0/3.5


Update (2-6-08)

Started poor and seems to have gotten worse. The beers are average and appear to be taking a backseat to hard alcohol. More and more often I hear things like "Shots! Who's doing shots!". This place has always been sports oriented, but the college/meathead crowd is moving in. They hosted a friggin' beer pong tournament for crapsake!


A - I gotta drop the atmosphere down a notch due to the crowd this place is drawing.

Q - The beers are nothing special. They're getting an average rating.

S - Surprisingly the service is a bit better. They still are clueless about beer, but at least they're quicker and more available.

S - The selection is the same.

F - Still the same ol' food, which is not much to shout about.

V - It's a reasonable value for what you get...i guess.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of barleywinefiend
2.15/5  rDev -25.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 1.5 | service: 1 | selection: 4 | food: 1.5

Off State St and hard to find if you dont know your way around town. I drove past it twice. Not much parking. Outdoor patio is nice but that is about it. Mediocre beer at best, service was terr-i-ble!!! College crowd and they could really care less about service. Our server waited on us 1 time in an hour and the rest of the time I was out of my seat getting the attention of other servers and bartender. My wifes sandwich was burned and my tri tip sandwich had no sauce on and very dry!!!. Terrible experience and I wont ever go back. Overpriced beer too.

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Photo of BeerSurfer
3.35/5  rDev +16.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5

The two reviews thus far on DTB are pretty spot on. It wouldn't be a destination brew pub with great bear and food. However it is an inexpensive place to get food and beer which is of average quality. It is in the Upper State area which doesn't have anything like this, so for the neighborhood it is a great addition. The place is huge so as another review wrote, you can have all sorts of seating arrangements. If you are into sports they have a lot of TV's and get all of the NFL games on Sundays. The beer isn't too special. I like it better than The BrewCo but worse than The BrewHouse. The wait staff is prompt and friendly, but can't offer much in the way of information about the beers as you would expect from a real brewpub. The big plus for me is that you can go and get decent meal and decent beer for under $15. Happy Hour has brews for $2.50 and low price snacks. I've actually had 3 beers and a meal for under $15 once, which makes for a nice outing. I hope this place can improve on beer quality and variety but keep the food and prices the same.

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Photo of sloejams
2.74/5  rDev -4.5%
vibe: 2 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 3.5

I flat out did not like this place.

I try to keep an open mind to it, but when I go into a brewery / brewpub and they have Bud Light on tap - the place is not worth visiting 100% of the time . Same applies here. I've never been fond of SLO's beers so I wasn't shocked that the IPA I got was not special. It was drinkable. Their other beers on-tap (all made in San Luis Obispo, I believe) did not sound interesting, but since I only tried one I can't really comment on them.

The clientèle ranged from the "I wanna get drunk" frat types to the "gimme another Bud Light" types. So, yeah no variety and not my scene at all. Our bartender fit right into this mold, straight up plonker. My brother and I drank our beers and left.

Of the 4 brewpubs in SB I hit this day, Downtown is the only one I do not recommend.

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Downtown Brewing Co. in Santa Barbara, CA
Brewery rating: 3.23 out of 5 with 0 ratings