Hollister Brewing Co.

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Hollister Brewing Co.Hollister Brewing Co.
343 Ratings
Hollister Brewing Co.Hollister Brewing Co.

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

6980 Marketplace Drive
Goleta, California, 93117
United States

(805) 968-2810 | map

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Added by JayTheFinn on 05-18-2007

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Ratings: 42 |  Reviews: 30
Photo of Hodgie-Wood
2.66/5  rDev -34.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 1 | service: 3 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.25

Food and atmosphere was very pleasing, waiters and waitresses nice, food average, however;
if you're serious about the quality of the beer you want to enjoy then, you may not want to purchase a growler and refill here because they won't even bother rinsing out the growler you bring in with water or a cleaning solution. Any quality brewmaster would insist on having his/her staff trained and proactive about having a clean growler go back to their dedicated clientele. That does not seem to be the case here at Hollister brewery so for that reason only I have to score it very low in the category of quality.

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Photo of AleHunter805
3.25/5  rDev -20.3%

Photo of emagana
3.38/5  rDev -17.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

I drop in on a Thursday for lunch. Wow. It was busy. Luckily I got a place near the bar. The bar was full and they have stools and bar like tables facing the opposite way from the bar. It made it always to order anything as the bar tender was my hostess. I had to yell over people shoulders in order to get a beer and food. Not my cup of tea.
Short of disappointed in till I got my sampler. The sampler tray of beers only comes with 6 slots. In fact they had more on tap and one cashed ale. I had to choose which I wanted to try. I was amaze on te quality and have to say that thy do have great beer.
I tried their 10 feet shadow or something like that. It was an amazing oatmeal stout. I highly recommend this place for those of you looking for a great beer.

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Photo of Gobzilla
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of irishpride
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of BeerBucks
3.58/5  rDev -12.3%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.25 | food: 4

Photo of Floydster
3.63/5  rDev -11%
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

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Photo of TheMarkE
3.66/5  rDev -10.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.75

Decent food, average service, average beer. The food is a step up from your normal pub fare, but it's at a premium price even at Santa Barbara prices. The beer is average, nothing really stands out.

This was a favorite when I moved here a few years ago, but since then the prices have gone up while the quality has fallen. There are too many breweries in the area to reward mediocrity.

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Photo of sillyhed8
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of heatherzbeer
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of drewone
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of GeorgeH
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.84/5  rDev -5.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3.5

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.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.85/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

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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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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.

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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.

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Photo of MisterKilderkin
4.08/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

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.

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Photo of BowWowWowYippyYoIPA
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

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.

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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.

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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!

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Photo of Isian
4.19/5  rDev +2.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.25

Stopped by here on Monday, 5/23, shortly after noon. The place was busy with people having lunch, so my friend and I got a spot at the bar. We didn't order food, so I'll skip that rating.

The bartender was quite knowledgeable about what he was serving, and made a couple recommendations for us. Ended up getting a 6 beer tasting that I was able to choose from their entire list which had a decent amount of choice. A hef, an ipa, a double ipa, a pale ale, their recent 9th anniversary sour, and another that isn't coming to mind now.

Nothing stood out particularly about the beers. Good renditions I would say of the style they were aiming for in general. The hefeweizen was probably the weak point--it was almost clear which is strange for a traditional unfiltered wheat beer. Their strongest offering was likely the pale ale utilizing Nelson Sauvin hops. It had a great flavor to it, and really showcased what those hops bring to the table.

I'm not the biggest fan of brewpubs in general, but if you're in the area and looking for a quick bite with some solid beers, I'd recommend Hollister Brew Co.

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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)

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Hollister Brewing Co. in Goleta, CA
Brewery rating: 3.7 out of 5 with 343 ratings