Santa Barbara Brewing Company

Santa Barbara Brewing CompanySanta Barbara Brewing Company

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

501 State Street
Santa Barbara, California, 93101
United States

(805) 730-1040 | map

No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate

View: Beers | Place Reviews | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 31 | Ratings: 46
Reviews by Yetiman420:
Photo of Yetiman420
4.4/5  rDev +29.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

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 site visits/quality checks during my travels (~170 to date). I hit The Brewhouse first and SBB later in the evening (see review - worth checking out but not as good as SBB). SBB is about as good as it gets. It's hard to say things are touristy in Santa Barbara because it's so nice. The location is right on the main drag of shops and if you were going to be critical, you could say there were a lot of posers here. However, I come for the beer and this place gets it right. As a hop lover, I almost creamed myself when I saw they had three hoppy beers on tap - Pale Ale, IPA, and Hoptometry. All three were excellent examples of agressive Pac NW hoppy styles of beer. I look forward to the day I can return to Santa Barbara, enjoy the outdoors and indoors at SBB. Keep up the great work!

 915 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of metter98
3.35/5  rDev -1.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.25 | service: 3.25 | selection: 3.5

Photo of Gobzilla
3.18/5  rDev -6.2%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3.25

Photo of Mehinaman
4.25/5  rDev +25.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

The food was much better here than I expected it would be. I ordered the Ahi salad and it was very good and the portions were more than fair. As for beer I had the Vat 629 IPA, which was a good if not amazing IPA. I am here on vacation, but if I was a local I would come back here regularly.

 291 characters

Photo of Nhoelzen
3.9/5  rDev +15%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

Great place for decent beer and great people watching. Classic small pub feel in the center of all the action on State Street. Just wish they brewed more of their speciality beers more often. Always seem to have the basics (blondes, ambers, wheats, etc.) and are always out of the rest. Still a favorite place to grab a beer though.

 336 characters

Photo of crob3888
3.35/5  rDev -1.2%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3

Photo of JOrtt
4.16/5  rDev +22.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4.5

Great place..service was great and I like the atmosphere. Beer is typical with my standout being the IPA and Oktoberfest.

121 characters

Photo of HobbNobber
3.55/5  rDev +4.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Photo of jwolfe1311
4/5  rDev +18%

Sort of just looks like a bar and has a bar feel rather than brewery but beer is good.

87 characters

Photo of JDFernandez
3.75/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of WoostaBia
3.25/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of raulazzer
3/5  rDev -11.5%

Photo of CTaylorBrew
3.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of irishpride
3.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of timlyon
4/5  rDev +18%

Photo of bcgeiman
3/5  rDev -11.5%

Photo of CAcker
3.25/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of tgatort
3.75/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of scottgs
1.89/5  rDev -44.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 1.5 | service: 1 | selection: 2.5

Awful.. I had the King Saaz Pilsner, and obviously the brew master doesn't know what the style is. The bartender told me it wasn't very hoppy. How funny. Pretty much a watered down IPA. I waited 30 minutes for the bartender to take my order as I choked down the beer. it never happened... and in the mean time someone sat next to me, ordered, and finished thier meal... my menu still sitting lonely in front of me.I cut my losses and just went somewhere good, just shown the street.

 482 characters

Photo of TheMarkE
3.49/5  rDev +2.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3 | food: 4

Nice place, good food (I love the pizza), average beer. It's on the main drag, so you pay a premium for location.

Consider it a good restaurant/sports bar in a tourist town that happens to brew their own beer.

 210 characters

Photo of DesMoinesMike
3.78/5  rDev +11.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Located on State St. with good parking options. Sat at one of the few window seats for some good people watching. The beer sampler had 5 of their concoctions, one was a messy pour that leaked on the table and floor. Ended up choosing the Gold Coast Wheat that was nice fruity wheat beer. We weren't very hungry so we picked the potato skins, which were 1/4 potatoes with sour cream, chives, and bacon that were tasty. The menu had some good looking options we were still full from the free breakfast at the hotel. It's a nice place with decent beer. If you want some intense beer, hit the Brewhouse on the other side of the highway.

 632 characters

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.35/5  rDev -1.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5

Didn't go out of my way to visit this place based on the reviews but happened to stumble up it while looking for a place to have a beer after a concert.

Selection was decent but not great. There were about 8 or so offering on tap with another 2 form the menu tapped out. I had the stout, which was good and the IPA which was also good. Neither was anything to write home about though. The rest of the styles on the menu were fairly tame and I would have had trouble coming up with a 3rd style to try had we stayed longer.

Atmosphere was ok. Typical brewpub-like arrangement but nothing that sets it apart.

Service was extremely friendly although beer knowledge seemed average.

 682 characters

Photo of Offa
2.08/5  rDev -38.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 1 | service: 2 | selection: 3

This is a very popular and busy place in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara on State St, but it seems all flash and no substance.

The location is great and the place itself is nice, an old building with big windows looking onto the attractive street, brick walls, nice bar, etc.

However, the beer is worse than subpar and is some of the worst beer I have had. The selection on its face seems good, a nice range, but the quality is incredibly bad, being bland, thin, almost utterly characterless and barely recognizable as beer from the smell or taste. I mean that literally and in all sincerity – the beers we had were almost wholly lacking in character and the stout had the taste and feel of tap water.

Our food experiences were limited since e basically got just some dessert, so I cannot really comment on that. Service was not horrid, and was better than the beer, but it was not good – somewhat abrupt, not rude but not friendly, and not overly efficient.

In the end, this seems a place for people to go and be loud, seem popular, and show off their “coolness” and it’s not a place to get even decent beer. The “vibe” as a result is more annoying than pleasant, giving one the feeling of being around people who only care about seeming cool and loudly partying rather than being comfortable and enjoying good food and drink.

The prices, though not bad compared to other places, are bad for the quality that you get in return for the money.

 1,469 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
2.65/5  rDev -21.8%
vibe: 2 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 3 | food: 3

Visited on 2/4/11.

Stopped in for dinner here. Feels like a run down BJ's in a way. Lots of seating but not very many patrons.

Beer: They had 5 of their house brews on tap along with 2 or 3 guest taps (Chimay was one of them but the menu didn't mention which one). I got the State Street Stout and my wife got the Old Town Nut Brown. Both were very average and after one beer I really didn't want to get any more.

Food: They have a pretty decent menu of foods again similar to BJ's: salads, burgers, wraps, etc. Our dinners were pretty good but nothing too fancy or memorable.

Overall, the beer was fairly cheap ($3.00 pints during happy hour) but not too impressive and the food was good but kind of pricey ($9.99 for a smallish buffalo chicken wrap).

 757 characters

Photo of Shumista
2.73/5  rDev -19.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3 | selection: 2.5 | food: 2

During our road trip up the California coast we decided to stop in Santa Barbara for lunch and to check the downtown out. Saw the brewing company sign and immediately knew where we'd be having lunch.

Atmosphere is pretty cool, basic non-descript brewpub. Clean, local stuff on the walls, brew kettles in the back. The beer selection consisted of 6 or 7 of their beers on tap. Nothing really too exciting. I sampled a few and settled on the maibock. All that I tried were pretty mediocre, the maibock was a little better than the rest.

The menu was what you would expect. I don't remember a ton about it except that it wasn't interesting or exciting. I got a cheeseburger and my girlfriend got a citrus chicken dish. That really says it all, it was about as forgettable as it sounds. Nothing bad or offensive, but a fairly poor effort. Our service was friendly but no one in the brewpub seemed to enthusiastic about beer, food, or what they were doing.

Mediocre beer, unenthusiastic service, and unmemorable food made for an experience I'm not really looking to try again. Especially dissapointing because they were some other much better looking restaurants I saw as we walked up and down main street after lunch. My advice is to eat somewhere else and stop in here for a beer or two at the bar afterwards. Or just skip it all together and save your money.

 1,361 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Santa Barbara Brewing Company in Santa Barbara, CA
3.32 out of 5 based on 113 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.