The Brewhouse

The BrewhouseThe Brewhouse
The BrewhouseThe Brewhouse
Brewery, Bar, Eatery

229 W Montecito St
Santa Barbara, California, 93101
United States

(805) 884-4664 | map

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Reviews: 26 | Ratings: 37
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
Brewery rating: 3.69 out of 5 with 142 ratings