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L.A., Ventura a/o Santa Barbara spots to drink & view Super Bowl

Discussion in 'Pacific' started by Gilmango, Jan 15, 2013.

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  1. Gilmango

    Gilmango Aspirant (224) Jul 17, 2007 California

    I'm driving down from the Bay Area to Placentia with another BA for our 2012 Bruery Reserve pick ups - we'll shoot down the I-5 and Bruery pick up will be an early stop on Saturday Feb. 2nd. We do not plan to go much further south this trip. May hit Tony's Darts Away before or after Bruery. May hit Beachwood in Long Beach after Bruery as we've never been.

    Main questions are where are solid spots to hit on the way back via 101 (we have always jetted back on the 5 which is a bit of a beer oasis beyond LA). What is great that is convenient to the 101 as we leave L.A. for Ventura and Santa Barbara counties? We have Sat., Sun. and Monday to get back so plan to take our time. A spot where we can get a reasonable hotel (1 for Sat. and another for Sun.) and walk to a great brewpub a/o bar or two would be ideal. Finally, we are traveling on Super Bowl Sunday, so we'd love to know of a place that's conducive to viewing sports while drinking great beer (and ideally walking to hotel afterwards).

    A few ideas we have are Ladyface/Lab in Agoura Hills. Surf Brewery in Ventura is another possibility. Firestone's Buellton tap room if we get that far Sunday? Do these have TVs? Are they worthwhile stops? Where else should we not miss? And what's the best place to watch sports with great beer selection? Samplers a plus so we can taste several and still drive. Vegan friendly food a plus too.
  2. Goldstar81

    Goldstar81 Initiate (129) Jul 15, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    I wouldn't waste your time with Surf Brewery. Its not really worth the stop. Nothing too exciting unless you really want to try local brews. Honestly there isn't much in SB County aside from Firestone itself. You could try Telegraph Brewery in Santa Barbara-they use all local ingredients but they don't serve food or have TVs. Santa Barbara Brewing Company is OK-they have TVs and a decent happy hour. Firestone tasting room in Buelton isn't too exciting either. I would call and see what they have on draft-they get all the seasonal releases but the food is just OK. I don't think they even have TVs.

    If you are vegan friendly would highly recommend Tonys Darts Away in Burbank. They have really interesting vegan dishes-I've tried a couple and they are quite good. They have pretty good taps and TVs there too. That sounds like your best bet.
    Gilmango likes this.
  3. Srsly

    Srsly Initiate (174) Mar 21, 2010 California

    I like ladyface a lot, and iirc they do have TVs. I have also heard lots of good things about Hollister Brewing in SB, but have never been. Firestone just opened bottleworks in buellton, which is just a little annex of the tasting room, and it's amazing. I seriously recommend a stop there, though I don't remember any TVs in there. There may be some in the main taproom area though.

    In LA (-ish area) I would call Beachwood Long Beach an essential stop. I like Tony's a lot too, but check the tap list online before you go to see if there's anything noteworthy. They have a few TVs and alright food. Same goes for Blue Palms (right off the 101 in hollywood), Mohawk Bend, 38 degrees, Beer Belly (near the 101 in Koreatown) and if TVs are less of an issue then Verdugo Bar and The Surly Goat too.
    Gilmango likes this.
  4. tyrsis

    tyrsis Disciple (321) Mar 13, 2009 California
    Beer Trader

    Honestly, just keep driving south and do Stone's Winter Storm. No TV's, but you can always drink a few and then head to a random sports bar afterwards.

    Gilmango likes this.
  5. Gilmango

    Gilmango Aspirant (224) Jul 17, 2007 California

    Thanks for the tips so far, Winter Storm does look tempting for sure but I think we are not going further south this time. Plus it might be too tempting to overdo it there and miss the game / not be good to drive for awhile.

    On prior trips we've hit Stone, Pizza Ports, Blind Lady, Lost Abbey, Hollingshead, Noble, Bootleggers, Toronado SD, Tony's Darts Away, Mohawk Bend, Sunset Beer Co., Bruery and Provisions, and a couple other SD, OC, and LA spots I'm forgetting. My buddy is vegan so the whole Tony's/Mohawk/Golden Rd empire is good for eats and we may spend Sat. night near one of those spots or in Long Beach for Beachwood.

    A future SD trip will have to take in Societe, White Labs, Alpine, and maybe Modern Times when they open.

    By Sunday though we want to at least start our trip up 101; Ladyface looks very appealing online from their website, breadth of beer selection, and BA reviews. So if we can get a hotel near there and be able to walk to Lab as well (not sure if their beer is great but they seem to have lots of guest taps too).
  6. Pelican5

    Pelican5 Initiate (0) Feb 4, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    First off, none of these spots rival whats available in LA/SD area.

    You've got 4 options in Santa Barbara: The Brewhouse, Hollister Brewing, Union Ale and Eureka.

    Brewhouse - solid house beers with a variety including some nice Belgians, local scene.
    Hollister - solid house beers, nice ipa's, collegish scene.
    Union Ale - decent tap and bottle selection, downtown/beach area.
    Eureka - solid tap list and bottles, nice bourbon selection as well, downtown. Speedway and VaS are on right now :slight_smile:

    If you want solid local beer and a fun atmosphere I'd hit Brewhouse. If you want better/wider selection I'd say Eureka.

    Cheers and let me know if your gonna be in SB.

    Edit : of course FW Buellton is about 45 mi north up the 101.
    Gilmango likes this.
  7. tjensen3618

    tjensen3618 Initiate (0) Mar 23, 2008 California

    If you do Ladyface and The Lab, don't forget about Wade's Wines/Malibu Sundowner, which now has it's own brewery, on the same stretch of road.
    pumptrick, Pelican5 and Gilmango like this.
  8. Pelican5

    Pelican5 Initiate (0) Feb 4, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    That might me a nice option as well
  9. jdouge

    jdouge Aspirant (236) Nov 27, 2005 California

    I'd strongly recommend Hollister or the Brewhouse over other SB/Goleta options. Hollister's beers are head and shoulders above the other two, and I prefer them to the Brewhouse's as well.

    In Buellton, Fig Mountain is solid but small and the Firestone/Walker facility (unlike in Paso Robles) has limited taps.
    Gilmango likes this.
  10. nogidrew86

    nogidrew86 Initiate (0) Aug 16, 2010 Nevada

    Hollister is awesome! Their brewer used to be the brewer at San Clemente pizza port! If they have tiny bubbles on do yourself a favor and get a pint! It's one of my favorite beers I will probably never have again!
    Gilmango likes this.
  11. Gilmango

    Gilmango Aspirant (224) Jul 17, 2007 California

    Thanks, I thought I'd heard Hollister mentioned when a couple brewers left Pizza Port, most know Bagby left but Noah made great stuff too. We'll try to check that out. Is it a sports friendly venue if we get that far on Super Bowl Sunday?
  12. AptosBeerDrinker

    AptosBeerDrinker Initiate (177) Aug 9, 2011 California

    I'd say it's very sports friendly. We make the drive from Santa Cruz to the Whittier area and back every Thanksgiving and popped into Hollister on the trip down this year. They had a ton of screens and even had a sign for each monitor that indicated which game would be on that weekend. That's pretty dialed. I wasn't blown away by the beer but I might have just caught them at the wrong time. Food was good, a step above your average pub grub. I've been to the Brewhouse a few times too. I actually really like that place as well. FW in Paso would probably be my first choice but that might be too far North for you. FW in Buellton is a pass in my opinion.
    Gilmango likes this.
  13. rhertan

    rhertan Initiate (159) Jan 22, 2008 California

    FW in Buellton now houses Barrelworks and isnt a complete pass now. I was there this weekend for the grand opening. They have a few of the FIrestone Wild Beers Sour Opal was awesome and some barrel aged goodies on draft like stickee monkee and PNC. Otherwise Hollister in Goleta is the best in the area IMO, solid to outstanding beers, good food and quite a few TV's. A Eureka Burger also just opened in Santa Barbara and will have a decent tap list and the game on as well.
    sirtomtom likes this.
  14. mhksuccess

    mhksuccess Zealot (579) Jul 7, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    I like ladyface the beer is solid little pricey i recommend the cheesebro dipa but if I were you
    I would head a little north to SB as mentioned Hollister brewing is great my girlfriend and I try to go up once a month and fill my growler's they have great IPA's love the hippie kicker and masterplan DIPA is great also the Pope IPA the stout is good also has lot of coffee flavor to it they usually have a nice selection of variety of beers on tap and the food is good Yummy duck fat fries
    i would pass on ventura surf brew the only beer i like from them is the big swell dipa but they never have on tap everytime i been there
  15. Gilmango

    Gilmango Aspirant (224) Jul 17, 2007 California

    Thanks, I think I managed to try that in L.A. (at Tony's Darts Away?) and maybe a Rye P.A. as well and liked them so it was on my radar, but sounds like we can safely cross that one off the list.

    Anyone with local knowledge know of a reasonably priced hotel/motel (e.g., a Motel 6 type of joint) in walking distance of Hollister (or Brewhouse if nothing like that near Hollister)?
  16. Gilmango

    Gilmango Aspirant (224) Jul 17, 2007 California

    Yeah the Barrelworks draft list looks really intriguing but no TVs and very limited hours
    Friday - Sunday 10:00AM - 5:00PM
    (if we were there Sunday afternoon) and then not open Monday. So it just might not work out this trip but we'll see. Here's the tap list (wow): http://www.firestonebeer.com/tap-room-restaurant/on-tap.php Perhaps we hit Barrelworks earlier on Sunday then backtrack half an hour to Goleta for the game at Hollister. Would add an hour to our total trip but might be worth it.

    Alternatively, where could we drink quality beer and watch the game north of Buellton and convenient to the 101?
  17. rhertan

    rhertan Initiate (159) Jan 22, 2008 California

    They do have TV's in the Firestone Taproom Restaurant part of the Buellton Location as I remember seeing a glimpse of the Texans/Pats thru the windows that divide the 2...so you could probably enjoy the barrelworks beers than go to the restaurant and watch the game while drinking fresh Union Jack, etc. or go back to Hollister would be worth it. North of Buellton the next closest stops with any decent beers/tvs would be the Boardroom in Pismo and than Spikes, Eureka or Creekside in San Luis.
    Gilmango likes this.
  18. BeerBum

    BeerBum Initiate (0) Nov 13, 2012 California

    There's a Marriott a short walk down the street from Hollister Brewing Co. Otherwise, another option might be a few miles down Hollister Ave. I know there's a Super 8 and a Hampton Inn about 2-3 miles down the road. There are a few buses you could take that stop near or in front of both hotels and the marketplace that's home to Hollister Brewing.
    Gilmango likes this.
  19. Buick222

    Buick222 Aspirant (220) Jun 20, 2009 California

    If you are rolling up the 101 north of the valley i suggest hitting Ladyface. They have great house beers but their tv's suck. Then travel a mile down agoura rd and you can stop at The LAB which has very solid food, much better tv's but lousy house beers. Their guest taps are solid though. Then stay on agoura rd another mile and you will hit (hard to find) wades wines. I dont think they have any tv's but a fantastic selection, over 100 brews on tap. Jump back on the 101 and then get off on Moorpark rd and go to Draughts. Their contract brewery is Firestone Walker so their beers are really good. Great so cal guest taps typically. Decent food tons of tvs but atmosphere is lacking. I would only stop there to watch the game. I personally would stop at Surf brewery. Nice laid back vibe, although their only beer i really like is their double ipa. No tv's for sports there. I hear the Barellhouse in ventura is cool as well, never been there. Stop at Hollister in SB next. Then you must go to Figuroa Mtn brewery and Firestone Walker tasting room, both in Buellton and one exit apart. sorry bout the spelling
    Good Luck and have fun.
    pumptrick and Gilmango like this.
  20. pumptrick

    pumptrick Aspirant (217) Oct 26, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    I have got to say make it to ladyface wades then head directly to draught for game time. Check tasting times for wades(Malibu sundowner). Lab only if you find extra time And are staying across the street
  21. pumptrick

    pumptrick Aspirant (217) Oct 26, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    I also recommend barrelhouse in Ventura
    luwak and Pelican5 like this.
  22. Gilmango

    Gilmango Aspirant (224) Jul 17, 2007 California

    Tentative Update - first, thanks for all the great info and opinions above. Current thinking is that we lunch at Golden Road on the way down (never been, vegan food, guest taps, right off 101), then hit Bruery do tasting and pickup cases of Reserve beers, then head to Long Beach. Ditch beer and car at hotel, rest up, hit Beachwood for all it is worth Saturday night.

    Questions - (1) I assume that they serve a ton of non-guest taps there but "hop cam" makes it confusing; but it looks like they serve about 10 of their own beers PLUS all the beers on the hop cam, please confirm; (2) cheap hotel nearby tips? We may just stay at a cheap hotel on the other side of Cambodia Town and walk to Beachwood then cab back but that's 2 miles and I have no idea how safe LBC is around there -- so closer hotel tips and opinions on safety also welcome.

    Next day is Sunday of course and we have the FW BarrelWorks bug, meaning hitting Buellton sooner than later for barrel goodies then watching the game at the main pub there which has TVs. Added to its favor is a cheap hotel just a quarter mile away (less expensive and less distance from the similar hotels in Goleta or Agousta Hills).

    So what that means is we have only limited time to hit one or two of the many good to great Ventura and SB breweries/bars. My question is if only one, which one, remember TV no issue now, prefer a place that makes great beers. Seems like the candidates are Ladyface, Barrelhouse, and Hollister; with Surf, LAB, and Wade's being other candidates. If we hit Figueroa I am guessing it will be Monday after we check out. Assuming we can only hit one or two of those tell me why to stop there and what to drink. A single amazing beer is great, a sampler of several across-the-board solid house beers also great. But we are probably talking one stop w/2 pints or 2 stops with a pint each on our way from LBC to Barrelworks. Leaning towards Ladyface first and hoping to have time for Hollister too but happy to read cases for how to do it differently given our limited time.

    Finally, what's north of Buellton? I know there's another Firestone facility but I assume we'll be FW'd out.
  23. Miruguy

    Miruguy Aspirant (204) Nov 22, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    Yes, Beachwood has all of the beers shown on the Hop Cam plus the house beers shown as available on their site.

    I checked out the FW BarrelWorks tasting room yesterday and can confirm that it's the best of all of the places you plan on hitting on your drive up. Do not miss it.
    Gilmango likes this.
  24. luwak

    luwak Aspirant (269) Mar 2, 2010 Arizona
    Beer Trader

    Yeah not much to see in Ventura except the beach but barrelhouse 101 has some pretty nice handles. 101 of them of course.. They actually had 6 or 7 sours and lambics and 3 fruit beers on draft in addition to a decent selection of stout ipa, esb etc...when i was last there, nothing mindblowing but it was nice to have some tart choices.
  25. rhertan

    rhertan Initiate (159) Jan 22, 2008 California

    Just got an email saying barrelworks
    will b closed on super bowl Sunday. U might want to
    Call and check
  26. Buick222

    Buick222 Aspirant (220) Jun 20, 2009 California

    I have two questions for you.. Is it possible to be FW'd out? I dont think so.. Also, what type of beers do you like?
    I would hit Ladyface for a solid variety including belgians. There Cheseboro IIPA is great. There regular IPA is average at best. They are in the midst of their 3rd anniversary so there may be a few special brews on tap. Enjoy the patio there. Then hit Hollister... The end
    Gilmango likes this.
  27. Gilmango

    Gilmango Aspirant (224) Jul 17, 2007 California

    Thanks for the tip! That really sucks, we'll double check and confirm that at least the main tap room / restaurant with the TVs is open. In that case we'll still likely end up there for all or most of the game I think but have a bit more time to spend at Ladyface, Hollister, or any other spot on the way to Buellton.
  28. womencantsail

    womencantsail Poo-Bah (5,884) May 25, 2008 California
    Beer Trader

    Don't go to LAB. Their beers are atrocious.

    Ladyface and Hollister would be my two choices to hang out at for any length of time (such as watching a football game). Neither has a ton of TVs, though, so you pretty much have to sit at the bar/bar area.
    Gilmango likes this.
  29. Gilmango

    Gilmango Aspirant (224) Jul 17, 2007 California

    Big thanks again to Richard for alerting me that the Buellton Firestone Walker will be closed Super Bowl Sunday, bad news but so much better than showing up to find that to be the case. So we've re-worked Sunday and we plan to drink and watch the game at Ladyface. On Monday we plan to get a sampler at Hollister, then hit Paso Robles Firestone on our way home.
  30. cinco

    cinco Initiate (118) Sep 16, 2006 California

    i believe ladyface is closing at 3:00 on sunday. might want to call and make sure.
    Gilmango likes this.
  31. tjensen3618

    tjensen3618 Initiate (0) Mar 23, 2008 California

    Good call, it's on their FB page, only the bar will be open on Sun. (no food) and only until 3.

    You could get some pre-game drinks at Ladyface then head to The Lab for the game, it's not as bad as womencantsail was saying, I like it quite a bit, both the beer and food. They also have a good amount of guest taps, beers from Surf and Enegren are usually on tap.
    Gilmango likes this.
  32. colonelforbin

    colonelforbin Aspirant (228) Aug 23, 2007 California

    Many thanks for the Ladyface info. Very helpful. We were hoping to watch the game there as their tap list right now looks great but looks like we'll try to get there early and then head to the Lab when they close.

    Again, thanks for all the helpful info!
  33. Gilmango

    Gilmango Aspirant (224) Jul 17, 2007 California

    Yes, as Colonelforbin said, thanks for the info Cinco and Tjensen, I'm a bit baffled why two businesses (FW Buellton and Ladyface) are shutting down on what should be a great day for business but I will say it seems mighty nice for their workers to treat super bowl sunday like a holiday. Just rough for us beer and football loving out-of-towners. Sounds like we'll be fine at the LAB (or wades or barrelhouse).

    Do you locals know when the Ladyface bar opens on Sunday? As Colforbin said we need to get a sampler at least there before they close as the beers sound great.
  34. Sisky

    Sisky Aspirant (265) Dec 16, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    I agree with the stop into wades. Nothing in Oxnard. Ventura has surf, which had a good DIPA south swell, and anacapa brewing which has a good ipa. Barrelhouse has a large selection with the tap list online. If you want to take a detour to ojai, check out ojai beverage company. Great tap list, I think they have allagash bourbon barrel black on tap right now. Great food as well. In Sb, I'd hit brewhouse for the filet mignon enchiladas and a beer. Of its just a beer stop, do eureka. Had pappy last week. Checked out barrelworks in Buellton yesterday. Awesome stop, and they are doing the sucuba release. Cheers!
  35. Gilmango

    Gilmango Aspirant (224) Jul 17, 2007 California

    Thanks again for all the tips, we drove down Saturday via 5 to Golden Road (food and berliner glass - way too loud inside), Bruery (bottle pick ups and samplers and growler fills), hotel / bottle drop in Long Beach then to Beachwood for more food and lots of beers - the house beers, guest taps and food were all very good. Sunday we only drove a short way to Calabasas (cheap motel, bottle drop) after breakfast in Agoura Hills, then left the car at the motel and headed back to Agoura Hills for Ladyface (really solid house beers) before they closed, then onto the LAB in time for Super Bowl watching and more beers - more guest taps but tried some house beers too. Cab back to hotel then to Wolf Creek as it was right behind our motel. Monday we drove up 101 with stops at Hollister for lunch and house pick 6 sampler. Then to Paso Robles for tasters at Firestone. Would have like to tried the new barrel tasting at Firestone's Buellton location but they closed Sunday so I think we hit some great spots. Too much driving over 3 days though, may need to have Bruery ship this year's stuff.
    BeerBum and Zhiguli like this.
  36. UCLABrewN84

    UCLABrewN84 Poo-Bah (12,188) Mar 18, 2010 California

    What did you think of their beers? Their original location is in my hometown.
  37. Gilmango

    Gilmango Aspirant (224) Jul 17, 2007 California

    I'm not the best judge as by the time we got there we'd started at Ladyface at 1'ish and walked directly to LAB and drank till the end of the extra-long Super Bowl, but I'd put their house IPA on par with LAB's, after that I moved to a guest tap.
  38. Gilmango

    Gilmango Aspirant (224) Jul 17, 2007 California

    Forgot to mention Congregation Ale House after Beachwood closed Saturday, solid taps. Also forgot to mention how much we enjoyed all the Berliner Weisses on offer in So. Cal. we had 4 different ones on Saturday which was especially great before we dropped off the car in Long Beach.
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