First of all, and speaking from the bottom of my beer geek heart, it would be hard for the ambience at Anacapa Brewing Company (472 E. Main Street, Ventura) to get any better. The 115 year old, rough brick wall and accent lighting beautifully frame their modern brewhouse centerpiece, which sits just out of reach behind the bar. If you weren’t thirsty when you walked in, a giant beer board that hangs about the serving tanks and displays the tap selection will certainly pique your thirst.
Jason Coudry, brewmaster at Anacapa Brewing Co. (ABC), brews as often as he can to keep five fresh beers on tap. ABC’s regular beers include a golden ale, a pale ale and an IPA. But for the adventurous, they offer a wide variety of beer styles available as seasonals. The seasonals can range from the dry and crisp rye pale ale (my favorite go-to beer when available), to a big and bold doppelbock, and back again to a light and spicy saison (my favorite beer style to pair food with). You can keep up with their rotating taps on Facebook or call (805) 643-2337 for their current beer selections. Be forewarned, all of their beers sell quickly, which is a testament to Jason’s brewing abilities, so if you see something you want to try don’t hesitate.Specialties on tap now: India Brown Ale (a crisp and hoppy brown ale) and Two Trees Double IPA.
Beer isn’t the only thing you’ll find at Anacapa Brewing Co. It is a brewpub, after all and I have some tasty food pairing suggestions for you. One of my favorites is their Albondigas (a Mexican meatball soup) paired with their Frenchy’s Cove Saison. The yeast-derived spices in the beer create a deeper more complex spice flavor in the soup before the effervescent carbonation can scrub and refresh your palate. One of Jason’s favorite pairings is their Seward Golden ale and their beer battered fish tacos. This is a great pairing because the golden ale won’t overpower the battered fish and the beer’s malt flavor complements the fish’s batter. If you like things spicy then try either of their IPA’s with one of their salsas. The hops in these beers resonate with the spices creating burst of hot spice before the malt sweetness can neutralize them.