I talk to Jason Coudray (Brewmaster of ABC) about his brewery. We cover brewery specifics and procedures for the brewpub and also discuss his favorite beer pairing.
In this episode Joby and I talk about the Westy 12 release and the end of Stone's Vertical Epic series. After the break we visit with Jason Coudray, brewmaster from Anacapa Brewing and learn about his journey to becoming the head brewer.
Use this great driving service and get home safe!
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.
The weekend is almost here and there is no better way to celebrate it than with a tasty beer. If you are going to be in Ventura this weekend be sure to stop in at Anacapa Brewing Company (472 E. Main) and try one of their new beers called English Dry Stout.
The beer poured opaque black with a dark tan head. The cascading carbonation down the side of the glass was so mesmerizing that I almost forgot what I was doing and I nearly skipped the second step in my tasting procedure. Don’t shortchange yourself here; take the time to smell the beer before you taste it. If I had jumped to the tasting step I would have missed the mouth-watering aromas of cola, licorice, molasses and smoke that were wafting out of this beer.
This beer had the palate-consuming quality that marks a great craft beer. It covered all my taste receptors from the front to the back of my mouth starting with sweet malt up front that gave way to bitter chocolate. The bitter chocolate then gave way to subtle coffee notes. Then just before I swallowed, the lively carbonation gathered up all those flavors, before any one of them could dominate, and washed them down. This carbonation also cleanses your palate and leaves your mouth refreshed and ready for another drink. Be careful though, this medium bodied, dry beer is easy drinking and at 5.9% it is certain to catch up with you.
There was a fair amount of lacing (lace pattern on the sides of the glass) left by the beer’s head as the beer was consumed. Think of lacing on the glass the same way you do about anything lacey, it does little to conceal or cover-up, but it looks pretty and lacing on the glass is no different. Lacing has little impact on the overall taste of the beer but it adds another layer to your visual enjoyment. The amount of lacing left on the glass can be impacted by the style and cleanliness of the glass in which it was served. If you want to see some good lacing use a tulip shaped glass.*
I gave this beer my top ranking (Stock This One!) which will be pretty easy to do since you can get a growler filled with this delicious goodness right there at the bar. If this review prompted you to visit Anacapa Brewing Company so you could taste their English Dry Stout be sure to let them know you read this review.
Tip: Growlers are great if you want to bring craft beer to a party or keep on hand for the big game but here are a few things you will want to keep in mind.
However, if I had to pick a glass style (and I did) I would choose a short-stemmed tulip shaped glass commonly used for Belgian beers. For me this glass does it all. The shape creates a small opening at the top, which helps to hold a thick head. The thick head prevents the aromas from escaping too quickly and provides another level of complexity throughout the beer. The small opening also channels the aromas directly to your nose as you are drinking the beer. As the beer is consumed the shape of the glass also promotes a lacing of the thick head on the sides of the glass. Often there is a small etching in the bottom of the glass. The etching causes a cascade of bubbles to rise up the middle of the beer adding to the beauty of straw or amber colored beers. For darker beers, the tulip glass gives you the opportunity to view (the same way a wine taster would) the visible spectrum of colors that can range from garnet to black.