5 O'Clock Somewhere
Brewer comes to Ventura to boast beverages
By Chris O'Neal 04/10/2014
When I first encountered The Dudes’ Brewing Company, it was in Los Angeles at a bar called Far Bar situated between two buildings, down an alley, lit by fairy lights. I tried the Grandma’s Pecan English brown ale and suggested that it needed more pecans. Several iterations later, The Dudes’ Brewery has perfected Grandma’s Pecan and has brought it to Ventura, this time on draught.
Last Thursday night at Barrelhouse 101, The Dudes’ showcased several of its brews — the aforementioned brown ale, the previously spoken-of Double Trunk IPA, a coconut porter known as Grinning Face, a kolsch (Kolschtal Eddy) and my personal favorite, the Juicebox Series: blood orange, brewed with cocoa, vanilla and a ton of blood orange.
The Dudes have received quite a bit of attention from the Reporter and even made it overseas on my Technicolor journey around the world (see: “God save the pubs”, 10/24/2013), but it isn’t just The Dudes that are showing up in Ventura nowadays.
Aside from Firestone Walker, which has become as ubiquitous in Ventura with its 805 blonde ale as water on tap, the geniuses behind Santa Cruz Market, who have flown mostly under the radar, have brought in beers from as far away as Texas.
At almost-weekly tastings accompanied by a buffet of Middle Eastern treats, the bar at Santa Cruz Market has showcased many excellent breweries, but this is a first for the market, and quite possibly for the county: Adelbert’s out of Austin, Texas.
On the tasting flight last week, Santa Cruz Market showcased three of the Texas brewery’s goods: the Naked Nun, a witbier with notes of clove and banana; the Dancin’ Monks, a dark dubbel with hints of sugar and apple; and the Scratchin’ Hippo, a bière de garde, both fruity and nutty, perfect for a hot Texas summer.
Santa Cruz Market also stocks bottles of Adelbert’s in case you missed the tasting flight, but don’t be sad if you did — there will be plenty more incursions into Ventura County as the year progresses.
Already, Discovery in midtown has announced a weekly movie and beer tasting night. The first brewery? Firestone Walker. Keep an eye on the schedule, though, for the potential of a rare treat in town for a one-off.
Chris O’Neal really believed that the rug brought the room together. Follow him on Twitter @agentoneal.