5 O'Clock Somewhere
A brew with a view and the hidden Mecca of Oxnard beer
By Chris ONeal 05/08/2014
The Whale’s Tail
3950 Bluefin Circle
Pat Holden’s Liquor
860 S. A St.
Every once in a while it’s nice to kick back with a beer and enjoy what nature provides us as residents of Ventura County: miles upon miles of scenic beachfront property, rolling hills with one or two trees upon them and the occasional dinghy floating idly by. These are the things one sees while people-watching at The Whale’s Tail in Oxnard.
If these were the Best Of awards, The Whale’s Tail would no doubt receive the “best view” award. The dining room stretches the length of a small portion of the harbor; there is no table with a bad view.
We were attending the Brit Week festivities at the harbor recently and popped into The Whale’s Tail for a pint and a prayer before braving the unholy winds that ripped through the channel. On tap was Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co., as ubiquitous as Firestone Walker in Ventura now.
For $5, the Danish Red is as refreshing as it is red. That is, red enough. The wind that very British Saturday had a chill to it, but the following day was warm, making for the perfect weather to enjoy a harbor cucumber spritzer — The Whale’s Tail’s refreshingly, sitting-by-the-dock-of-the-bay elixir.
The Whale’s Tail has its own signature ale, Whale’s Tail Ale, which would make for a perfect beverage as the sun starts to set over beautiful Oxnard.
Just down the way in downtown Oxnard sits a nondescript convenience store, Pat Holden’s Liquor. Southern California’s list of convenience stores that are easy to miss range somewhere in the couple of thousand, but you’d be sorry to miss Pat’s.
Inside is one of the best curated craft beer selections in the county, with a wide selection from Prairie Artisan Ales, Belching Beaver and even a few BrewDog brews from across the pond. After a sun-soaked day at the harbor, finishing it up with a beer run at Pat Holden’s is like returning home with a cooler full of fish, only in this case the fish are beer. Delicious beer.
Chris O’Neal was told once to stop playing with his dinghy. Follow him on Twitter @agentoneal.