More than meets the eye
Whole Foods’ Bar Rincon is a craft beer Mecca
By Chris O'Neal 07/11/2013
Bar Rincon @ Whole Foods Market
650 Town Center Dr., Oxnard
Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better for the Ventura beer scene, Whole Foods emerges from the seemingly mythological addition to Oxnard known as The Collection. It was worth the wait.
An entire refrigerated aisle dedicated to beer beckons you further in, but you may or may not make it out for a while. What once was thought to be unavailable in the VC has become magically available, thanks to the careful selection of local, national and international brews. The selection of Belgian bottles is out of this world, and national breweries — from Massachusetts’ Pretty Things to Colorado’s Great Divide — were represented in spades.
Step out of the beer aisle and into Bar Rincon, an old Airstream trailer converted into a 24-tap centerpiece where the focal point is local brews (with the distance from Whole Foods listed on a chalk board for each brewery) alongside burgers, sushi and hard-core people watching.
On tap this particular night were a few Figueroa Mountain and Golden Road brews, two from Ladyface Alehouse; and, surprisingly, Wolf Creek, a brewery just off Lost Hills south of Agoura.
Bar manager Miggy allows diners to choose from the massive selection of 22-oz. bombers in the beer aisle and have them with dinner at the bar. My party chose Pretty Things’ Jack D’or, a farmhouse saison, and a Belgian sour to accompany our surprisingly fresh sushi.
On Thursday evenings, Bar Rincon’s special is a burger, fries and a selected pint for $10. A representative from the chosen brewery might be on hand to chat with diners.
Whole Foods’ Bar Rincon is the perfect place to relax after a bout of high-end grocery shopping, and its bottle selection is the best in Ventura County. Start making a list. You’re going to be here for a while.
Chris O’Neal is drinkin’ his way through the country. Follow him on Twitter @agentoneal.