Ah, autumn in Ventura. We don’t get the leaves changing color or the cooler temperatures or the scent of firewood in the air or … well, let’s just say that we don’t get much autumn anything in the county, but we do get announcements and parties from all of our boozy friends.

Plan B Wine Cellars opened two years ago this Sunday off Market Street in Ventura, and in celebration the owners will be holding their monthly second-Sunday supper as they always have, only with a little bit more of a party atmosphere.

For the anniversary, Plan B will have a two-year wine special: Get two bottles of a 2010 varietal for $40.

Not inclined to buy by the bottle? No big deal. Plan B, perhaps taking inspiration from its neighbors at Surf Brewery, fills growlers with rosé, a light red wine that marketing and sales manager Ed Mata calls a “porch pounder.”

Scratch Food truck and Desserts to Die For will park at Plan B, and visitors can enjoy their wine on the porch with an ocean view with tunes provided by Cuppa Joe.

Winemakers and owners of Plan B, Marlow and Janis Barger, bring their grapes to Ventura from the Central Coast but all wine-making is done on premises, a rarity in the city. Try the 2010 mourvèdre, a rich varietal with a hint of spice and fruity complexity.

Bill Riegler of Ventura’s Surf Brewery has several reasons to celebrate: the opening of an offsite expansion that will allow for the brewery to produce barrel-aged or sour brews and the addition of three new brewing tanks, doubling the capacity at the Ventura location.

Riegler says that keeping up with demand and competitors has been difficult in the past few months due to a lack of capacity, which the new tanks will alleviate. Before the tanks arrived, Surf Brewery had the ability to brew about 1,500 barrels (at 31 gallons each); with the new tanks, it’ll be able to do 3,000.

Riegler says that production is already under way at the Moorpark facility on a Flanders red ale (a tart Belgian-style beer) and a merlot barrel-aged porter that won gold at this year’s L.A. Beer Competition.

Here’s to autumn in Ventura and the continuing success of all things local.


Chris O’Neal is an equal opportunity drinker. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @agentoneal.