Happy International Beer Day!
International Beer Day
In Ventura & Beyond
Tomorrow is a big day. Get ready to raise your glasses, folks. It's International Beer Day! As people around the world celebrate this much-loved drink, it seems like a prime opportunity to highlight all of the incredible beer right here in Ventura County. Let's take a quick tour.
#1 Topa Topa
A personal favorite, Topa's always pouring something new and interesting. That can be said of a lot of the breweries in town, but what sets Topa Topa apart is that their new brews always hit the mark. Thanks to their consistency and their quality – not to mention their huge range of flavor profiles – this is a must-try brewery if you're in town. The Chief Peak IPA is probably their best known, but don't miss the Howler (a coffee IPA) or Tux (a nitro milk stout). Coffee IPA might sound a little weird but your first sip will introduce you to a tasty and smooth brew.
The only thing working against Topa is the size of its tasting room. If you're looking for somewhere you can spread out or comfortably bring a large group, MadeWest is your spot. The Standard is their go-to – and for good reason. It's an extremely drinkable pilsner-style beer that has enough interesting flavors to keep even the most adventurous beer drinkers coming back. Beyond that, look towards the end of their marquee-style menu to see what new selections they're pouring. MadeWest is creative and they've usually got a handful of unique beers that are worth a try.
If you feel like testing fate, try to grab a seat at Poseidon's incredibly cool but oh-so-tiny tasting room. The nautical theme will prep your taste buds for their upcoming adventure. The Grapefruit IPA is much-loved, and that's just the beginning of their uniquely flavored IPA offerings.
If you're looking for something different, Leashless could be your spot. They specialize in Belgian-style beers and a number of their brews as gluten-reduced. They're also certified organic. The Tri-Fin Tripel is a tasty nod to the brews coming out of Trappist monasteries. If you're looking to avoid gluten, the Island Style is a flavorful, gluten-reduced stout that blends chocolate and coconut flavors.
You've got to travel to Camarillo – and the far side of it – to get to Institution, so you know their beer has to be good if they've made this list. No craft brewery would be complete without a solid IPA, and the Institution IPA is exactly that. The White Walls is another IPA worth the try. Outside of their core beers, Institution likes to have some fun with their beer (like the Jalapeño Pale Ale we keep hoping will return) so don't be afraid to try something outside your normal tasting wheelhouse.
This list is by no means comprehensive. There's a ton of great beer in Ventura. If you want an intro course to some of the local flavors, head to Barrelhouse 101. They repeatedly win awards for the best beer tap selection in the county for a reason. They're pouring beer from all of the above breweries – and then some. They're a great first stop on your celebratory International Beer Day tour of the area.