These are the Best Beer Pairings in Ventura

by Fiorella Calderoni

It’s your lucky day! These pairings have been chosen by our local beer masters especially for you. Trust us, you’ll want to save this list.

Anacapa Brewing Company

According to Owner, Danny Saldana, a must try at Anacapa Brewing Company is their Pierpont IPA paired with their filet medallions served with mushroom chipotle sauce. This IPA is on the stronger, hoppier side with an ABV of 6.7 and an IBU of 71 providing a perfect contrast to the caramelized crust on the grilled meat that pulls out the caramel malt in the beer. The creamy, spicy sauce is the kicker and works great with the hops.

Barrelhouse 101

Jason Hendrick, Beverage Director at Barrelhouse 101, would urge you to pair their .394 Pale Ale with their BratBurger. Alesmith Brewing Company’s .394 Pale Ale is a tribute to Tony Gwynn of the San Diego Padres and a reference to his highest single season batting average. And it pairs perfectly with the German-inspired bratwurst and certified Angus beef burger topped with red dragon mustard cheese, sauerkraut, onion, and mustard/mayo sauce, all on a pretzel bun. The beer’s slight maltiness and the sweetness of the pretzel bun and mustard cheese come together perfectly.

MadeWest Brewing Company

Co-Founder and Head Brewer at Ventura’s latest brewery, MadeWest Brewing Company, recommends pairing their beers with food from their Wednesdays and Sundays food truck, Shrimp vs Chef. MadeWest’s take on a pilsner is their Standard, a clean, crisp, refreshing ale that has a light grainy malt backbone and a prominent floral hop character with a dry thirst-quenching finish. It pairs perfectly with shrimp sliders.

If pale ales are more your style, MadeWest’s West Coast-style Pale bursting with a bright citrus and fruity hop complexity, has just enough malt presence to allow the loads of hops to shine through, including a generous dry hopping of Mosaic. It pairs perfectly with fish tacos.

Surf Brewery

Bill Riegler, self-appointed Head Dude at Surf Brewery, recommends their Aerial IPA paired with an authentic Chile Relleno from their regular food truck, Escabeche Bistro and Chef Edgar. Surf’s IPA is a hop-forward American-style India Pale Ale, named after an aggressive surfing maneuver. Starting off with a strong aroma of dank resins and citrus from generous dry-hopping, Aerial boasts similar flavors on the palette balanced against a restrained bready malt backbone, finishing with a lingering hoppiness that isn’t overly bitter. It pairs perfectly with the slight spice of a chile relleno and hint of cilantro.

Topa Topa Brewing Company

Last but certainly not least, Jack Dryer, Co-Founder of Topa Topa Brewing Company, has a few tasty suggestions. Their famous Chief Peak IPA filled with flavors of piney hops and tones of passion fruit, orange, and gooseberry, is a perfect match with Spencer Makenzie’s beer-battered fish taco while their Huckster Double IPA pairs deliciously with Mom and Pop’s taco plate. Their earthy yet tropical, dank yet citrusy fresh Weekender Session IPA goes best with Barrelhouse 101’s buffalo chicken sandwich; and there’s nothing better than a slice from Tony’s Pizzaria with their traditional California-style Level Line Pale Ale whose notes of wood and lemon peel pair perfectly with a cheesy bite. You are always welcome to bring outside food, or checkout their food truck calendar to see what’s cooking.

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