Like me, you might not choose beer as your libation of choice. But there are certain occasions where a cold brew is called into action. Sports games, spicy Mexican food, a hot day on the beach… or a late afternoon in sunny Santa Barbara. You may think that this town is all about the wine, but the beer game is strong too! Check out my list of the best beer bars in Santa Barbara that I like to visit when I am in the mood for a brewskie. 🙂


Every time you walk by and peer into the all-glass front doors of Institution Ale Company, you will witness a lively crowd almost everyday of the week. This spot on State Street is drawing in customers by the hordes because of the fast service and delicious beer. It is the absolute best place to stop on your way home from work to share a drink with a friend. With almost 20 brews on tap at a time, there is something for everyone here- not to mention the budget friendly prices!


If you consider yourself a beer connoisseur and are looking for something unique, then this is the place for you. Housed within a restored feed mill from 1904, Third Window Brewing provides some of the most inventive beers in town. What pairs well with weird beer? Funky french fries!! Third Window has a variety of unique toppings and sauces that can be served with a pile of hot, delicious fries. If you ask me, that is a combination made in heaven.


This brewery provides an experience that pretty much embodies my favorite home ritual: nature documentaries and pizza delivery. At Night Lizard Brewing Company, you can enjoy a cold beer, have Patxi’s Pizza delivered to your table and watch Planet Earth on repeat. Count me in. The best part is, ten percent of all of their proceeds goes towards wildlife conservation. They practically force you to drink beer to save the planet– so bottoms up!


You can find Santa Barbara’s largest outdoor patio attached to the back end of a funkadelic little spot called Modern Times. The decor in here is a cross between a tiki bar, a modern art museum, and a plant nursery. Which is ideal for people watching and beer sipping. Another plus is that it is vegan-friendly: their entire food menu is plant-based and so is some of the beer!


The last on my list is a Funk Zone favorite! Brass Bear Brewing & Bistro is a small, hip spot that is located just one block away from the beach. They are offering a nice variety of craft beers as well as sparkling wines. In my opinion, one of the best parts about this brewery are the tasty bites: how do local charcuteries & juicy burgers sound to you?? I imagine that like me, you will leave a happy camper once you have visited the Brass Bear.

For more suggestions on where to have fun in Santa Barbara, click here

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