The Santa Ynez Valley is known for its wine. But the truth is, it’s got some pretty incredible craft beers too. If you’re all wine-d out or just in the mood for a good beer, these are—in our opinion—the best places in and around Buellton to find one.
Firestone Walker Brewing Company
620 McMurray Ave, Buellton CA 93427
Firestone Walker combines traditional brewing disciplines with a fascination with wooden barrels to deliver some of the most beloved beers in the country. In their taproom, you’ll find a wide range of ales from hazy IPAs and nitro milk stouts to barrel-aged blondes and wild ales fermented with fruit. And, of course, you’ll find their most well-known brew, the 805. If you’re the kind of person who’s interested in the brewing process, you can even take a self-guided tour of their barrel room yourself.
Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co.
45 Industrial Way, Buellton, CA 93427
With hand-crafted beers and hand-drawn labels, the father and son duo who founded Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. have grown the company from two to 200 and developed a reputation for award-winning IPAs in the process. Their flagship taproom in Buellton offers nearly 20 beers (and a cider) on tap. And they’ve got a full menu with burgers, salads and all kinds of fun sharables too. We never recommend drinking on an empty stomach. But we’d recommend Figueroa’s Mac & Cheese bites any day.
Babi’s Beer Emporium
380 Bell Street, Los Alamos, CA 93440
If you’re in the mood for dim sum and some imported beers, Babi’s is the place to be. Their beer list includes bottles and cans from all over the world. Their restaurant partner dim Sama serves dumplings, bao buns and banana fritters on the weekends. And their beer garden serves up some incredible Santa Ynez Valley scenery too. Most of the Santa Ynez Valley’s bars focus on locally made beers. But Babi’s isn’t most bars.
The Good Life Craft Beer & Wine Cellar
1672 Mission Dr., Solvang, CA 93463
With an intimate vibe and a stunning collection of California craft beers, The Good Life is a bar and bottle shop for those with discerning taste. Their staff is knowledgeable, their outdoor patio is spacious and their tasting room hosts live music every Saturday. If you’re looking for the kind of place that delivers a relaxed atmosphere and a refined menu, The Good Life is a great choice.
114 E Hwy 246 #9724, Buellton, CA 93427
If you’re having a hard time deciding which of the local breweries to visit, Sideways Lounge might be the perfect choice. With local craft beers on the majority of their 11 taps, you can take a one-stop tasting tour of the Santa Ynez Valley’s best. And with a location that’s just an 11-minute walk from Hotel Hygge, you can take that tour without a designated driver too. Not to mention, if you’ve got people in your party who aren’t in the mood a beer, Sideways Lounge is also known for serving up Buellton’s best cocktails.
From Figueroa Mountain’s Hoppy Poppy IPA to Firestone Walker’s Frazzle Sass wild ale, Buellton’s beer scene brings more variety and more complexity to the table than you might expect. While we can’t recommend exploring the local taps enough, we also recommend planning a head to make sure you don’t overdo it. Drinking plenty of water, finding a designated driver and knowing when you’ve had just enough will make your experience with the Santa Ynez Valley’s suds much, much better.