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Beer Hopping: Three Spots to Drink Beer in Ventura

Your weekend guide to beer hopping to breweries, beer bars, and bottle shops across SoCal's best neighborhoods.

There’s a lot to love about downtown Ventura. It’s got the temperate weather, impressive views, and laid-back surf culture of more well-known coastal tourist towns like Santa Barbara and Santa Monica, without the exhausting crowds. There are some great seafood shacks, pizza places, local dives, and – importantly – some great places to drink beer. Here are three of our favorites.

Fluid State Beer Garden

692 E Main St | Ventura

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Fluid State, the beautiful beer garden in a historic building on Main Street in Downtown Ventura, is a truly ideal weekend destination. On top of a highly-curated 25 beer tap list, they have surprisingly great sourdough pizza and elevated bar snacks – both perfect for sitting outside this Memorial Day Weekend. Owners Aaron Duncan and Jen Schwertman have developed relationships with all the best, hardest-to-snag breweries in California, and their list rotates through heavy hitters like Alvarado Street (Monterey), Cellarmaker (San Francisco), and Sante Adairius (Capitola). They also fill out their draft list by highlighting local spots, like their Ventura neighbors below on this guide.

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MadeWest Brewing Co

668 E Harbor Blvd | Ventura

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It’s tough to find a better view from a brewery than the one at MadeWest’s pier location, perched right on the Ventura Pier where you can catch one of California’s iconic sunsets. You’ve probably seen their simply-named line of core beers (“IPA,” “Hazy IPA,” “Pale”) on shelves near you, but their limited-run beers are especially impressive. Their Short-Lived IPA collab series has put out some true bangers, particularly their current release with Pizza Port. And everything tastes better when you’re sitting on the ocean, right?

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Transmission Brewing

1098 E Front St | Ventura

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Located in a former auto mechanic shop in downtown Ventura, shifting your way through the excellent lagers at Transmission Brewing is an ideal way to spend your weekend. They’ve got a comparatively large 30-barrel brewing system, where they make easy-drinking favorites like Upshift, a dry hopped pilsner, 3rd Wheel, a Vienna-style lager, and Transmission Light, a super-easy drinking rice lager. Their smaller five-barrel system also makes some funkier experimental blends, like their Beery Tarts, an excellent series of fruited Berliner weisses. Enjoy them all on their brand new rooftop deck offering birds-eye views of the Ventura coastline.

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Keep Hopping

Keep your beer hop going with recommendations from our Beer Finder. Discover all the best breweries, beer bars, and bottle shops in neighborhoods all across Los Angeles, Orange County, and Ventura!

Got a suggestion to add to a future Beer Hopping list? Drop a comment below or send us a DM on Instagram!

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