A spirited toast to all things alcoholic! By Leslie Dinaberg
In search of a fun way to navigate Santa Barbara’s burgeoning craft beer scene? Last weekend we checked out the newly dubbed “Lagoon District” Lagoon Loop Craft Beer Trail with a package from Seeker (http://seeker.co/), and it was a surprisingly great way to do some beer tasting.
Seeker, which launched this concept in January, is a local company offering all-inclusive, self-guided tour packages in various areas in Santa Barbara. But unlike many of the tasting tours, this one works equally well for tourists or locals because once you purchase the tour, it lives on your phone and can be redeemed for up to a year. In other words, if you only want to taste one beer, or a couple of wines in a day, you can do that and return and still continue to use your package. This versatility also makes it a great gift for some of those hard-to-buy-for friends (or employees!).
Our package (retail price $34.99) included a stop at Pure Order Brewing Company (410 N. Quarantina St., 805/966-2881), where we received a pint of our choice, as well as a 64 oz. growler to take home filled with our choice of beer. As a bonus, Pure Order had a lively party with a band going on that day. I liked the extra pale SBA and the Santa Barbara Lager, while my husband preferred the darker Black Gull Porter.
A short walk away is the 2nd Stop, Telegraph Brewing Company (418 N. Salsipuedes St., 805/963-5018), a roomy tasting room that appeals to many a beer aficionado. There we got a pint of our choice, as part of the Seeker package. Normally, I really like the White Ale, but I was trying to pace myself, so I skipped the beer (and snuck a few sips from Hubby) and now I have a free one waiting to use next time.
Our third stop was the new Third Window Brewing Company (406 E. Haley St. #3, 805/979-5090), which we’d been dying to try. It’s a beautiful space in the Mill, housed within a restored old barn/feed mill originally built in 1904. With the Seeker package we got a Tasting Flight with five beers of our choice, and honestly, there wasn’t a bad one in the bunch. Unusually, my husband and I had the same favorite this time, Walkabout, a chocolate orange stout that was absolutely yummy! I also especially favored the Batch 2, a Belgian lager with orange blossoms and loquats—but honestly, all ten of our tasters were good. At some point, Third Window will have its own kitchen, but right now you can order take-out at Wildwood Kitchen (410 E. Haley St., 805/845-3995) next door, (which we did, and it was delicious as always) and they’ll deliver to you at the brewery. A perfect, barbecued end to our adventure on the Lagoon Loop!
If beer’s not your thing, Seeker also offers two different wine tasting packages. Both the Anacapa Wine Walk package and the Funk Zone Uncorked package let you hop from winery to winery, receiving items at each stop (tastings, glasses, etc.). Just like the beer package, you just show the web app on your phone to staff at each location to receive the included items.
And by the way, I’m always a little bit nervous when I have to show an app or a coupon to get something, but all of the breweries recognized our beer tasting package immediately, were very friendly and made the whole experience a breeze.
I’d definitely recommend the Seeker packages as a fun way to taste wine or beer, and enjoy the day in Santa Barbara.
Cheers! Click here for more cocktail corner columns.
When she’s not busy working as the editor of Santa Barbara SEASONS, Cocktail Corner author Leslie Dinaberg writes magazine articles, newspaper columns and grocery lists. When it comes to cocktails, Leslie considers herself a “goal-oriented drinker.”