Beer and books made here

Pure Order Brewing Co. has become a favorite hangout spot for locals with a tasting room that is often accompanied by outside games, live music and food trucks. Earlier this year, owners James and David Burge planted a small field of cascade hops on the brewery property. The laid back brewery is a great place to grab a pint while reading next to their impressive array of hop vines.

The hops plant is a climbing, herbaceous perennial meaning that the external plant dies off during the fall. The root-stock lives underground during the winter and the plant materializes again in the spring. Because of this, the hop plant is establishing its root structure the first year it is planted and usually only develops a few cones, which is what is used in brewing. We were all shocked to see how well their hop vines did for a first year growth. By the end of this summer their hop yard was full of bushy vines with fat hop cones.

James and David harvested the hop cones this fall and brewed their Hometown Brown with them. This brown ale has a brief caramel-like sweetness and a quenching character. The hops flavor is mild, featuring a zesty spice note and some anise and citrus undertones. The easy-drinking nature of this brew means you can throw down a pint without a worry.

Grab a pint and sit in their beer garden while reading We Make Beer by local beer writer, Sean Lewis (santabarbarabeer.wordpress.com).  Grab a copy of Sean’s book at the brewery’s gift store. Sean has autographed them with a different beer musing in each book. We Make Beer is a series of stories that feature engaging writing and intriguing views. Each chapter focuses on a different interview and is titled by a quote with the meaning of the section accented by a star. Sean’s writing achieves what every journalist wants to accomplish in an interview. He looks past the beer and identifies the brewer’s mind and how their palate influences it. Sean places interviews in context for the reader while lacing his own insights on the meaning of beer into the text. The book makes a good lazy day’s read, lasting about a growler’s length of this easy-drinking brown ale.

Originally published in the Santa Barbara Sentinel, December 22, 2014

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