If you're visiting/passing through Santa Barbara, here's a (by no means comprehensive) list of good stuff to check out. While Santa Barbara beer culture is a little behind when compared to LA/SF/SD, things have improved significantly in 2016. Feel free to ask questions in this thread or PM me if you're going to be visiting. Breweries/Brewpubs Telegraph: Has improved markedly in recent years. Definitely worth a stop, some great wild ales usually available on tap and their clean beers are consistently good. Third Window: Similar to Telegraph, and probably my favorite downtown SB brewery. Has ties to the Bruery. Some great clean beers, and their barrel/sour program is just getting started. Some of the Belgian-inspired beers can be a touch boring but their lineup is usually great. Topa Topa: Ventura-based brewery that just opened a tasting room in Santa Barbara adjacent to Lama Dog. They are making my favorite IPAs in SB. Draughtsman: Super solid brewery in Goleta, everything is well executed and the atmosphere is very relaxed. Firestone Walker Barrelworks: ~45 minutes outside of Santa Barbara but by far the best beer destination nearby. Located next to the FW restaurant in Buellton, Barrelworks does primarily small-batch barrel aged beers. Definitely worth the trip if you're able to get here. I skip over a few breweries here (Figueroa Mountain, M. Special, Captain Fatty's, SB Brewpub, SB Brewing Company, Pure Order) since they are not worth visiting in my opinion, particularly if you're time-limited. Bars/Restaurants. Lama Dog: The best beer bar in town, with a rotating selection of taps and an extensive bottle selection with low prices and reasonable corkage (~$2 IIRC). The adjacent Nook restaurant is good but not cheap. Wine + Beer: Similar concept to Lama Dog, with a much heavier wine focus; Lama Dog is definitely the better beer spot of the two overall. You can get food to go from any of the surrounding restaurants and eat it at the bar. American Ale: Good beer selection in downtown SB, though they serve everything out of small-ass mason jars and charge too much for it. Prepare yourself for flannel, mustaches, and 1920's-era music blaring from the speakers. Eureka Burger: High-end burger chain, pretty good food and a decent beer selection (watch the prices/serving sizes though). They have rare bourbon at crazy markups if you're into that... Mercury Lounge: Located in Goleta. Awesome dive bar vibes with a selection that ranges from decent to fantastic. Outstanding bottle prices as well, and free pool on Tuesdays. Worth the trip out of downtown SB if you're looking for somewhere low-key to hang out for a night. Elsie's: Dive bar in Santa Barbara. Worth it for the vibe, second-rate in terms of beer selection but they usually have some decent CA locals on tap. Dutch Gardens: No website - Yelp is linked. Cool out of the way German spot with some interesting old-school beers on tap. Probably one of my favorite restaurants in town since they serve very simple, classic food in a setting that will make you think you're not in the States. Yellow Belly: Laid-back local spot. Good food, reasonable prices, consistently decent beer selection. Woodstocks: Located in Isla Vista, the college down adjacent to UCSB. Worth mentioning for their great rotating taplist. Blue Owl: Not really a beer destination (their beer selection is fine), but their food is awesome. Plus they're open until ~2am on weekend nights which can be useful. Bottle Shops Unfortunately Santa Barbara gets skipped over a bit when it comes to distro, so if you're from LA or SF nothing will be that exciting in comparison. Nonetheless, here are the best places for beer to-go: Lama Dog: The best bottle shop in town, bar none. Bevmo: There are two Bevmo locations in the Santa Barbara area: one in downtown Santa Barbara and one in Goleta. They have a pretty solid shelfturd inventory and occasionally get good limited distribution west coast beers. Good prices. Whole Foods: A good option as well. Everything is refrigerated, and they have a good local mix in addition to regional/national beers. Keg and Bottle: Located in Isla Vista. Really weird spot - look out for under- or over-priced beers, 2+ year old unrefrigerated IPAs, and awesome limited beers that have no business being on the shelf in a college town.