Santa Maria Sun / Eats
Figueroa Mountain Brewery sets up shop in Santa Maria and soon in Arroyo Grande
BY WENDY THIES SELL
Beer lovers rejoice!
Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company has expanded operations and production, much to the gratitude of the local craft beer crowd.
The award-winning, Buellton-based craft brewery opened a taproom earlier this month in Santa Maria at 560 E. Betteravia Rd. in the College Square shopping center.
“The demand was there. We had people coming to the taproom in Buellton saying, ‘If you opened a taproom in Santa Maria, we’d be there every day,’” said Kady Fleckenstein, brand director for Fig Mountain. “It is a decent drive to Buellton. This way, you can get to a local ‘Fig’ in five minutes. Also, there isn’t a lot of nightlife here, so we’re providing a place to go with your friends until 11 o’clock [p.m.] every day.”
All of Fig’s core beers are on tap at the new Santa Maria location, including Hoppy Poppy IPA, Lizard’s Mouth, Danish Red Lager, and Davy Brown Ale, in addition to special brews and seasonal beers that can’t be found in a retail store.
“It’s nice to be able to come into the taproom and see a bunch of things you wouldn’t see on the shelves,” Fleckenstein added.
Fig’s in-house mixologist Tony Grimes designed beer cocktails for the taproom, such as the Beer Mary made with FMB “101” Kolsch; the Hopped-Mosa with Hoppy Poppy IPA; and the Lounging Lizard with Lizard’s Mouth Imperial IPA.
Sit at the bar or at a table, and enjoy a pint of fresh and locally made beer, get bottles to go, buy or bring your FMB growler to fill with your favorite brew to take home, and/or join the new Santa Maria taproom’s Mug Club.
The Mug Club is only open to local residents from Los Alamos to Nipomo, until it sells out. There are 200 spots for the taking and each costs $150 per year.
The numbered 25-ounce mug is filled at the taproom for just $5; that’s 9 ounces of essentially free beer with every mug fill up.
Club membership also includes a discount card, field trips, dining excursions, quarterly appreciation parties, a big event each summer, and other opportunities to bond with people who love the same beer.
For more information, go to figmtnbrew.com/mugclub.
Hungry for some flavorful food that pairs well with beer? The new taproom also has a “Bar Bites” menu, which I had the opportunity to taste during a recent media luncheon.
The delicious Main Street Tri-Tip Tacos are a great deal at $5.99, and look for an even better price on Taco Tuesdays.
The menu also includes a sandwich made with Stagecoach Stout-marinated tri-tip, a burger topped with Hoppy Poppy sauce, a chicken sandwich with tangy Davy Brown BBQ sauce, parmesan tater tots to dip in Sriracha ketchup, chicken wings, spicy chicken lettuce wraps, and other bar food.
Figueroa Mountain teamed up with Milano Restaurants International, which has an executive chef overseeing the kitchen operations—for example, baking buns in-house daily for sandwiches.
The taproom is connected to Me-N-Ed’s Pizza, so customers can also buy pizza to eat in the taproom.
Like to pair beer with football? NFL games will be on the TVs Monday night, Thursday night, and all day on Sunday.
The Fig also has a game night, a college night, and brings in live music on Fridays and Saturdays.
Active duty members of the military receive a 10 percent discount every day at the Santa Maria taproom and $4 pints on Military Mondays.
On Nov. 29, Fig Mountain celebrates its fourth anniversary with four taproom locations: Buellton, Los Olivos, Santa Barbara, and Santa Maria.
In January, the brewing company is opening larger taprooms with in-house breweries in Arroyo Grande (at the former Applebee’s location on Grand Avenue) and in Westlake Village.
More taprooms for the company means more beer will be coming out of the brewery.
“We had a double [in] production recently. We had to scale up faster,” said Jaime Dietenhofer, founder/owner of Figueroa Mountain. “People say it’s a good problem to have, but you want to make sure you can supply it, and we’re increasing production even beyond that to make sure we have enough inventory.”
Dietenhofer revealed that his craft brewery currently produces 15,000 barrels of beer, and is planning on ramping it up to 60,000 barrels within the next year.
Fig Mountain’s success reflects the surge of America’s craft beer industry, which is growing by leaps and bounds.
Dietenhofer said macro-produced beers are in decline, losing market share to craft beers because the public is now seeking out anything of quality that’s handcrafted.
“People are yearning to see it made, know where it’s made, and know the people who make it. So it’s that drive, in general, that’s helping craft [breweries],” he said.
Sun wine and food columnist Wendy Thies Sell doesn’t always drink wine. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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