Island, Island on the Mountain

As fall delivers chillier weather and darker skies, there’s no better place to be than the rustic Cold Spring Tavern (coldspringtavern.com) off San Marcos Pass, where warmth is exuded everywhere, from the comfort food and homey staff to the burning fireplaces and historic decor. What better way to temper that encompassing heat than with a few quaffs of brew from Carpinteria’s Island Brewing Company (islandbrewingcompany.com), which is hosting an informational beer-pairing dinner there on October 17.

The evening begins with a venison sausage-topped cheddar beer soup, complemented by Island’s earthy Nut Brown Ale. Then the tiger shrimp fritters will be washed down with the Island Weiss, a refreshing, crisp wheat beer. The first entree, a braised leg of rabbit with aged cheddar polenta, gets the Paradise Pale Ale treatment, while the second entree, a pecan-crusted pork tenderloin, gets paired with the Blond, Island’s lightest brew. For dessert, patrons will be sipping the dark Jubilee Ale as they sample a molasses wheat bread pudding, enhanced with a bourbon-infused caramel. Drooling yet? It’s one night only-Wednesday, October 17-and $55 a person. Call 967-0066 for reservations.

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