“The free beer market is booming,” jokes Preston Angell, the main beer maker for the new Captain Fatty’s Craft Brewery in Goleta. That’s because as Captain Fatty’s finds its way, they’ve been showing up at events like Figueroa Mountain’s Figtoberfests to give free tastes of the early batches. That’s going to end soon, as they’ll have their distribution and microbrewery licenses by then end of October, which will open the way for tastings at their warehouse at 6868 Cortona Drive.
Angell, a Westmont Biology grad currently working as a medical assistant for a dermatology surgeon, was brought in by long-time home-brewers Jon Wadell and Bryan Anderson to round out their business. “I’m Fatty,” admits the thin Anderson. “John’s the Captain.” Wadell does operations and Anderson handles finances, but the latter explained, “Then we discuss and overlap and problem solve.”
Currently working on one-barrel batches gives them room to experiment, but they’ve developed a few key recipes, from a Vortex IPA that Anderson hails as “well-balanced” to Parcel 19, a honey pale ale. That beer epitomizes their attempt to make truly local beers, with honey and citrus from Hollister Ranch. Just like winemakers controlling how their grapes grow, the Captain Fatty’s team is working with the California Malting Company to discuss how to grow and prepare their grains. They’ve also got a line on hops grown in Carpinteria.
“Once we get bottling,” a goal about a year out, Anderson projects, “people will be able to take home with them a true bottle from Santa Barbara.”