“Go local and keep it simple” is the guiding principle behind Brass Bear Brewing Company, the new Funk Zone spot by the husband-and-wife team of Seth and Lindsay Anderson. Such terms get thrown around frequently, but that ethos is intricately woven into every aspect of the bustling bistro on Anacapa Street, which opened on February 24.
Take the combination skewer platter, for instance. Succulent Watkins Ranch chicken and beef from Ojai, slightly spicy pork sausage from San Luis Obispo’s Alle-Pia, and seasonal vegetables from Harvest Santa Barbara are draped across a rosemary-thyme potato pancake (a nod to a recipe Seth’s mom made in their Virginia home) and served with zippy tzatziki made in-house from cow and goat yogurt, dill, olive oil, mint, and red onion.
“We’ve been putting everything we have into this,” said Seth, whose breezy space features mountain views, handcrafted tables, art (including a painting by Lindsay’s mom), their iconic bear logo (designed by Lindsay), wood walls that they nailed in themselves, and bunting hanging from the ceiling made out of their wedding tablecloth. The couple met in New York City in 2009 and left their jobs in finance and marketing for greener pastures when, according to Seth, “A dog and a backyard became more important than a paycheck.” Lindsay’s hometown of Santa Barbara offered the space and nature they craved as well as an urban-epicurean spirit. Plus, as Lindsay realized, “The Funk Zone’s missing more beer, food, and champagne.”
So the couple moved their home-brewing operations to Pure Order Brewery, where they’re sharing space to produce their Hopping Grizzly Double IPA and Cave Age Lager. Those are on tap now, as are other thoughtfully chosen California beers and wines and one foreigner: Sweden’s easy-drinking Rekorderlig Cider. On the menu front, Brass Bear serves charcuterie, grilled cheese with fillings from C’est Cheese on Deux Bakery bread (such as Prosciutto Americano, Holey Cow, and Clothbound Cheddar on fresh-herb rosemary bread), and a selection of sides. They also plan to offer monthly food-and-drink pairing classes and weekend brunch.
With crowds already coming and pledging to return, the Andersons are pleased with their new enterprise. Said Lindsay, “This definitely feels like home for me.”
Brass Bear Brewing is located at 28 Anacapa Street. Call (805) 770-7651 or see brassbearbrewing.com. Cookbook author David Wicht hosts the first in a series of $65 food-pairing classes on April 12, 7-9 p.m.