Captain Fatty’s Craft Brewery embarked on its maiden voyage into the beer world when friends Jon “Captain” Wadell and Bryan “Fatty” Anderson began home-brewing beer almost a decade ago. They introduced their friend Preston Angell to the art, and upon trying his brews, they knew they were onto something.
“This is good beer; you should do this for a living,” manager Matt Minkus recalls the pair saying to Angell, who became head brewer when they went commercial. “Sure enough, here we are eight years later!”
The brewery officially opened for business in Goleta in October 2014 with Angell overseeing a one-barrel system. But in December 2015, they closed to remodel and expand their capacity. So in April of this year, Captain Fatty’s reopened with a nicer tap room, featuring clean wooden tables and a bar top handmade by Minkus, a cold storage room, and a 15-barrel system with 120 barrels of fermentation capacity. They also took the opportunity to rebrand their logo with four stripes, which represent both the four main ingredients in beer (yeast, malt, hops, and water) and the fourth stripe that all captains receive. “It all kind of works together,” said Minkus, who is now serving beer five days a week rather than the sporadic weekend days of the first incarnation.
The homey and charming watering hole features rustic barrels, picnic tables, and a sunny outdoor space where bands often play and food trucks such as Fire and Ice Pizza and 805 Street Bites serve up beer-friendly treats. There’s even a kids zone with movies, games, and root beer on tap, which makes the place exude familial warmth. On the day I visited, Minkus counted 11 newborns enjoying the scene. “We just want it to be a place that’s welcoming and inviting of all people,” he explained.
And the beers they make are also aimed at pleasing many types of palates. “We try and make a beer for everyone,” said Minkus. “We make beers unique to their genre and style.”
Here’s a sampling:
Walk the Plank Milk Stout: With notes of cream and coffee, this brew is Minkus’s favorite. “We use lactose to give it a smooth, creamy feel,” he said. Order a tulip “Campfire-Style,” and they’ll even garnish the top with a toasted marshmallow!
Beach Beer Kölsch: My personal favorite of the brews, I could drink this light, crisp, German-style beer all summer long.
HR 19 Apricot Saison: This tart, fruity Belgian is their most popular seller. The flavorful brew features puree from fresh apricots, which they get from Hollister Ranch when in season. “It’s a really drinkable beer while still having some complexities to it,” Minkus said.
Vortex IPA: With toasted malt, mosaic hops, and passion fruit, this tasty and refreshing IPA will quickly pull you into its gyre. It’s so popular, one man in town even named his boat The Vortex after it. “It’s more of an East Coast–style IPA,” said Minkus. “It’s more malty.”
Open Wednesday-Friday, 3:30-10 p.m., Saturday, noon-10 p.m., and Sunday, noon-8 p.m; 6483 Calle Real, Suite D, Goleta; captainfattys.com