5 O'Clock Somewhere
Beer cocktails meet the Old West at Saloon BBQ Co.
By Chris O'Neal 06/06/2013
Saloon BBQ Co.
456 E. Main St. .
The bar at Saloon BBQ Co. looks like the perfect locale for an old-timey shoot-out, and after a few, it’s easy to imagine Wyatt Earp passing through the double doors and taking a seat next to a shorts-clad husband and his wife. If not for the rumble of the cruising trophy cars and the weekend day trippers, Saloon would have atmosphere in spades — right down to the themed cocktails and boot pints.
Literally, boot pints. In a 17-ounce boot-shaped glass is Figueroa Mountain’s Danish Red Lager. Of the 12 taps, eight are Figueroa Mountain, which makes you wonder if Figueroa himself might have come clad in black to assure his tap-dominance.
The real reason to sit at the bar at Saloon is the cocktails. Specifically, the beer cocktails. Saloon currently offers two distinct beer cocktails, both of which show signs of careful calibration.
The Mexican Chocolate may have its nationalities confused, but its flavors are certainly on the point. Tequila, strawberries and lemon join a pink peppercorn-infused syrup to spice up the base of Samuel Smith’s Chocolate Stout — a brew from the UK. The chocolate creaminess of the beer amplifies the spicy, herbal kick of the tequila, leaving a bit of pepper on the finish.
Perhaps after the fog has lifted, try the Bitter Kiss, a blend of Broker’s Gin, cucumber, grapefruit and blood-orange bitters to accompany the citrusy hops of Figueroa Mountain’s Hoppy Poppy IPA. Of all the cocktails, this shows the most thought, each ingredient reflects the traits of the beer and the fruity and floral characteristics of the hops.
Saloon BBQ is quirky. Old West meets trendy hipsterdom, care of The Tavern (with whom Saloon shares owners). Saloon is a welcome hole to wet yer whistle and give a go at the New-Age of mixology.
The Mexican Hot Chocolate and the Bitter Kiss can be had for $10.
5 O’Clock Somewhere is a new column and will run every other week for the latest in tempting intoxication around Ventura County.