Ojai Beverage Company
655 E Ojai Ave.

Ojai has a certain reputation for being Ventura’s little wine gem, the land of vineyards and tasting rooms right in our own backyard. Step off the wine trail and into the back of the Ojai Beverage Company (OBC), and perhaps your idea of Ojai may change. For beer geeks, Ojai Beverage Company is one of Ventura’s premier destinations.

OBC offers a finely tuned selection of craft beers on tap, and every first Sunday they’re just $3 for a pint. Ojai Beverage Company’s Joby Yobe, also owner with wife Mari of Ventura’s own Barrelhouse 101, is a true craft-beer aficionado. The selection at the bar in OBC is very much a reflection of that.

On tap this go-round was Lost Abbey’s Red Barn Ale, an herby saison that can cut through the heat of this Indian summer. Paired with the OBC’s mac and cheese, Red Barn offers a fantastic aroma of citrus and honey that pairs well with the OBC’s loaded appetizer.

If you’re looking for something a little more on the rare side, OBC has got you covered. Stone Brewing’s 17th anniversary release — hold your breath — Götterdämmerung is a Pilsner malted, German hops-infused monster of an IPA for the fanatic looking for something a little different. On tap at OBC, it really shines when facing the heat of the Ojai Valley.

Let’s say you stray away from the bar and find yourself in the bottle shop. Let’s say that, perhaps, you wander over to the coolers. Inside you’d find an eclectic mix of bottles from across the country and beyond, spanning every genre of brew you’re ever likely to encounter. Not only does OBC offer one of the finest hand picked tap lists in the county, but the bottle selection isn’t to be trifled with, either.

If you’re in the mood for wine, OBC has you covered again. If you can peel yourself away from the beer selection, you’ll find a wide variety of spirits and liqueurs, too. OBC really is a wonderland of choice, but in a sea of wine, it floats as an island sanctuary of beer nirvana.

5 O’Clock Somewhere is a new column and will run every other week for the latest in tempting intoxication around Ventura County.