We call this week between the holidays a short reprieve, for soon we’re hitting the nog again, this time while wearing festive hats. It’s also a time for us to look back on the year past, to reminisce on the good and the tasty, and boy what a year it’s been in the VC.

A Year of Beer
Not only did we come to discover a plethora of premium outlets for our beer buying needs (Pat Holden’s, Whole Foods Oxnard, Sam’s Saticoy, etc.), but we were given the freshest option as well with the opening of Poseidon Brewing Company right on the edge of Ventura.

With its nautical theme, a brew master with experience and a monthly new release, Poseidon has touched down and made a big impact on the county’s burgeoning craft scene.

It’s not over, either. In the coming year, at least one new brewery, Topa Topa Brewing Company, will open, and there’s surely more to come. After all, if 2014 was the craft beer renaissance, 2015 may turn out to be the golden age.

Camarillo’s Institution Ale Co. celebrated a year in business, while Moorpark’s Enegren Brewing Co. celebrated two. May they see many more.

Drink Local

When Ventura Spirits Company came onto the scene, it came not with a bang, but in a quiet coup, slowly carving out its place on the spirits shelves as the invaders from Invasion of the Body Snatchers snatched bodies. Now it’s impossible not to notice the Ventura-made spirits: a vodka, its Wilder Gin made with California native botanicals, including sage and mandarin peel and a prickly pear spirit.

2014 was the year that Ventura joined the big leagues, symbolized by the addition of Ventura Spirits. Not only do they look great on your shelf, they’re quite good, too.

If I’ve left anything out — and undoubtedly I have — note that 2014 was a great year if you’re a drinker. Whatever your choice — be it wine, beer or a cocktail, Ventura County offered up a taste of something different. We here at 5 O’clock Somewhere, all 20 of us, including interns, look forward to what 2015 may bring, and pray that we remember at least half of it.

Chris O’Neal is a local drinker and a fan of all Ventura has to offer. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @agentoneal.