Ventura Coast Brewing Company
76 S. Oak St., Ventura

Make way for more downtown beer stops as Ventura Coast Brewing Company opened its doors for business over the weekend. Saturday saw a massive crowd and long lines to try the new joint’s five offerings; and from the looks of it, it’ll be a popular spot for locals and tourists alike.

Pinwheel taster.

Pinwheel taster.

Located on the corner of Santa Clara and Oak Streets, formerly inhabited by My Florist and Blu Orkid, the interior is an industrial minimalist’s dream: mostly bare walls, interesting angles and large doors. The bar itself is sleek and long with no-frills stools. The open entrance, made interesting by the lattice metal gates, gives the space a roomy feel.

As busy as it was, and as long as the line had been, we were served rather quickly and chose the five-flight taster ($10), one of each: Initial blonde ale, Char Man amber, Neighborhood session IPA, Resinite IPA and the No Oats porter. ABV ranged from 5 percent (Char Man) to 6.8 percent (Resinite). Surprisingly, the session sits at 5.3 percent.

The pinwheel flight proved a nice trip around the world of flavor. The blonde had a distinct bready aroma and went down easy; the porter, my personal favorite, was coffee-esque with a hint of chocolate on the back end. My companion’s favorite was the Char Man amber, with its toasty notes and caramel nose.

Owner Kyle Thillie and head brewer Dan White, former head brewer of Smog City Brewing Company in Torrance, should be proud of their goods.

All of the brews on tap can be served in a 16-ounce glass for $6 each, a nice change from the higher-end pours around downtown. Not to mention, the open patio played host to several dogs, all apparently welcome both in- and outdoors. A rather large, friendly dog let me know he was right beside me by staring up longingly at my pint throughout the visit.

I’ve always been a proponent of more is better when it comes to breweries downtown, and Ventura Coast Brewing Company is a welcome addition to the soon-to-be sprawling tap landscape.

Chris O’Neal likes dogs, but not enough to share a beer with them. Follow him on Instagram @atchrisoneal.