The Annex
The Collection at Riverpark
2761 Park View Court

The wait is over: The Collection at RiverPark’s The Annex has officially opened, and with it come gourmet sandwiches, tapas, boba tea and, of course, beer via the second location for Newbury Park’s exceedingly popular Bottle & Pint.

Situated in the back corner of the opem-concept cafeteria cum shopping center, Bottle & Pint occupies a small bar designed to resemble, somewhat, of a homey shack, with a much larger fenced-in area for imbibing. On this particular visit, the bar was in the midst of a soft-opening, hosting its annual Local Brewery Competition.

On tap: 17 brews from 17 Ventura County and Santa Barbara breweries, including local favorites Topa Topa, Institution and Casa Agria, as well as Figueroa Mountain and Lady Face Alehouse. This was a great opportunity for me to try 14 Cannons, a recently opened Westlake Village brewery, and so I had the brew dubbed “One Cannon with Ekuanot,” ekuanot being a hop varietal, while my companion hopped aboard the Casa Agria hype train with the Layered Horizon New England-style IPA.

Both were winners in our book. The Fourteen Cannons IPA brought the party to my mouth with a fruit basket’s worth of flavor, while the Layered Horizon swept us into the fast lane toward Flavortown.

But the actual winner was Casa Agria, announced at The Annex’s official grand opening on Friday, Dec. 1.

Our second pours leaned more toward the experimental, with Ojai Valley Brewing Company’s Dos Cabrones Barrel-Aged Lager — which I can only assume was set in tequila barrels (which, I later learned, was aged in strawberry brandy barrels), as the profound vanilla notes of an aged tequila were strong with this one, sans the hangover. Five Threads’ Heidi’s Saucy Sister Berlinerweisse, steeped with cranberries and winter spices, was a tart reminder that Christmas is only a few weeks away.

We sat between tables filled with folks munching on goodies procured from neighboring stalls. Soon, a gourmet ice cream shop will open next door. Can we just pitch a tent in The Annex and stay forever?

Chris O’Neal’s favorite Christmas movie is “The Three Dogateers.” Follow him on Instagram @atchrisoneal.