Celine Pun / Daily Nexus

Located on ​​6489 Calle Real, Suite D, Goleta, CA 93117, Captain Fatty’s Brewery is a cozy bar tucked off Los Carneros Road by the roundabout to Trader Joe’s. Without a local, I would have needed really good luck to find this hidden gem.  

My friends and I went around 6 p.m. and there was a lot of parking in both the front and back. The place itself had a lively ambiance. Everyone seemed to be lightly chatting and drinking to de-stress after a long day. Some men and their dog were playing a hook game. 

The brewery had a variety of unique seating options like couches, picnic tables and a bar. We sat at a log table in the front. 

For my first drink, I selected a Mexican Hot Chocolate Stout. It sounded charming. I’ve had a spiked chocolate milkshake before, so I was curious. The drink had a gorgeous dark chocolate color. The bartender offered cayenne pepper and cinnamon as toppings. I appreciated the cinnamon. After a few sips, the sticky thickness of this drink was not for me. 

My Puerto Rican friend went inside with the beer and traded it for the Vortex IPA which has Cascade and Mosaic hops. According to her, usually in bars, if the drink is not good you can exchange it. The Vortex IPA was sweeter and more enjoyable for slow sips. 

In the back, the Santa Barbara Woodfire Catering sells pizza. After getting beers from Captain Fatty’s, we paid them a visit. Three fluffy dogs growled and wrestled by the cashier’s feet. The pizzas are 12-inches and $12, with a dollar extra for each topping. The cashier recommended their Goat Pizza which has goat cheese, ham, arugula and the most fascinating pizza sauce: habanero apricot jam. 

I was slowly sipping my beer, because I wanted to pair it with the pizza. The pizza took quite a long time to come out. I was quite impatient, but it was worth it. 

The Goat Pizza was quite a magical experience. The habanero apricot jam added a pleasant sweetness and the most gentle slap of heat. The goat cheese was crumbly and addictive. The ham was roasted and slightly crispy. The arugula was topped after roasting, so it was super fresh and raw: a beautiful harmony. 

When my out-of-town friends come to visit next, I will bring them to this amazing microbrewery and pizzeria, perfect place to catch up, drink and dine.

A version of this article appeared on p. 10 of the April 21, 2022 print edition of the Daily Nexus.