Four years ago, Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company was a new operation named after a local mountain favored by hikers and bicyclists.
Today, Santa Barbara County locals know “Fig” as the place to meet for a cold one after work, for Quiz Night or for televised sports. From the original taproom on Industrial Way in Buellton, to the second site in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone to the smallest and newest site in Los Olivos, “Fig” rules.
The newest to open its doors is the Santa Maria taproom, located at 560 East Betteravia Road at College Avenue. The new site shares space with Me-n-Ed’s Pizza —once inside, go left for Fig and right for Me-n-Ed’s — and patrons can order Fig beer from the Me-n-Ed’s side, and pizza from the Fig side.
Kady Fleckenstein, Figueroa Mountain’s brand manager, and Jaime Dietenhofer, CEO and president, detailed the brewery’s expansion into the North County during a lunch at the taproom Nov. 13.
Santa Maria is short on night life, said Fleckenstein, and Fig hopes to fill that void. There will be football every Monday, Thursday and Sunday, and doors will open at 11 a.m. daily. On the menu are beer floats and beer cocktails, and a menu specific to Santa Maria, such as a tri-tip beef sandwich and tri-tip tacos.
“We want to make this a local place,” Dietenhofer said.
The taproom offers its own Mug Club for residents from Los Alamos to Nipomo. Among the perks are a discount card, field trips and chances to meet other folks who favor Fig Mountain beers.
Members of the military will receive a 10 percent discount on all orders, Fleckenstein said.
The Santa Maria taproom features bar and table seating with all of the core beers — among them Lizard’s Mouth, Imperial IPA, Hoppy Poppy and Davey Brown — on tap, as well as seasonal and special brews. And the menu features “bar bites” — delicious tri-tip tacos, a burger, tri-tip sandwich, spicy tater tots and chicken wings.
Lizard’s Mouth continues to be Fig’s most popular beer: “We can’t make it fast enough,” said Dietenhofer.
Early next year, Fig Mountain will continue its expansion with taprooms in both Arroyo Grande and Westlake Village, Fleckenstein said, and both of those sites will also contain breweries just like the original Buellton taproom.
Giving Fig’s booming expansion some scale, Dietenhofer noted that the company’s current overall production is between 15,000 and 20,000 barrels per year, and “we’re headed toward 60,000,” he said.
In 2010, when Fig opened its doors, production was 100 barrels and there were just five employees. Now Fig employs 100 people, Dietenhofer said.
Even with booming growth, however, the owners will never mess with a good thing: the beers themselves. Once the Arroyo Grande and Westlake Village sites open, Fig will have a total of seven brewers on staff, Fleckenstein said.
“Our beer recipes always stay the same, and all of our brew staff gets trained in Buellton.”
This weekend, Figueroa Mountain will celebrate its fourth anniversary from 2 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 29, at the Buellton facility. Featured will be live music from Stiff Pickle Orchestra and the Molly Ringwald Project, good eats from the Pairing Knife food truck and games and contests,
“This is an extra special year for us,” said David Esdaile, Buellton taproom manager, referring to the brewery’s skyrocketing growth. “We consider ourselves a family, and we’ve grown substantially this year with new employees, Mug Club members and customers.”
The anniversary beer to be released Saturday will be a Belgian-style Abbey Quadrupel that was aged in oak barrels with figs.
“This massive dark beer is heady with dark fruit aromas along with deep caramel notes and a deep malt backbone,” noted Mike Hastings, director of brewing operations.
Jim and Jaime Dietenhofer, father and son, founded Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. in 2010, paying homage to the Santa Ynez Valley with handcrafted beer and labels featuring hand-drawn artwork depicting the local landscape.
Learn more about @FigMtnBrew or where to find the beer at www.figmtnbrew.com
Copyright Central Coast Wine Press