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Saturday, January 19 , 2019, 7:03 am | Fair 45º


Tara Jones: Family Vibe Brewing at Pure Order Brewery

Owner James Burge pours his heart and soul into the micro-brewing clubhouse on Santa Barbara's Eastside

Pure Order Brewing sales manager David Burge, left, with owner and cousin James Burge behind the bar.
Pure Order Brewing sales manager David Burge, left, with owner and cousin James Burge behind the bar.  (Tara Jones / Noozhawk photo)

The one thing on my wish list as a kid, aside from the magical flying unicorn that could take me to Disneyland anytime I wanted, was a clubhouse full of friends.

I had dreams of bringing all my buddies to said clubhouse where we would have big plans for great things, secret passwords for coming and going, and everyone would be the best of friends.

Nestled in an older section of the lower Eastside and operating in less than 1,800 square feet, Pure Order Brewing Co., which opened six months ago, is Santa Barbara’s ultimate micro-brewing clubhouse full of big plans.

Owner James Burge started his fantasy career of brewmaster at the young age of 16 when he gave his father a home brewing kit for his birthday. While his father’s interest waned, Burge’s interest grew and became a new passion that would lead him to open his own shop 14 years later.

The name Pure Order is derived from the German Rheinheitsgebot of 1516, meaning Purity Order, which states that only four ingredients — malt, hops, yeast and water — can be used in the brewing of beer.

Coupled with Western traditions, Burge’s motto of purity is evident in each of the six flagship beers on tap.

A firm believer that there is always a better way of doing things, Burge’s approach to brewing is truly an art form as he adds a dash and spoonful to his recipes until he declares them perfected.

And perfected they are. As his sales manager and cousin David Burge says, “The signature of James as a brewer is that all his beers finish cleanly.”

Owner Burge has named Santa Barbara The Garden of Eden since growing a crop of hops on-site for the newest brew to be released this fall, a brown ale made with hops in every step of his Rheinheitsgebot process.

Pure Order
The flagship and seasonal beers on tap, from left: Crooked Neck, Viva Lager, Red Eye Wheat, Willie Waught, Scottish Ale, SB Common Ale, SB Pale Ale and Black Gull Porter. (Tara Jones / Noozhawk photo)

With the occasional hot day gracing Santa Barbara as the fall winds begin to blow through, there is a Pure Order beer that will perfectly match each of the upcoming seasons.

Crooked Neck, named after Gemina the late Baringo crooked-necked giraffe that lived at the Santa Barbara Zoo, is a traditional Bavarian-style hefeweizen with heavy banana tones perfect for these last few summer days.

When the winds truly change as winter approaches and the cold from the ocean has you longing for cable knit sweaters and hot comfort food, cozy up with the Black Gull Porter and its mocha, coffee flavors that are reminiscent of a double chocolate stout.

And when Mother Nature won’t settle on a particular season, stop by for a flight of 4 beers for $5 and decide for yourself what the weather calls for.

As we wrapped up our visit and I made my way outside, a Volkswagen bus was parked out front, holding a car seat in front and two kegs in the back.

On weekends the place is said to be “a park with beer” as kids and dogs run around on the lawn and adults play with a life-sized Jenga and Connect Four.

With a close-knit family vibe and the local culture deeply ingrained in every aspect of the business, I left feeling like one of the buddies — an honorary member of the club.

Pure Order Brewing is located at 410 N. Quarantina St. in Santa Barbara. Tasting room hours are 3 to 7 p.m. on Fridays and noon to 7 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

Tara Jones leads Eat This, Shoot That! and welcomes reader tips and ideas for future columns. She can be reached at [email protected]. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

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