How could I be the first to think of this? A brewery ought to open up along the major highway that runs up California's Pacific Coast, probably in the Central Coast, and call itself Brewing 101. The basics of brewing. They could offer many basic styles such as an Amber, Pale Ale, Brown Ale, Porter or Stout, and maybe throw in an IPA.
On the way back from a brief road trip to LA, Half Pint and I took the scenic Highway 101 back to SF, which is how I finally made it to the Santa Maria Brewing Co. It's easily one of the tiniest breweries I've seen. It stands on the north side of a "river" (I've never seen a drop in it) across the bridge that separates it from Santa Barbara County, which is why it's in the more easy-going Nipomo instead of restrictive Santa Maria, evidently. It's for this reason that I think it ought to be called the more accurate name of Brewing 101.
Inside, it's a jovial place with room enough for
perhaps 3 regulars at the bar--each with non-stop refills of $4 pints, and table space enough for 4-5 regulars to hang out with a pitcher and take-out from the highly regarded "Santa Maria Style BBQ" joint directly adjacent.
Since I was driving and had precious cargo in Half Pint and our dog Patsy, I only had one pint so I had to choose wisely. It was rather hot, so I figured the Wheat Beer was the safest. Let's just say the sample I asked for of the Belgian Brown proved I should've gone for that instead, as the Wheat that day had a slight infection. Not that anyone at the bar, or the jovial bartender John seemed to mind. And should any off flavors abound next time I pop in--and I will--I'll splurge the extra buck for a pint of the IPA. Should go great with a pulled pork sandwich from next door.
If my count is correct, this marks the 45th California brewery I've hit. Only about 200 to go.