Topa Topa Hops on Microbrew Wave
Topa Topa Brewing Company is the newest venture to catch the craft microbrewery wave in Ventura County, with their recent opening in early June, 2015.
Home brewers, surfing buddies and Ojai residents Jack Dyer and Kyle Thompson cofounded the 15-barrel microbrewery, located in a former printing press building on Thompson Boulevard in Ventura. They were inspired by the locavore culture and desire to have produced something tangible at the end of the day, says Dyer, whose background is sales and marketing.
The brewery has a modern tasting room with clean lines and an outdoor patio. Behind the tasting area is the “engine room,” with four 30-barrel fermenters, a 15-barrel one and a reverse osmosis water system that “cleans every drop of water that enters our brewery,” Dyer says, adding “We designed the brewery to conserve water throughout the brewing process.”
The system is one they see growing into and that allows for expansion, says Dyer.
Head brewer Casey Harris hails from Stone Brewing Company in San Diego. He started brewing at 18 and fell in love with the process, he says with a smile that seems to say, “You call this work?”
Harris brings the San Diego brewing style here, meaning big IPAs and hop-forward beers. His opening brews include an oatmeal stout, saison (light and “super-clean” tasting), IPA, Session IPA and a coffee oatmeal stout. They will also rotate various styles of beer into the tasting room.
Part of what they’re looking forward to is talking with customers about the different beers and their flavors. So it’ll be educational—in a tasty, fun way.
Building relationships with customers is important, as are relationships with local vendors. The brewery’s spent grain feeds cattle at Watkins Cattle Company in Meiners Oaks, and a friend in Matilija Canyon created the artsy wood tasting trays featuring a metal likeness of the Topa Topa Mountains.
Topa Topa Brewing Company
104 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura