Islands are generally small, as illustrated by the size of Santa Catalina Island. So to be a successful business on an island, one needs to be good at more than one thing. The Catalina Island Brew House personifies this island ethos brilliantly as they brew & bake for the tourists and locals all day, everyday.
My adventure started on the Catalina Flyer at 9:00 am. I had 3 cans of Stella Artois on the boat so I was ready to party when we set foot on land. My first stop was the Pancake Cottage for more beer and a side of fries. It was happy hour in the morning, something I had never heard of….but definitely something I could get used to.
After fueling up, me and my group headed down Crescent Avenue to find another watering hole. As you stroll by, the view will take your breath away. The sights were ass-tounding to say the least!
A hanging sign lets you know you have reached the Catalina Island Brew House. It is shoved alongside Steve’s Steakhouse and Maggie’s Blue Rose Mexican restaurant in a small and narrow space.
There was a line when we arrived but it went fast and we were able to order our brews. CIBH is a nanobrewery and they only had 3 of their own beers available in addition to guest beers such as Four Sons & Bootleggers Breweries.
I was very happy they had an IPA on the menu so I got the Island Hop IPA with a 6.6% ABV. It was full of flavor with a strong piney hop taste and a lighter malty sweetness. I loved it… I also loved how they give you fresh baked pretzel rolls with your beer order. Way to go, Catalina Brew! You impressed the hell out of me!
Like I said earlier, CIBH is good at more than one thing. Not only do they brew great tasting beer, they brew coffee anyway you want it.
They’ve got a whole full-service coffee bar behind the counter and it makes me think they get very crowded in the early mornings when everyone needs their espresso.
The craft doesn’t stop at beer and coffee. Catalina Brew has a small cafe menu featuring artisan flatbread pizzas and sandwiches. There is a nice vegetarian selection of pizzas like the Islander. It’s similar to a Hawaiian but without the ham.
CIBH also offers bakery items as displayed. I tried the brownies with nuts on top and I was astonished at how delicious it was. Probably the best brownie I have ever tasted that I didn’t make myself. The next day, I went back and bought 2 brownies to take home.
There is merchandise for sale but it’s limited to t-shirts and stickers.
One of the major complaints people have about islands is how expensive they can be for food and drink. I thought the Catalina Island Brew House was reasonably priced for beer and a little above average for a shirt. Their food prices are the same as any cafe on the mainland.
Catalina is one of those places you don’t get to that often so I don’t know when I’ll be back to the Brew House. But next time, I will stop in and have a beer and a brownie and maybe one of those Islander flatbreads. I loved this brewery and highly recommend that you visit if you are on Catalina.