In 1516, Germany passed the Reinheitsgebot, sometimes known as the "Purity Law," which decreed that only three ingredients could be used to brew beer: water, barley and hops. No wheat, no rye and certainly nothing as crazy as cherries or, heaven forbid, oranges.
You weren't expecting a history lesson, were you? Bear with us just a moment more.
More recently in 2014, brewmaster James Burge and his family opened Pure Order Brewing Company, a brewery based in Santa Barbara that aims to combine this ancient tradition (from which they took their name) with modern western flavors to create unique and robust brews that are eminently drinkable. And, better still, they have opened a tasting room and are waiting for you to come and try them all!
Check the board at Pure Order Brewing Company to see what they're pouring on any given day. — Photo courtesy of Pure Order Brewing Company
So, who should head on over to Pure Order Brewing Company? Anyone who is over 21 and overcome by a powerful thirst for German-style beer, of course. Once there, you can choose to enjoy a delicate 12-ounce glass or indulge in a pint. Or you can sip a 2-ounce tasting. Or try a flight of three tastings for just $4.
Ten taps are lined up behind the bar. There is also a freshly landscaped tasting garden, complete with games like cornhole and a giant version of Jenga. A large area to one side has been set aside for growing hops to use in future brews.
But tell us more about the beers, you say. Alright, we will! Pure Order currently offers a pale ale, a hefeweizen, a wheat and a porter, each with a unique tie to the Santa Barbara community. For example, the Crooked Neck Hefeweizen is inspired by Gemina, Santa Barbara's giraffe with a crooked neck that made her world-famous during her lifetime. A blend of banana and clove flavors pair with tiny bubbles in an effort to make this creation as recognizable as its namesake.
Although there is almost always someone on shift at the brewery, their tasting room hours are more selective, so be sure you time your visit right. Pure Order Brewing Company is open to the thirsty public on Fridays from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays from noon until 7 p.m.
You can find them a few blocks outside of downtown at 410 N. Quarantina Street. It's kind of a mix of residential and industry in that area. If you take a right turn and suddenly feel totally lost and confused, then you've found it. Just look for the freshly laid lawn and open warehouse door. (There will probably be a lot of happy, smiling people milling about, too.)
If you can't make it to the tasting room, visit Pure Order Brewing Company's website to find a growing list of stockists in California and elsewhere.