Camarillo Beer Trail.mp4

The Camarillo Beer Trail

Enjoy the Camarillo Beer Trail in Ventura County

Two women having craft beer at a patio picnic table at Topa Topa in Camarillo

Some trails are more refreshing than others! And while the Camarillo Beer Trail isn’t a hiking trail, it is most certainly worth exploring. Make it a day of brews or do a “brews and views” tour by combining a scenic hike followed by some tasty beers.

Institution Ale 12 oz beer next to a spicy fried chicken pizza

Institution Ale Company beer

In whatever order you wish, here’s a quick guide to the Camarillo Beer Trail. Institution Ale: This brewery’s modern interior fits the style of the beers they craft—smooth and flavorful. They’ve also got pizza for pairings. Try the European pilsner with the Pizza Margherita, or get a bit more adventurous with the Tart Cherry Blonde (sour blonde) paired with the spicy fried chicken pizza. Like a double IPA? Try the Disarray. Take it outside onto the expansive patio that includes a fire pit.

Two women having beers on the outdoor patio at Institution Ale in Camarillo

Next up, the friendly family-owned-and-run Camarillo Barrel Works. For those who drink beer, you’ve come to the right place. For those who don’t drink beer, you’ve come to the right place! That’s because Camarillo Barrel Works includes Flat Fish Brewing Co. and Cantara Cellars wine. Both are excellent.

Cantara Cellars wine bottles

pouring of Cantara Cellars red wine

Created by husband-and-wife team Mike and Chris Brown, Flat Fish and Cantara are in a warehouse location with an outdoor patio and event space (when we visited, a serious corn hole competition was taking place). The microbrewery here opened in 2018 and the beer is delicious, with the supremely refreshing Go Fish! golden ale a standout for crispness and easy drinking. Get a flight and go from light, to stout, to IPA. Chicken wings, fresh artichoke dip, pizza, and charcuterie are tasty snacks. (Pro tip: Ask Mike about his barrel-aged brandy … coming soon.)

Mike Brown of Cantara Cellars and Flat Fish Brew Co. toasting guests with barrel-aged brandy samples on the outdoor patio of Camarillo Barrel Works

Keep the beer flowing at Topa Topa in Camarillo Old Town. Grab a patio picnic table under the string lights and choose from over a dozen fresh beers. Order at the modern outdoor “tap room.” Topa Topa is cool, no doubt, but you won’t get any fuss and attitude here; the folks running the place are fun and friendly. Try Casey’s Kolsch (honey, biscuit, yum!). Adventurous beer drinkers can go for It’s in the Zeitgeist, a hazy triple IPA clocking in at 10%. Make the Camarillo Beer Trail part of your 2022 zeitgeist.

Topa Topa Brewing in Camarillo Old Town

Topa Topa outdoor tap room at Camarillo Old Town

Beer drinkers on Topa Topa Camarillo outdoor patio with string lights and heat lamp and picnic tables

BONUS VIEWS & BREWS: Combine your brews with views (that’s hike first, drink later). Here are some nearby hiking trails for enjoying mountain and sea scenery, including Hill Canyon Trail, Conejo Mountain via Powerline Trail, and Point Mugu State Park Chumash Trail.

STAY: There’s plenty of lodging in and around Camarillo. For an overnight in Camarillo Old Town, Bella Capri Inn & Suites is close to breweries, and outdoor adventures including Point Mugu coastal hiking and Wildwood Canyon. It's also close to the famed Camarillo Premium Outlets, with 160 retailers including Adidas, The North Face, Vans Outlet, Lululemon, Athletica, and many more.

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