Finding Fig: Delicious Craft Beer
There’s no better way to celebrate the conclusion of a bike ride up and over Figueroa Mountain—a steep road rideable peak in the San Rafael Mountains at 4,534 feet (1,382 m)—than to settle in before a pint of Figueroa Mountain craft beer. But which brew to choose? By producing more than a dozen delicious beers from across the International Bitterness Unit spectrum, the creatives on the Fig brewing team don’t make this task a simple one. Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co.—an ambitious Central Coast craft brewery that opened in Buellton in November 2010—produces a wide range of compelling, delicious beers that make choosing challenging. Of course, their 4th Anniversary Ale included figs as an ingredient for a genuinely unique flavor profile and taste experience. Have you found Fig?
We met recently with the Fig folks at one of their newest locations in Santa Barbara County—their Santa Maria taproom at 560 E. Betteravia Road just west of the Highway 101. Kady Fleckenstein, head of Fig’s PR and marketing team, sat with us for an interview to discuss their brews, brewery origins, and expansion plans that will bring fresh Figueroa Mountain craft beer into San Luis Obispo County in 2015. We also discussed the de-regulation of the beer industry by the Carter administration in 1979 as well as craft beer-friendly adjustments to today’s Food Modernization Act. Informed and social-minded foodies!
Kady also explained how this exceptional local brewery in the midst of wine country has embraced using wine must from the wine grape harvest in their autumn brews. As we surveyed the tasting list filled with some memorable names including Hoppy Poppy, Stagecoach Stout, and Paradise Road Pilsner, she gave us a quick lesson on the diversity of beer styles that brewers can tap into, if you will, in crafting their latest mad, delicious experiments. Enjoy our interview!
Have you ridden a bike over Figueroa Mountain? At one point, when you’ve been climbing consistently for a good while, a message spray painted on the road says “10 MILES TO GO” and you laugh thinking that 10 more miles of climbing can’t possibly be right. But, 10 miles of climbing later—including a stretch on an unpaved section—you finally reach another message on the road: “U DID FIG.” Definitely one of the hardest road rides in the Southern Central Coast: a tough way to earn a delicious beer!