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Closing Time for Santa Barbara Brewing Company, Which Will Be Replaced By The Cruisery

Release Date: September 20,2018

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The Santa Barbara Brewing Company is closing Oct. 1 and new ownership is opening The Cruisery in its location at 501 State St. (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)

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Say goodbye to the Santa Barbara Blonde, Rincon Red and Pacific Pale Ale. 

In less than two weeks, the iconic beers and the Santa Barbara Brewing Company will be nothing more than another State Street casualty.

The iconic brewery, at the corner of State and Haley streets, will shut its doors on Oct. 1, and the new owner will reopen the space at the end of the month as The Cruisery, a combination of cruiser and brewery.  

The new owner, Aron Ashland, is no stranger to the beer and wine industry.

He is the current owner of Santa Barbara Wine Therapy and a former manager at Sandbar restaurant.

Ashland said he saw an opportunity to buy the Santa Barbara Brewing Company and rebrand it. 

“We are going to change the feel of it in a lot of ways,” Ashland told Noozhawk. “We are going to keep making great beers and the best bar food we can come up with.”

Some downtown businesses have been struggling, and State Street has an 11-percent vacancy rate among retail storefronts. 

The Santa Barbara Brewing Company was hit by multiple competitors and the recently opened Finney's on the first block of State Street took a bite out of the brewery's business model. More breweries have moved into the Funk Zone area and Night Lizard brewery on the 600 block of State Street also recently opened.

None of that discourages Ashland. 

“I think it is the best spot in town,” he said. “I think we can change the whole block.”

The corner of State and Haley is really “the beginning of Santa Barbara,” he said. “We're extremely excited.” 

Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina can be reached at