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Institution Ale Opens on State Street in Downtown Santa Barbara

Release Date: February 22,2019

By Joshua Molina, Noozhawk Staff Writer | @JECMolina | February 21, 2019 

Institution Ale has opened on State Street at the site of the old Pierre LaFond building.

"The thing I love about our brewery is the diversity of our customer base from a beer perspective," said Shaun Smith, co-owner. "Like most breweries, we get our share of beer fanatics and beer enthusiasts, but we always get tons of people checking us out who have never been to a brewery before and are unfamiliar with craft beer."

The high profile spot, 516 State St., is the second brewery for the company; the original Institution Ale is in Camarillo. 

"We choose Santa Barbara as a satellite location for our brewery because we love the Central Coast," Smith said. "I grew up in Ventura County and went to college in San Luis Obispo. I always knew that if we opened up a second location, we'd go north up the coast."

The brewery has 19 beers on tap, from the Mosaic Pale Ale and the White Walls White IPA to the Institution IPA and the State Street Pale Ale. Some of the beers include 4-packs of 16-oz.

The brewery also serves food, shows sports on big screen TVs, and has large areas for big groups.

"We end up turning a lot of people on to craft beer who were just here because it's a fun place to hang out," Smith said. "It's cool to know that we're constantly converting people into craft beer drinkers and putting the focus on quality, full-flavored beer."

Institution Ale opened a week ago and its hours are from 11 a.m. to midnight for now.

Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina can be reached at