Fiesta Ranchera

Fiesta Ranchera, photo by Fritz Olenberger, courtesy Old Spanish Days.

Fiesta Ranchera, photo by Fritz Olenberger, courtesy Old Spanish Days.

Come celebrate Fiesta in June at the always fun Fiesta Ranchera party! Truly a great night out for locals, this is an awesome way to get into the spirit of Fiesta, Goleta style!

On June 16, Fiesta Ranchera opens the Fiesta summer season with the help of Old Spanish Days and the Goleta Valley Historical Society for an unforgettable night of food, fun and merriment. The event begins at 5 p.m. at the historic Rancho La Patera & Stow House, 304 N. Los Carneros Rd. in Goleta.

The beautiful gardens make this a perfect place for a night of pre-Fiesta fun that includes sampling of food from local restaurants, wines from award-winning local wineries, craft beer and signature drinks. Guitarist Tony Ybarra will play as the crowd mingles, followed by performances from the 2016 Spirit and Junior Spirit of Fiesta. Then dance the night away to the ever-favorite sounds of Area 51.

Fiesta dancers, photo by Fritz Olenberger, courtesy Old Spanish Days.

Fiesta dancers, photo by Fritz Olenberger, courtesy Old Spanish Days.

“We look forward to welcoming you for a rare opportunity to enjoy this lovely, historic landmark after the sun sets for a magical night at the Ranch,” says Amanda De Lucia, executive director of Goleta Valley Historical Society.

Restaurants and chefs to showcase their fabulous fare include Anna’s Bakery, Angel Oak at Bacara Resort & Spa, Catering Connection, Country Catering & Meat Market, Goodland Kitchen, McConnell’s Ice Cream, The Nugget, Pepe’s Mexican Food, Rincon Events, Trattoria Grappolo, Caffe Primo, On The Alley, Benchmark Eatery, Farmer Boy, High Sierra Bar & Grill, Woodstock’s Pizza, Woody’s BBQ and Nothing Bundt Cakes.

Guests will sip wine by Alexander & Wayne, Arthur Earl, Bella Cavalli Vineyard, Sunstone, Windrun and Zaca Mesa, along with craft beer from Hollister Brewing Co., Enegren Brewing, Captain Fattys, Santa Maria Brewing, Telegraph Brewing and Knee Deep Brewing.

Fiesta photo by Fritz Olenberger, courtesy Old Spanish Days.

Fiesta photo by Fritz Olenberger, courtesy Old Spanish Days.

Tickets for the event are $65 and are now all inclusive (no more pesky drink tickets) and may be purchased online at Tickets will also be available onsite for $80 at the door. Designated driver and group discounts are available, and guests must be 21 to enter. Attendees are encouraged to dress in Fiesta or ranch attire.

Leslie Dinaberg

Published in Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine on June 9, 2016.

Cocktail Corner: Vintage American Cocktails (and Beer!) at American Ale

Courtesy American AleA spirited toast to all things alcoholic! By Leslie Dinaberg

Burgers and beer are a classic pairing for good reason, but even if you’re looking for something a bit more adventurous in your glass, American Ale (14 E. Cota St.) is a great place for drinks.

The name alone was enough to sell me on the Hummingbird Feeder. Made with De Luze Alfred Cognac, Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur, Cointreau Noir, Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth, Cherry Heering, Orange Bitters and Orange Zest, this sweet yet sophisticated concoction is the perfect treat to get your buzz on.

Also worth trying is the Cat Daddy’s Daiquiri, made with CatDaddy Carolina Moonshine, Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur, Fresh Ruby Grapefruit and Fresh Lime Juice. Delicious and refreshing!

The Mary Pickford is another equally fun libation. Made with Montanya Platino Colorado Rum, Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur, Fresh Pineapple Juice, Trader Vic’s Grenadine and Peychaud’s Bitters, this cocktail’s so tasty it’s hard to stay silent about it.

On the slightly more traditional side, American Ale offers The Original Sazerac, a nod to the famous Trader Vic’s with the Trader Victoriaia, The Very Old Fashioned, The Manhattan, Tennessee Sweet Tea (made with Everclear!), an American Mule, a Luxardo Cognac Old Fashioned and a minty fresh Kentucky Derby Julep.

There's no shortage of fresh ingredients at the bar at American Ale. Photo courtesy

There’s no shortage of fresh ingredients at the bar at American Ale. Photo courtesy

This is all in addition to a yummy menu of signature burgers (all fresh ground), like the amazing and decadent Make’N Bacon Burger (with maple bacon jam, bacon, Italian Bacon, Canadian Bacon and American cheese) and the awesomely adventurous PB & J Burger (with crispy bacon, chunky peanut butter and grape jelly). American Ale also has healthier fare like an Argula Chicken Burger and a Lentil Burger, as well as a great Chopped Ice House Salad and a few different soups.

Some tasty moonshine from American Ale, photo by Leslie Dinaberg

Some tasty moonshine from American Ale, photo by Leslie Dinaberg

In addition to the vintage cocktails, American Ale has a variety of moonshine offerings, as well as a rotating assortment of 24 American craft beers and ciders on draft. For example, on the taps at press time are: Allagash Odyssey, a dark wheat, wood-aged beer from Portland, ME; Stone IPA, Stone Reason Be Damned Abbey Ale Aged In Red Wine Barrels,  Stone Unapologetic IPA  and the big, boozy Arrogant Bastard Ale, from Stone Brewing Co. in Escondido; Avery Ellie’s Brown Ale  from Boulder, CO; Ballast Point Sculpin IPA  from San Diego; the fruity and flavorful Figueroa Mountain – Lizards Mouth, the big dark Figueroa Mountain Grendel   and the Figueroa Mountain Saison from right here in Buellton.

Other nearly local selections are the Firestone Walker 805 Blonde Ale  and Firestone Walker Agrestic American Wild Red Sour  out of Paso Robles.

In addition, American Ale now offers:  Fox Barrel Blackberry Pear , a fruit cider from Colfax, CA;  Great Divide Oatmeal Yeti Imperial Stout  from Denver, CO; another local beer, Island King Tide , and imperial IPA from Island Brewing Company in Carpinteria; Knee Deep Hopotoligist IPA  from Knee Deep Brewing in Lincoln, CA;  Lightning Thunderweizen  a Weizen/Weissbier out of Poway; and the Belgian dark strong ale Lost Abbey Cuvee De Tomme  from San Marcos, CA.

Also on tap are: Modern Times Black House , an oatmeal stout made in San Diego; Oskar Blues Dale’s Pale Ale  from Lyons, CO; Port Mongo IPA  from San Marcos, CA; Saint Archer White Ale  out of San Diego; and Strand Beach House Amber  straight outa Torrance!


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Leslie Dinaberg

Leslie Dinaberg

When she’s not busy working as the editor of Santa Barbara SEASONS, Cocktail Corner author Leslie Dinaberg writes magazine articles, newspaper columns and grocery lists. When it comes to cocktails, Leslie considers herself a “goal-oriented drinker.”

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on September 12, 2014.