Malibu is now surfing the craft beer wave as a new namesake brewery opens in the seaside city.
With more than a dozen beers on tap and a menu influenced by the coast and the founder’s Southwest roots, Malibu Brewing Company officially opened its doors Sept. 6 near the popular Zuma beach.
“I wanted to provide a place people can come together, have great craft beer and learn more about craft beer and pair it all with good food,” said Ryan Ahrens, a current Malibu resident, who was born and raised in New Mexico. Ahrens is also a film producer, who found his love of beer after he started brewing at home.
Malibu Brewing Company is located in the Trancas Country Market, a barn-style shopping center that also houses the high-end Vintage Grocers grocery store and smaller boutique shops.
While the roughly 80-seat spot — which is decked out in cement floors, brick walls, wood ceilings and a patio overlooking a turf courtyard — serves original beers, they are not brewed on site. Instead, the beer is made at a 7,000 square-foot, 15 barrel brewery in Westlake Village.
Ahrens first started canning and selling beers at stores and restaurants back in August 2021. And they’re aren’t meant just for craft brew connoisseurs.
“All of our beers are balanced and approachable,” he said. “You’re not going to get crazy flavors from us.”
When it comes to styles of beer, the brewery is pretty eclectic, making everything from lagers to ales to IPA’s, porters, stouts and limited releases.
Signature beers include the Sand & Sea, a Mexican-style lager and the Pacific Gold, a light American lager, which is one of the most popular with the Malibu crowd so far. It’s also becoming known outside the city since it’s served at Dodger Stadium, too.
“It’s just a great, classic light lager that’s easy to drink during the hot summer months,” Ahrens said.
For IPA fans, the brewery makes the First Point, a smooth and aromatic brew with a hint of citrus and pine flavors. Another beer that is becoming popular with the locals is the Canyon, a rosé lager that’s meant to appeal to both wine and beer drinkers.
“It’s a lager that’s light and approachable, with flavors that are reminiscent of a rosé wine,” he said.
Ahrens also incorporates some of the Southwestern flavor into one of his limited release beers dubbed Wild Parrot, which is made with his Sand & Sea lager and infused with New Mexican hatch green chiles.
The beer has a strong, but not overwhelming chili aroma and has bit of kick to it as well.
On the menu
Malibu Brewing Company is also a restaurant, with a menu that serves elevated pub fare inspired by the beach and the Southwest.
It includes items known to pair well with beer, like wings, nachos and big beefy burgers like the MBC Smashburger, which is made with two beef patties. There are also grilled fish tacos, flatbreads, wraps and steaks on the menu.
On the lighter side, there are charcuterie boards and salads. Sticking with the Southwest theme, the menu features a basket of sopapillas, a fried sweet bread dessert popular in New Mexico and Texas. They also use hatch green chiles in the Santa Fe short rib sandwich, which is made with beer-braised short ribs on grilled ciabatta bread.
“We have that Southwestern influence, but without it dominating the menu,” Ahrens said.
Malibu Brewing Company
Where: 30745 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu
Hours: 11:30 a.m.- 8 p.m. weekdays and 9 p.m. weekends
More information: 310-684-2408 or brewmalibu.com