Santa Cruz County, a stunning coastal region in California, is renowned for its breathtaking beaches, vibrant art scene, and stunning natural landscapes. The county is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and surfers alike. But did you know that Santa Cruz is also a haven for craft beer connoisseurs?
Yes, you heard it right! Santa Cruz is home to an array of microbreweries crafting unique, artisanal beers that are making waves in the craft beer community. This guide will take you on a journey through the best microbreweries in Santa Cruz County, showcasing their unique brews, sustainable practices, and the passionate brewers behind these establishments.
Humble Sea Brewing Co.
Located on the Westside of Santa Cruz, just off Highway 1 on Swift Street, Humble Sea Brewing Co. is a bustling brewpub that has been expanding over the past few years. Known for their hazy IPAs and their flagship beer, ‘Socks and Sandals’, Humble Sea Brewing Co also offers an array of other award-winning beers. Their Helles lager and ‘Kookumber Gose’ both bagged top awards at the World Beer Cup and Brewers Cup of California respectively.
You can find them at 820 Swift Street in Santa Cruz.
Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing
Just around the corner from Humble Sea, Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing is a woman-owned brewpub that helped launch the craft beer craze in Santa Cruz. They have a beautiful patio with built-in tables and benches, perfect for a relaxing afternoon with friends. Their flagship beer, the Pacific IPA, has been a popular choice since the brewery’s inception.
They are at 402 Ingalls Street #27 in Santa Cruz.
Shanty Shack Brewing
Nestled in the heart of Harvey West area (down by Costco), Shanty Shack Brewing offers a relaxed and unpretentious brewpub experience. From pilsners to sours, they have an impressive selection of ales and lagers. Their patio features food trucks regularly, and all ales brewed here use local ingredients.
You’ll find the Shanty Shack at 138 Fern Street in Santa Cruz.
New Bohemia Brewing Company
Drawing inspiration from European brewing traditions, New Bohemia Brewing Company crafts perfect lagers like the Pilsner Soquel, featuring yeast obtained from Budvar in Bohemia for added authenticity. They also serve ales, making it a must-visit for any beer enthusiast. NuBo as it’s called is located in the Pleasure Point area and is a great place to stop off after a day on the surf or sand.
NuBo is at 1030 41st Avenue in Santa Cruz (Pleasure Point).
Sante Adairius Rustic Ales
Sante Adairius Rustic Ales, tucked away behind the Cliffwood Heights neighborhood in Capitola, has been making waves in the beer community, getting voted into RateBeer Best ranking for two consecutive years. This brewery focuses on authentic brewing methods that follow age-old Belgian traditions while experimenting with modern flavors and techniques.
Santa Adarius can be found at 103 Kennedy Drive, Capitola, CA
Located in Soquel, Discretion Brewing on 41st Avenue prides itself on its wisdom, wit, and kindness. They are the county’s first solar-powered brewery and design their brew system with water conservation in mind. Their brews are plenty enjoyable and provide a unique tasting experience for beer lovers.
You’ll find Discretion Brewing at 2703 41st Avenue Suite A in Soquel.
Steel Bonnet Brewing Company
Steel Bonnet is located in the Victor Square Shopping Center at 20 Victor Square, Scotts Valley, CA.
Fruition Brewing in Watsonville is known for its popular session sour, “Snack,” featuring fruits, flowers, and even herbs and vegetables. They also offer a range of styles including lagers, IPAs, and barrel-aged beers.
Fruition Brewing is located in the East Lake Village Shopping Center at 918 E Lake Ave, Watsonville, CA.
Woodhouse Blending and Brewing
Woodhouse Blending and Brewing near downtown Santa Cruz is a cozy and inviting brewery that is making a difference in the community. They offer a selection of craft ales alongside Brazilian-inspired food.
You’ll find them near the Sashmill at 119 Madrone St. Santa Cruz, CA.
Lúpulo Craft Beer House
Lúpulo Craft Beer House in downtown Santa Cruz offers a rotating draft beer selection that includes brews from across the world, with a heavy emphasis on California breweries. They also serve wines and have a small but delicious food menu.
You’ll find Lúpulo Craft Beer House at 233 Cathcart Street, Santa Cruz, CA
In conclusion, Santa Cruz County is a true paradise for beer lovers. With a variety of microbreweries offering unique brews and a commitment to sustainable practices, there’s something for every craft beer enthusiast in Santa Cruz. So, the next time you’re in the area, don’t forget to take a brewery tour and experience the vibrant craft beer scene in Santa Cruz County!