Santa Cruz Craft Beer Scene

Santa Cruz Breweries(feel free to pin this photo)

For spring break this year, A and I decided to head south and spend a few days camping in Santa Cruz. Once I knew where we would be going, I instantly started doing research on where the nearest sources of craft beer would be. I was surprised at how many breweries were located in the Santa Cruz area! Santa Cruz has its own, Beer Trail with 14 breweries spread throughout Santa Cruz area. Unfortunately, even after three days, we weren’t able to visit all of the breweries on the Santa Cruz Beer Trail. Guess it’s just another excuse to come back.

For those who have never visited or heard of Santa Cruz, its a beach town about an hour and half south of San Francisco. It’s a great destination for single people and families alike, since there’s such a wide variety on things to do. Along with the great craft beer scene, one can spend the day on the beach, walk along the famous Santa Cruz boardwalk, shop at local artisanal shops, hike in the redwoods and enjoy the local cuisine made with fresh and local ingredients. And don’t forget to visit Capitola, just six miles south of Santa Cruz, and take  some photos of the colorful Capitola houses.

In three days, A and I were only able to visit 3 breweries, Sante Adairius, New Bohemia and Discretion, and one beer bar, Beer Thirty. We actually went back to Sante Adiarius twice just because it was that good. And based on the 3 breweries I visited, I can’t wait to see what the other 11 have on tap.

1.Sante Adairius Rustic Ales– This place is AMAZING! A and I fell in love with their beers so much, we came back for a second try. Everything we had was good, but my favorite were the Maiden Fields and the Saison Bernice. This place is perfect for anyone who loves farmhouse ales and barrel aged beers
santa cruz breweries Santa Cruz Breweries 2.New Bohemia Brewing Co.– I love their upstairs patio that overlooks the street and their dark beers. Especially their Belgium Dubbel. You should try them together on your visit! santa cruz breweries santa cruz breweriessanta cruz breweries 3.Discretion Discretion Brewing-This brewery had so many options, it was so difficult to choose my flight! Discretion has a wide range of beers on tap, and thus that makes it the perfect brewery for a group setting, as there is something for everyone. And although I didn’t get to try their food menu, it all looked SO GOOD! I’m still dreaming about the next time I can head down there to try their food.
santa cruz breweriessanta cruz breweriessanta cruz breweries 4.Boulder Creek Brewery
5.Corralitos Brewing Co.
6.East Cliff Brewing Co.
7.Highway 1 Brewing Co.
8.Humble Sea
9.Santa Cruz Ale Works
10.Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing
11.Seabright Brewery
12.Shanty Shack Brewing
13.Steel Bonnet Brewing Co.
14.Uncommon Brewers

Beer Thirty– A and I actually stumbled across this beer bar when we were in town getting gas and I am super glad we did. This beer bar personifies that laid back, cool California lifestyle. With a kickass beer menu, large outdoor seating, wooden tables and multiple corn hole boards, this is the perfect place to visit when you just want to be outside, enjoying the California sunshine and drinking some craft beer. And don’t forget to pick up some beers from their awesome store to take home and enjoy later!
santa cruz beersanta cruz beersanta cruz beerVerve Coffee Roasters– This place doesn’t actually serve beer, but I just had to include it here simply because a majority of the coffee stouts and nitros that I had from Santa Cruz were made with coffee beans from this place. I actually got to visit Verve on my last day and all I have to say is that I understand why the Santa Cruz breweries use their beans. Stop by for a latte and a pastry at least once during your stay.
santa cruzTips
I would suggest staying in a hotel or AirBnb in town if you are visiting Santa Cruz. All of the campsites in Santa Cruz were located on the south side and were quite a bit aways from any of the attractions. It would take at least 20-25 minutes to get anywhere, assuming there was no traffic. Such a commute severely cut into craft beer time. Don’t let that happen to you!

Question of the Day
Have you ever been to Santa Cruz and/or visited any Santa Cruz breweries? If so, what was your favorite thing to do? What was your favorite brewery?

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