Santa Cruz’s beer scene has skyrocketed over the past couple of years and finding a local brewery is easier than ever. From European style lagers to all organic beer, you are sure to find a beer that matches your taste. Here are my top five picks for local breweries, but be sure to check the map for a full list of brewing companies in Santa Cruz County.
What time is it? Beer-thirty. Tucked away in Soquel, this family-friendly spot has 30 rotating beers on tap and more than 300 bottles. They have a large courtyard with tables, cornhole, ping pong, firepit and you can even bring your dog! Beer Thirty also hosts events like baby goat yoga, pop-up shops, and food trucks. While Beer Thirty doesn’t serve food itself, the courtyard has a window where you can order directly from Carpo’s.
Beerthirtysantacruz.com • (831) 477-9967 • 2504 S Main St., Soquel CA 95073
Humble Sea Brewing Company
In the Pleasure Point backyard of a new college grad, Nick Pavlina experimented with brewing beer. After creating a beer with growing demand, he paired up with his two roommates Taylor West & Frank Scott Kreguer, and the Humble Sea Brewing Company was born. Now located on Santa Cruz’s Westside, this popular joint has 16 taps of fresh beer daily. They offer small bites to eat and often have a food truck parked outside.
Humblesea.com • (831) 431-6189 • 820 Swift Street, Santa Cruz CA 95060
Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing
Located in the Swift Street Courtyard, Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing serves up all organic beer. They are committed to organic, locally sourced, and sustainable brewing processes. They also host fun events year round including trivia, live music, and food truck nights. If you’re interested in learning more about the brewing process, they offer private tours to get an in-depth look at the process.
Scmbrew.com • (831) 425-4900 • 402 Ingalls Street, Santa Cruz CA 95060
Corralitos Brewing Co.
Corralitos Brewing Co. is in the Southern part of Santa Cruz County off of Freedom Boulevard. Sporting a country vibe, you may occasionally see the brewery’s pig mascot. They have ten taps available, five year-round and five seasonal. Corralitos Brewing Co. is kid and dog-friendly, so you can bring the whole family! Be sure to check in on their Instagram or Facebook page to see which local food truck will be parked outside their location that day.
Corralitosbrewingco.com • (831) 728-2311 • 2536 Freedom Blvd., Watsonville CA 95076
New Bohemia Brewing Company
Commonly referred to as NuBo, this Pleasure Point Brewery has quickly become a neighborhood favorite. Serving up traditional European-style craft lagers and wheat beers, you’ll be able to find up to eight beers on tap daily as well as a selection of beer-friendly food items. One of their most popular brews is the Warrior IPA, lovingly created for the Santa Cruz Warriors. NuBo also has weekly events including Tacos & Trivia, Books & Brews and live music.
nubobrew.com • (831) 350-0253 • 1030 41st Ave., Santa Cruz CA 95062
Honorable Mention - The Brew Cruz
If you’ve spent any amount of time in Santa Cruz, you’ve probably seen the large green and white Brew Cruz bus rolling down Highway 1. Brew Cruz is a unique, fun, and safe way to visit the different breweries in Santa Cruz County. Brew Cruz offers two vintage vehicle options; Slowboy, a restored 1964 VW bus, or Betty Jane, a restored 1989 school bus. You can also choose from different public tours or can schedule a private tour which is perfect for a bachelor or birthday party. Learn more about the Brew Cruz here.