I love good beer. I also love enjoying good beer with my wife and dog. I therefore really love doing both together. Unfortunately, that is not always possible (unless done at home). Hence, the following series.
I cannot profess to know every single dog friendly brewery in the state, but I do believe I have a pretty good grip of the best ones in a few different areas, namely SF, the Bay Area and north, and the Central Coast. This series will pass along my knowledge on this ever so important topic.
Some of the prior articles in these series are here:
This blog looks at some dog friendly breweries in the Santa Cruz area.
Sante Adairius Rustic Ales (SARA)
SARA is making quite a name for itself and quickly become a beer nerd destination. I was stoked to get down there last weekend, and even more stoked that i could bring the pooch.
SARA is in a somewhat industrial area in Capitola, close to the freeway and a few minutes from the beach. SARA is definitely focused on making unique small batch brews. Some of their more popular beers are Belgian style or farmhouse and saisons. They do, however, typically have at least one IPA or a good pale ale.
The brewery is unsurprisingly a bit small, and apparently can get quite crowded. However, we arrived right at noon when they were open so there seemed to be plenty of space available.
The staff/owners are very pro-dog and our Sara was welcomed with open arms. We really enjoyed the beers, and purchase bottles of the special release they had that weekend (Quality of Life). There is no food, but apparently they have BBQ out front many days or you can bring your own food.
Overall, a very cool place. We went for the beer, but would go back just for the atmosphere. Look forward to many future trips, the brews alone are a reason for us to make the 1.5 hour drive.
Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing
Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing is organic brewery in the new(ish) and very cool Swift Street Courtyard. The area has been transformed into a mostly winery haven, but as any reasonable human would do, we went to the one brewery.
I have been here a few years ago, but it was just as I remembered. Decent beer, but fun atmosphere and very dog friendly. Plenty of outdoor seats overlooking the courtyard. You can order food from the cafe next door, and they have a few wine options as well.
I got the Giant DIPA, which looked juicy and a bit hazy. It was a beautiful beer, although the taste did not match the looks. No complaints though, I would certainly go back.
New Bohemia Brewing Co. (NuBo) and Santa Cruz Ale Works
We have not been to either, but the rumor is they are both dog friendly. We will make another visit and provide an update once we have visited….
There are obviously plenty of beach options, but apparently the only one that is technically off-leash is Its Beach, right on West Cliff drive north of the lighthouse. Small beach, decent waves coming in, but Sara was in heaven.
We will certainly make another trip down to try out some more of the breweries in town, as the beer scene certainly is growing in the area.