Dog Friendly Brewery Series – Santa Cruz Area

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:

Dog Friendly Brewery Series – San Francisco Part 2

Dog Friendly Brewery Series – North SF Bay Area

Dog Friendly Brewery Series – San Francisco

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.

http://rusticales.com/

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.

http://www.scmbrew.com/

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….

http://www.nubobrew.com/

http://www.santacruzaleworks.com/

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.

IMG_0633

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.

Advertisements

Firestone Union Jack IPA

Where – Paso Robles Brewery and more recently at home

How – On Draft and more recently in bottle

ABV – 7.5%

IBUs – 70

Firestone Union Jack IPA calls itself an “aggressively hopped West Coast-style IPA.”  It certainly is a West Coast-style IPA, but is not one of the bigger hop bombs out there.

It pours a nice golden color, with average white head.

IMG_4416

Fairly aromatic, with citrus and tropical notes, and a hint of maltyness.

Flavor is well balanced.  The hops are there, but not overwhelming.  Very smooth, and not much bitterness.  Tropical notes and grapefruit carry through from the nose.

Overall, I consider Union Jack a great mid-week beer.  Nice and smooth, easy to drink, not overpowering.  Does not taste like a 7.5%er, hence I do not feel bad having one or two on a Tuesday evening.  Always a solid option.

92/100

On another note, drinking at the Paso Robles Brewery is great.  The patio allows dogs which is always a welcome sight (see below).  The interior is just as great, with TVs for sports, a packed bar, and a cool chic barnhouse feel.  There is also a small gift shop with some quality items.  All in all, a must stop when driving through Paso, and borderline reason enough to spend the night.

IMG_3485

http://www.firestonebeer.com/beers/products/union-jack

Figueroa Mountain Hurricane Deck DIPA

Where – Home and Santa Barbara Brewery

How – On Tap and in 22 oz.

ABV- 8.00%

IBUs – 82

Hurricane Deck pours an amber/caramely color, with a strong, foamy head.

IMG_4170

Nose has light citrus and pine hops, but not overly hoppy.

Bitterness up front.  The Figueroa website hits it right on the head when it says the taste is “woodsy, herbal and pine-like hop flavor.”  However, it is not as hoppy as I was expecting (and hoping?).

Of all the IPAs from Figueroa Mountain I have had, this is my least favorite.  I do not dislike it, I just enjoy the Hoppy Poppy, and especially the Lizard’s Mouth, more.

86/100

http://www.figmtnbrew.com/our-beers/#hurricane-deck-double-ipa

Figueora Mountain Lizard’s Mouth

Figueroa-Mountain-Lizards-Mouth-Imperial-IPA-e1398881125832-200x200

Where – Figueroa Mountain Brewery, Santa Barbara

How – On Tap

After a visit over two years ago to Santa Barbara, we stopped at the Figueroa Mountain Brewery in  Buelton on our way home.  I was impressed by the beers, but when we recently went back down to SB and tried some more of the beers in the new brewery in the “Funk Zone” near the pier, it was a whole new experience.

Not only is the new brewery a great place to hang out, listen to music and soak up the sun, the beers are killer.

My personal favorite was the Lizard’s Mouth Double IPA. Another strong one, with an ABV of 9.2% and 100 IBUs.

The pour is golden with a light, white head.  The aroma is citrusy.  Balanced hop flavor, with some citrus flavors and a slight hint of caramel on the finish.

Overall, an incredibly smooth DIPA.  Unfortunately, when we were in town, the SB brewery was all sold out of bottles of this one, as was the Buelton brewery.  Hopefully it will makes its way up north soon…

93/100

http://www.figmtnbrew.com/our-beers/#lizards-mouth