What are the best Santa Cruz Breweries you absolutely must check out? Well, we’ve done the work to figure that out for you! We have sampled their brews, spent time in their taprooms and read all the online reviews to come up with our take on the top Santa Cruz Breweries to explore this year!
Santa Cruz Breweries
Home to some beautiful sandy beaches along the Pacific ocean, just south of San Jose, Santa Cruz is a national hot spot known for the surf culture, vibrant arts and of course, hot sunny weather. Lately, Santa Cruz has been gaining popularity in the craft beer scene and local breweries are popping up left, right, and centre.
Being right near Monterey Bay, a National Marine Sanctuary, Santa Cruz is also up there on the environmental consciousness scale. You’ll be sure to find organic beers, eco-friendly brewing companies, and great community initiatives in this surf town.
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What are the top breweries in Santa Cruz?
Sunny Santa Cruz County is home to just over a dozen craft breweries and a few more tap rooms on the West coast of California. Because of it’s small size, Santa Cruz makes the perfect place for brewery hopping tours, most craft breweries being walking distance from each other!
We’ve gone and sampled beers from Santa Cruz’s most popular craft breweries and chosen our top faves to share with you.
How we picked the best Santa Cruz Breweries?
With every ‘top breweries’ post that we write, we make sure to do diligent online research to determine who makes it on our list. From reading online reviews and reviewing beer selections, to checking other authority websites and of course, sampling their beers. We do our best to take all the information we collect and give you our opinion of the top breweries in Santa Cruz.
However, we know we aren’t perfect and if we’ve missed a Santa Cruz brewery that you think should be on this list, contact us and let us know who the brewery is and we’ll do our best to include them!
The Best Santa Cruz Breweries
Without further ado… here’s our list of the top Craft Breweries in Santa Cruz.
Humble Sea Brewing Company
This small but mighty brewery is making waves in the craft beer scene of Santa Cruz, crafting unique experiences and approachable, innovative beers that everyone can enjoy.
Humble Sea doesn’t just make great beer, they also have a humble vision of becoming a community hub to support ocean-based causes and human rights issues. They support organizations focused on ocean conservation and donate to human rights organizations regularly. So go have a beer and help save the ocean at Humble Sea Brewing!
Customer Review: World-class beer and a chill place to drink it. The beers were all phenomenal. I had half-pints of all 3 lagers which were crispy and tasty, and 2 of the Foggy (hazy) IPAs which were smooth, fresh, and flavorful. The staff is super nice and I loved the chill coastal vibe. It’s a short (few blocks) stroll from the ocean, and Cat & Cloud cafe is right across the street for tasty coffee. Will definitely be back soon.
- Phone: (831) 621-2890
- Address: 820 Swift St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
- Beers to Try: Socks & Sandals IPA
- Website: humblesea.com/
Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing
Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing is known for their tasty organic beer, eco conscious values, cozy tap room, and dog friendly outdoor patio. This small brewery brews some wildly inventive seasonals made with local ingredients that are sure to challenge your taste buds. With new beers pouring in their beer garden all the time, and Humble Sea Brewing Company being right across the way, this is a definitive must-stop on your next brewery crawl.
Customer Review: Comfortable environment, super friendly staff, and good beer. Great place to spend an afternoon with friends.
- Phone: (831) 425-4900
- Address: 402 Ingalls St #27, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
- Beers to Try: Pacific IPA and Swift Street Amber Ale
- Website: scmbrew.com/
New Bohemia Brewing Co.
New Bohemia Brewing Co. is a European inspired brewery in the Pleasure Point neighbourhood, just a few blocks from the beach. They’ve mastered most beer styles but what they’re truly passionate about is good lagers and traditional European brewing methods. Their outdoor area is the perfect place to sit back, relax, and enjoy a cold house made brew. Pair that with some delicious BBQ food, and you’ve got a recipe for a great time.
Customer Review: As the Dutch would say: gezellig! Good German and Czech inspired beers! And awesome staff! Great spot to go after a day at the beach.
- Phone: (831) 350-0253
- Address: 1030 41st Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95062
- Beers to Try: Velvet Revolution Vienna Lager
- Website: nubobrew.com/
Shanty Shack Brewing
Shanty Shack Brewing is a small but mighty brewery offering backyard vibes and local flavor. Located at the base of the Santa Cruz Mountains, you won’t be short on scenery when you visit Shanty Shack. They’ve got a rotating lineup of small batch brews on tap and food truck pop ups so you’ll always find something new when you visit this local gem.
Customer Review: I love shanty shack ! They have some amazing house brews and their sours are my favorite. Such good vibes always !
- Phone: (831) 316-0800
- Address: 138 Fern St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
- Beers to Try: Razzmanian Devil Kettle Sour
- Website: shantyshackbrewing.com/
Greater Purpose Brewing Company
Greater Purpose Brewing Company really stays true to their name, donating a huge chunk of their profits to charities and community organizations. A place where you can really feel good about sitting down and drinking a cold beer. They have a huge, dog friendly patio and a their laid back taproom features games like ping pong and local live music. And for food, you can take your pick from a lineup of great local food trucks!
Customer Review: Locally owned, socially conscious brewery with a variety beer for every taste! Fun eating options from rotating food trucks and the neighboring Bakery, which makes the best tamales! Family friendly evening events, such as trivia and karaoke make this a great spot any day of the week! I love the patio.
- Phone: (831) 713-5540
- Address: 21517 E Cliff Dr, Santa Cruz, CA 95062
- Beers to Try: ‘Ello Poppet IPA
- Website: greaterpurposebrewing.com
Woodhouse Blending & Brewing
Woodhouse Blending & Brewing has a solid lineup in their tasting room, best enjoyed under the heat lamps in their outdoor beer garden. Their food menu consists of delicious Brazilian inspired cuisine that is raved about by everyone who gives it a try. At Woodhouse they love to celebrate local artists, musicians, and chefs, and you can feel the love as soon as you walk in the door.
Customer Review: One of our favorite Breweries to date!! Absolutely amazing beer, have not tried one that we haven’t fallen in love with. Beautiful, artistic, laid-back atmosphere. The Brazilian kitchen, Sampa, is fantastic as well, whether your looking for a snack or lunch you can’t go wrong! Will continue coming every time we pass through Santa Cruz!
- Phone: N/A
- Address: 119 Madrone St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
- Beers to Try: Egyptian Cotton IPA
- Website: woodhousebrews.com
Enjoy the best breweries in Santa Cruz!
Make sure to go and check out Santa Cruz’s best craft breweries, grab a locally brewed pint (or 2) and support your local brewers!
If we’ve missed a brewery on our list that you think should be added, contact us and let us know who the brewery is and why you think it should be added to our list of the top breweries in Santa Cruz!