March 11, 2014 – The debut of the new Beer Thirty Bottle Shop and Pour House last weekend is turning Soquel into something of a mecca for craft beer lovers.
The new pub and beer garden—which boasts 30 rotating taps and 180 varieties of bottled beer—is located about halfway between the wildly popular Sante Adairius and Discretion Breweries, both of which doubled the size of their tasting rooms this year. More than a few curious drinkers have already created a “beer route” by downing a pint at one and moving on to the next.
“We’re all about the beer,” says Olive Moredock, who owns Beer Thirty with Craig Renfroe. “And we wanted to create a welcoming, community place where people can come with their dogs and kids and meet up with their friends.”
The couple was inspired to open the new business by a trip they took to Portland last year and have spent the past eight months remodeling an old nursery using rustic reclaimed fence boards and galvanized steel. Their pea gravel yard features four 20-foot-long community picnic tables and a fenced dog run.
Moredock’s only previous food service experience was running an organic juice bar in college, but Renfroe has been an avid homebrewer for 15 years and hopes someday to perhaps stock his own creations.
In the meantime, Beer Thirty offers artisan craft brews on tap from up and down the West Coast, including local folks like Discretion Brewery, Uncommon Brewers, Santa Cruz Ale Works, and Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing.
“There are so many brewers out there who are getting so creative with their use of ingredients, flavors and styles,” says Moredock, trying to explain the recent craft beer craze and the unexpected crowds that thronged their opening weekend. “It’s been a whirlwind, really exciting.”
The pub also stocks some unusual beer-related items, like hop pickles, whole grain beer mustard made by Pantry House in Santa Cruz, goat milk soap made with stout, and treats for your dog made from spent grain salvaged from craft breweries. While no food is served, patrons can bring their own picnics or buy from nearby restaurants.
A fourth craft brewery nearby—New Bohemia in Pleasure Point—just received it’s county permit and is expected to start serving their own brews this summer. In downtown Santa Cruz, the long-awaited Lúpulo Craft Beer House and tapas bar has already started brewing and is hoping to open by the end of this month.
Deborah Luhrman is publisher and editor of Edible Monterey Bay. A lifelong journalist, she has reported from around the globe, but now prefers covering our flourishing local food scene and growing her own vegetables in the Santa Cruz Mountains.