March 14, 2017 – In March of 2015, three young guys from the Santa Cruz Mountains boldly declared in a blog post that—with no money in their pockets—they were going to start a craft brewery. They’ve been sprinting to their goal ever since, and now, exactly two years later, the beer-lovers at Humble Sea Brewing Co. are ready to open their Westside taproom to the public.
Pending final inspections over the next couple of days, doors will be open by the end of the week. Make sure to check Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or their website for the official greenlight announcement. Once opened, you’ll be able to stop in for a beer and a bite Wed-Sun, 2-9pm. A small kitchen on-site run by Andy Potterfield, formerly of Cremer House, will be offering a simple food menu that includes pressed sandwiches.
Owners Taylor West, Nick Pavlina, and Frank Scott Krueger, along with three full-time brewers, have been tirelessly working up to this moment, doing most of the work themselves on a very tight budget. “I’m so excited to see everyone’s hard labor become realized and to be able to share that with our community,” West says.
Friends and fans of the brewery have watched the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of Humble Sea through the company’s beautifully curated website and Instagram feed. From updates on a new account they got in town, to experiments with their barrel program, to detailed shots of the lighting fixtures for the taproom, the community has shared in the journey every step of the way through photos, blog posts, and pop-up events. They even let the public decide the look of the taproom with open voting on their website.
The taproom, designed by Stripe Design Group, is representative of the clean, hip, maritime-esque style Humble Sea has been branding themselves with since the beginning. A white marble bar contrasts with the deep ocean blue color of the walls. Details like porthole frames on the bathroom doors and dock rope lights that hang over the bar flesh out the theme. There are three high-top tables inside, but with sunny days ahead and a prime western facing sunset golden glow location, the crowds will surely flock to the beer garden.
The opening tap list is still being set, but some ready-to-go kegs that will make an appearance in the next couple of weeks include: Ruby Rye Saison; Walk the Dank Double IPA; a farmhouse pale fermented in oak; Playa Grande Jalapeno IPL; and around town favorites Cut & Run West Coast IPA and Socks & Sandals New England IPA. There will also be designated taps for wine and cider as well as rotating guest taps for other local breweries like Elkhorn Slough Brewing and Alvarado Street.
Waiting on a PG&E energy upgrade to start production on their 10 BBL brewhouse, the brewers of Humble Sea have been churning it out and making it work with their 1 BBL pilot system. This could pose challenging for what will surely be some busy opening weeks, but it will also provide the community with a constantly changing tap list and a breadth of styles. A collaboration is in the works with friends (and neighbors) Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing that will allow them to brew on a larger system.
This soft-ish opening fits with the DIY skin-of-our-teeth approach that Humble Sea has had since the beginning. A grand opening will most likely take place this summer, once production is fully up and running. But in the meantime, the community will now have the privilege of watching the story continue while they drink a Humble beer with friends under the shade of an olive tree on Swift Street.
Rosie Parker, a native New Englander, likes to complain of missing home
while living the Santa Cruz high life—surfing, hiking, writing and working
for a delicious craft brewery.