Sunday, August 10, 2008

Santa Cruz AleWorks





Today I did a little pub crawl with a friend and some of his friends from the Orthodox church that he attends. From what I can tell, the Orthodox are big drinkers and being an atheist myself I have to give them credit for the huge amount of beer they can consume. We started out at the Santa Cruz Ale Works http://www.santacruzaleworks.com/ for a tour of the facilities and a couple of pints of beer.
This is a fairly new brewery in Santa Cruz and the head brewer, Mark, (that's Mark pointing out his mash tun) was the brewer at Seabright brewing http://www.seabrightbrewery.com/ before deciding to make it on his own. He says he planned on starting his own brewery when he started at Seabright and now his dream is coming true. On tap are an American wheat which I think is the best American wheat I have had. I don't particularly like American wheat but I have to say that I really enjoyed Mark's take on the style. His pale ale is on the bitter end of the scale but still nicely balanced with a big malty flavor and equally large hop flavor and aroma. Finally, my favorite is the IPA which is light gold in color and a really well balanced malt and hop blend that begs for a second pint.

Next, we headed over to Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing http://www.santacruzmountainbrewing.com/ They specialize in organic ales and have eight beers normally, however they were out of stock on a few when we arrived and I have to tell you that I look down on a brewery that suggest a large selection but doesn't deliver. The Orthodox were going for the porter but I chose the dry stout and found it to be quite good and very much to style. I tasted one of the porters and thought the roasted flavor was over the top, that didn't sit well with me.
Soon we were on our way to Seabright brewing and I ordered a much needed cheese burger and fries along with a pint of pale ale to wash it down. The Orthodox were not eating meat that day and instead ordered fish of sorts and cheese on bread. The pale ale I had was good and I felt satisfied when all was done. I won't be overly critical of some of the beers that I tasted at SC mountain or Seabright (unless someone posts a comment asking for details) but I will say that each of the beers at S.C. aleworks were top notch and deserving of my patronage in the future. I can't say that for the other two breweries.

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