Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Parish Public House

Besides multiple brewpubs and breweries located in Santa Cruz, we've also got a couple of good beer bars that are worth a visit. I recently stopped in for a quick pint at a popular Santa Cruz West side beer pub called the Parish Public House.

You can find it nested in the row of retail shops in the Safeway shopping center at 841 Almar Ave. Santa Cruz, California. I can't decide if this place is humble or discrete, I guess it's exterior is discrete with a humble interior. You have to really be looking for this place to find it but it's worth the effort. When I entered on this quiet afternoon I was immediately assured of satisfying my thirsty desire by the sight of multiple taps of some of my favorite beers. The environment is simple but comfortable with a couple of elaborate tap handle displays that decorate the walls but more importantly were the numerous working taps behind the bar dispensing some good beer including Speakeasy's Prohibition amber ale and North Coast's amber ale.

I didn't make an appointment to interview the owners and in fact, I don't even know who they are so if you're reading this and you know the owners, leave a comment below with the info. I did talk with the friendly bartender, asking where the Parish house name came from. My inside voice was thinking Parish was the owner name (when I say inside voice, I mean that little voice inside my head that seems to always be talking to itself). The bartenders response was that Parish was chosen as the name because the owners wanted to invoke a sense of community and cameraderie, a gathering place for the locals to enjoy each others company and pay homage to the very best in beer. This place really is about the beer, having not only my favorites devoted to the beers on taps but an extensive line of top notch bottled beer including Flemish sour beer like the Duchesse de Bourgogne. During my brief visit, some minor remodeling was under way, modifications behind the newly extended bar top to install a sink and cabinets. Evidently, seats are also needed to fill the new length of bar space and replace the limited number of tattered bar stools, several held together with duct tape.

Parish Public House is one of two beer bars under the same management, the second is called The Maiden Public House and is down the coast highway in Big Sur. I'll check it out next time I head down that way. They both have pub grub and a full liquor bar too.

On a side note, I wanted to update information on a beer bar I visited last year in Sand City. Sand City is near Monterey and was home to the Ol'Factory (here's the review). Well for whatever unfortunate reason, they closed their doors, going out of business after only a couple of years. This comes as quite a loss to that community considering the great beers they had to offer. Here's hoisting a beer to Morgan Christopher for his efforts in trying to bring good beer to Monterey Bay and wishing him good luck in future beer enterprises.

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