There have been so many wonderful breweries, tap rooms and pour houses popping up in the Santa Cruz area recently with great community vibes and unique and delicious, craft beer. It makes it easy to grab a great beer anytime, anywhere! Here is a quick breakdown of some of the best beer in Santa Cruz from beer gardens to beer buses!

Santa Cruz Mountain Brewery ~ One of the most well known breweries in town, this brewery has been around awhile and is a hot spot for locals. It’s an award winning and certified organic brewery, featuring delicious seasonal ales such as Orange Mango Wheat Ale and Lavender IPA.

Beer Thirty Bottle Shop & Pour House ~Full beer menu with a huge selection of renowned beers on tap. A great spot to hang out when the weathers nice and play ping pong, corn hole and darts. Bring your own food and settle in to one of the large picnic benches in the sun for the afternoon.

Lupulo Craft Beer ~ Another local’s favorite, this cozy neighborhood spot is a craft beer restaurant, tasting room, and bottle shop. They always have a unique selection of local and international beer to sample and a communal layout that makes it easy for groups to hang out and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere.

Discretion Brewing, on the East Side of Santa Cruz, is all about making delicious beer in an environmentally friendly way. Their beer is crafted from organic malts and hops and brewed by solar power. Their tiny tap room offers 12 styles of beer, farm to table comfort food, a dog friendly outdoor garden, and live music.

New Bohemia Brewing Company, this newer brewery specializes in traditional European-style craft lagers and a range of experimental brews that are continually being evolved. The open bar space is right in the middle of where the beer is brewed too so you can get in on the action. They also frequently feature trivia nights, live music and other events.

Sante Adairius Rustic Ales, in Capitola, has some of the best beer around. It is nationally renowned and has won many an award. The small dog friendly bar, located in a quiet residential neighborhood, is adorned with barrel tables and wood benches. The majority of the beers are Belgian inspired, and one of the favorites is The Little Quibble, a four grain saison.

Pour Taproom ~ The most unique out of the bunch, is a pour your own taproom. They feature more than 70 types of beer, wine and cider and feature a full food menu. You pour your own beer and pay by the ounce, so you can pour as little or as much as you want for just a little taste, or full glass. It almost feels like you are in a large living room with all your friends where you can always help yourself to more beer!

Brew Cruz ~ If you want to try them all take a ride on the Santa Cruz Brew Cruz. This unique ride takes you on a tour all over Santa Cruz and stops at 3 different breweries where you will receive a tour of the brewing facility, a pint of beer, and the opportunity to learn the history of the beer and to talk with the brewers about their beer. Cheers!