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Sunday, July 29, 2018

The Outer Bay's Best Craft Breweries

Continuing my compilation of the Bay Area's best breweries ("The South Bay's Best Craft Breweries","The North Bay's Best Breweries"), here I present the rankings of craft breweries located in the "Outer Bay" (i.e., from Santa Cruz to Monterey). As before, the rankings are based on Untappd scores, which is probably the most popular app for rating a craft beers. It's not a perfect approach since successful breweries are more likely to experiment, which increases the probability that they'll brew a bad beer. And, the rankings are constantly in flux. Nevertheless, Untappd's ratings are probably the best available, so here are the rankings of the Outer Bay's craft breweries:

 1. Sante Adairius Rustic Ales, Capitola (4.25)
 2. Alvarado Street Brewing, Monterey (4.02)
 3. Humble Sea, Santa Cruz (4.01)
 4. Boulder Creek Brewing, Boulder Creek (3.65) -- closed
 4. Discretion Brewing, Soquel (3.65)
 6. New Bohemia Brewing, Santa Cruz (3.63)
 7. Craft Artisan Ales, Pacific Grove (3.59)
 8. East Cliff Brewing, Santa Cruz (3.56)
 8. Peter B’s Prewpub, Monterey (3.56)
10. Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing, Santa Cruz (3.47)
11. Seabright Brewery, Santa Cruz (3.44)
12. Santa Cruz Ale Works, Santa Cruz (3.43)
13. Uncommon Brewers, Santa Cruz (3.42)
14. English Ales Brewery, Marina (3.33)
15. Carmel Valley Brewing, Carmel Valley (3.23)

I have yet to visit Sante Adairius, but good friends assure me that it's a great place, one that offers a wide array of craft beers. It's rating is exceptionally high -- in fact, it's one of the highest in the country. Alvarado Street in Monterey and Humble Sea in Santa Cruz are two of my favorites. Alvarado Street also has an excellent restaurant, as well as a beer garden out back. Humble Sea is located not too far from Natural Bridges State Beach and around the corner from Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing. Boulder Creek used to be a favorite, one that our family patronized annually after cutting down our Christmas tree at a nearby farm; however, it closed after a fire, and I don't think it ever reopened. New Bohemia differs from most of the other breweries in the Outer Bay in that it offers German style lagers. East Cliff Brewing is somewhat unique in that half of its beers are traditional English Ales, while the other half are "traditional" American craft brews. I've never been too wild about Seabright Brewery's beers, but its location is excellent. Enjoy!

Note: Those interested in starting a craft brewery will probably enjoy "An Inside Look at Humble Sea Brewing," which includes videos, interviews, and so on.

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