Sante Adairius Rustic Ales (Santa Cruz/Capitola)
It doesn't look as if a thread has been started about Sante Adairius, which is an outstanding small brewery that opened less than a year ago in Capitola. The brewery has a tasting room that has limited hours (see below for current info). They have a really wide range of beers, of which typically 4 to 6 are on tap at a time. Sometimes there are also bottles to-go, and sometimes there are bottles for tasting room consumption only. Usually there's one tap for growler fill. Beer Advocate shows 52 (!) different beers with at least one review:
My personal preferences lean towards west coast style hoppy IPAs (Blind Pig, Pliny, etc), saisons and other Belgian-style ales, and sour beers, and they do some really excellent ones of each. I'm not big into darker beers (e.g. porters) nor beer with a lot of aged oak on them so can't judge them on those styles.
In my opinion, it's probably the best beer brewed south of Petaluma (i.e. Lagunitas) and north of... well, somewhere in greater LA (The Bruery?), notwithstanding the rather remote but amazing Kern River Brewing Co. While I don't love every single beer they do, on each visit I usually find at least one of their offerings to be world-class, and another one to be highly-enjoyable. My favorite so far is their single IPA (831 IPA), which is as good as any other in this style IMO. I'd put it slightly ahead of Blind Pig and Lagunitas Sucks although I haven't had Just Outstanding from Kern River (which I'm going to guess is phenomenal). I also had a (very limited) barrel-aged apple cider that was by far the best cider I've ever had.
In my opinion worth a special trip if one is keen on beer. Definitely worth stopping by if you're in the area. I would call ahead or check their Facebook page since it's a small (but super-friendly) operation and the number of beers available fluctuates.
Sante Adairius Rustic Ales
103 Kennedy Drive
Capitola, California 95010
Thursday and Friday: 4-8 pm
Saturday: 1-7 pm
Sunday: 1-7 pm
I've had this place on my beer radar since reading about them here:
Jen knows her beer and her opinion is to be trusted; it's good to hear it ratified.
I'm working on my friends in Santa Cruz to bring me a growler- they have 4-6 taps, but will only fill from one?
I'm surprised a hophead wouldn't have said north of Firestone Walker in Paso Robles.
re: Pius Avocado III
A nice writeup. I've heard many raves about their Berliner Weisse as per the article. Their Anäis saison is very good, but not quite Saison Dupont / Fantome / Logsdon good.
Yes, usually the growler fill is only one tap... seems to be the one they have the most of, but that's just a guess. It's nice to be able to sample it before committing to the whole thing.
For some reason Firestone Walker has just never struck my fancy, but lots of beer nerds swear by them so it's probably a peculiarity of my palate. Which accounts for my overlooking them. The consensus opinion would probably agree with you: best beer north of Firestone.