5th Stop-Santa Cruz Mountain Brewery

Our fifth stop was Santa Cruz Mountain Brewery, one of 5 (soon to be 6) breweries in Santa Cruz. They are a small operation (1000 barrels/year). They consider their brewery a "labor of love," as they aren't in it for the money but rather good beer.

They specialize in organic beer and just yesterday planted an acre of hops on the property of a woman who feeds their mash remnants to her sheep (13 pounds per batch). They then sell the cheese products from these sheep in their tasting room.

Their beer was good. Again, fresh. We tried their organic IPA, one of their finer offerings. It had a clean body and light hop finish-very tastefully composed. We also tried their porter, brewed with organic free-trade coffee. It was also well done. Their brown was decent but unremarkable.

We also had a special edition witbier, the Witches Wit. It was brewed by the women of the brewery, with corriander, lemon, and St. John's Wort. It was quite mild and enjoyable.

One aspect of this brewery we truly appreciated was their honesty and openness. We learned of how they got their start, how they approach the process of beginning a new beer, and the ways in which they are looking to improve. We also got an impromptu tour of their 800 square foot brewing space. All in all, a very intimate stop.

Next up, San Francisco and Anchor Brewing.

Location:Swift Street, Santa Cruz, CA

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