|Sante Adairius Rustic Ales (SARA to the locals) has created out-the-door|
lines with its line of farmhouse and saison-styled brews
A bonus aspect to this journey is that the drive down from the Bay Area to the brewery is especially beautiful on a sunny day, as it was on the day of our trip. I-280 just south of Daly City is designated by the state of California as a scenic highway, gently curving through tree-laden hills and offering shimmering views of the two bodies of water that are the Crystal Springs Reservoir. Civilization is not even hinted at until you spy the Stanford University Dish, a radio telescope set in the foothills.
Continuing on, the bustle of the Silicon Valley surrounds you until you reach the exit for Highway 17. Eventually, redwoods and windy road curves become dominant as you ascend into and out of the Santa Cruz Mountains over Patchen Pass down to Santa Cruz itself. There, the Pacific Ocean pops in and out of sight behind more coastal trees and fauna southward along Highway 1 (the famed PCH Pacific Coast Highway) until you reach Capitola, the quaint town where Sante Adairius makes its home.
|On busy days, the buzz that Sante Adairius has generated is in|
full display within a cozy but playful interior space
Tim Clifford is the main man behind Sante Adairius. Along with fellow co-head-brewer Jason Hansen as well as fellow co-owner/wife Adair Paterno (as detailed in this Beer Samzidat blog post, the name of the brewery, although complex in its origin, is essentially Clifford's tribute to his wife), this trio has generated a reputation of brewing some of the most interesting sour and barrel-aged beers around. Those styles dominated the tap list, though a couple of porters in the form of their Vanilla Joe and Chavez were also available for consumption. Along with in-house consumption, several people came in to happily fill up their growlers with their favorite brews.
Those with growlers have something of an advantage over that of a visitor driving through town for a short visit. As we found out, something unique to Sante Adairius are their bottled beers that are strictly consumable in-house (the brewery did have their bottled "Cellarman" Oak-fermented Saison, done in collaboration with Triple Rock Brewery & Alehouse in Berkeley, available to take home, something we happily partook in.) We initially were inclined to the grab a couple of pints from the tap list, but a bomber of the in-house-only Love's Armor, a blend of their Farmhouse Noir ("a darker and stronger take on the Saison style" as noted on their website) and the Chavez (Sante Adairius rye porter that has been fermented on cherries) was available and something my spouse could not resist. This was a good one: a smooth, tart cherry (but not too tart) dominated at first, but then the malt and a little of the spicy bite that rye gives you from the porter came in to finish things off nicely.
|Oh, Mercy Mercy: our two brews from Sante Adairius were oh so delicious...|
This review is something of an incomplete one; we in no way got to sample as many of Sante Adairius' wares as we would've liked on this six-stop travel day. However, it's very easy to see why the buzz is deserved based on the beers we did actually have, and it gives us personally plenty of incentive to return. If we had been able to camp out longer at the tasting room, we discovered that they do have a food option available with Aptos Street BBQ. This eatery (which sports its own impressive craft beer tap and bottle inventory itself) makes two runs out to the brewery every day as long as you call in your order prior to the cut-off times.
For the Central Ohio craft beer aficionado traveling to the Bay Area, Capitola is a slight bit out-of-the-way (a one and a half-hour drive sans traffic) if San Francisco is your center of focus. However, if you find yourself a fan of the saisons of Lancaster's Rockmill Brewery and/or a fan of funk-laden/sour brews in general, and you happen to have the Santa Cruz/Monterey area as part of your travel docket, Sante Adairius pretty much qualifies as a must-visit.
Sante Adairius Rustic Ales
103 Kennedy Dr.
Capitola, CA 95010
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