I hope you’re sitting down, preferably on a beach chair, because I have a stunning announcement: Summer has begun.
Yes, we are a week-plus from June and a ways from summer solstice, but there is cause for my command decision.
It involves arguably the most creative, popular and collaborative craft beer brand by the bay, Humble Sea, and their most recent—and summerish—situation yet.
They’ve hatched a beer garden on the end of Municipal Wharf in Santa Cruz, happening Monday-Wednesday 4-9pm, Thursday-Saturday noon-9pm and Sunday, 10am-9pm.
Ten craft draft options, four-pack cans to go and some to sip on site (pending availability) all figure in.
So do food trucks, with standout sustainable seafood saints Scrumptious Fish & Chips serving Thursdays and Cococ Oaxacan doing delish duty Friday through Sunday. (Ordering food from wharf eateries like Makai Island Kitchen & Groggery and Stagnaro Brothers Seafood is also kosher.)
I await most Humble e-blasts with baited beer breath as they reliably deliver saliva-inducing release updates. [I see you Cloudbreak Deca Dry Hopped and Hop-Fused Quadruple IPA (!!!!) with Mosaic Incognito, Nelson Hop Kief, Riwaka and Motueka hops.]
A pair of my favorite installments came in recent weeks with 1) news of a Humble Sea team rider, Jon Reed, winning the downhill race in the men’s 40s expert division and taking home second in the Enduro Race at Sea Otter Classic; and 2) word on the peerless pier scene, including some typically zingy thoughts.
“Why did the seagull steal a sandwich? It was feeling a little peckish!” it read. “Ya, the seagulls have been stealing some things, mostly fries, and the occasional patron gets pooped on. But we will soon have more shade structures that will help prevent that kinda silliness.”
Humble Sea’s area GM Danielle Byers confirmed the scene is vibing nicely.
“The fun thing about the wharf is that it’s a completely outdoor beer garden with views of Steamer [Lane] on one side and the Boardwalk on the other,” she says. “Quintessential Santa Cruz.”
Staff of Life Natural Foods knows how to party. Through Saturday, May 27, SoL on Soquel in Santa Cruz celebrates its 54th anniversary with specials, free samples and wine and beer tastings daily. facebook.com/staffoflife
Bear Nataraj Champlain of Davenport has a surreal and sudsy claim to fame. He’s one of 12 semi-finalists to be the mascot for one of my favorite sassy beer brands, Montucky Cold Snacks, a self-described “beer-flavored beer for everyone.” Until Friday, May 26, votes give Champlain a shot to appear on Montucky cans, a NASCAR truck, billboards and more. montuckycoldsnacks.com/montucky-mascot-competition
The first ever Fruit-A-Palooza 2023, with the theme of “Growing tropical and subtropical fruit on the California Central Coast,” stokes attendees with the how-tos of growing fruit they might not have considered. The Monterey Bay chapter of the California Rare Fruit Growers event benefits gardening education at Pajaro Valley Schools. The deets: 9am-5pm, June 10 at the Santa Cruz Grange Hall. mbcrfg.org