I'm just now getting around to posting a review of a local brewpub, Shanty Shack Brewing
. This is a tiny brewery on Fair Street, in the Harvey West area of Santa Cruz (near Costco). Not the nicest neighborhood around, but a cool little shack.
There is this one gorgeous group of hop bines spilling down from the roof, which has very nice hop cones on it. I'm not sure if they actually use them, or if they are just for decoration, but it adds a very nice touch to the place.
We went on a Friday early evening, and they were very busy. They have a rotating, often popup, set of food vendors that come and serve food from a tent near the parking lot. That evening it was "Mama's Famous Chicken Molé" (I might be getting the name wrong, but that's the general idea), which was absolutely fantastic. I'm a bit of a foodie when it comes to molé, and have had some excellent examples, but this was easily among the top, if not the best, molé I've ever had. I didn't get a pic of the sumptuous plate (simple: just the molé, some corn tortillas and some greens), unfortunately, but I did get one of the back of the food tent from the road.
There was a band as well, but they had just finished their first set when we arrived, and we had to leave before they started up again. I think it was a mexican music band, at least that's my assumption from prevalence of squeezeboxes and the clothing they were wearing. Probably OK I missed it...
Yun had their cider, and I had, well, I'm not quite sure... I lost my notes on this one... I'm pretty sure it was their "Pure Cali", which is an IPA wet-hopped with local hops, and made with only California barley. I do remember it being "quite good", but don't have my detailed notes on this one...
I did go back a week later for a broader tasting. They don't do flights, unfortunately, but hey, this is a local brewery, so I'm willing to spend extra for what they call "half pours".
I had three brews this time around:
- Tropic Passion - this is kettle-soured with passion fruit, 4.6% ABV - tart and sour, but also very fruity. really very tart, so a sip or two was about all I wanted, but it was quite a flavourful brew, and I'm glad I tried it.
- Shmoozin and Boozin - tart blonde ale with cherries, 4.7% ABV - malty, but just the right amount of cherries, I quite liked this one.
- Little Teapot - a session stout, 3.6% ABV - roasty, toasty, chocolate and coffee, all in a session strength, yum!
One thing that strikes me, looking at the pics, is how colourful their brews are. And this makes sense, as their tagline is "drinkable art"... It is definitely that!