Fresh East Coast oysters, a lobster roll in Williamsburg, artisan chocolate, bagels, saison on a rooftop — just a few of the things I devoured on a recent trip to New York City.
Beer Thirty: Santa Cruz’s newest hotspot for delicious craft beer served in a great indoor-outdoor beer garden setting. They’re serving up about 30 brews on tap, most of which I had never heard of before. Pretty decent prices to boot. They also sell bottles, which you can open and drink there or take home to save for later. It’s a really beautiful space — lots of reclaimed wood and an awesome lighted “Beer!” sign inside, plus huge European beer-garden-style tables outside with plenty of room. They don’t have a kitchen or serve any food, but Beer Thirty patrons can call in take-out orders from two nearby restaurants, Carpo’s and Michael’s on Main, and pick it up to eat there. This weekend, an employee from neighboring market The Fish Lady was also around peddling some goods and snacks. All in all, a great concept that’s sure to be incredibly successful.
Beer Thirty Bottle Shop & Pour House // 2504 South Main St., Soquel
Hard Water is the boozy brainchild of Charles Phan (of the Slanted Door), located at Pier 3 on the Embarcadero. It’s predominantly a whiskey bar (hence photo above) but you can order other drinks (a friend of mine swears by their Moscow Mules). They have a decent sized food menu too, though it’s not a very comfortable place to sit and eat with only bar seating. But I highly, highly recommend the baked oysters. In my opinion, a good place for a drink and a snack before heading to dinner somewhere else on the Embarcadero.
Hard Water // Pier 3, The Embarcadero, San Francisco
The name might make you think this place is all about wines (and it does those well), but after a quick perusing today, I’m convinced PlumpJack’s beer selection is what’s really special. Really unique breweries and a decently large selection without being overwhelming. Added plus: they have Russian River’s ever-coveted Pliny the Elder stocked every week.
Noe Valley PlumpJack Wine & Spirits // 4011 24th St., San Francisco