Scotts Valley gains a spacious sports bar in Faultline Brewing, which opened in October, and Sante Adairius Rustic Ales becomes the first 100% woman-owned brewery in Santa Cruz County. Plus, Collective Santa Cruz is back with a can-themed party Saturday.
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Welcome to the weekend before a week of, I hope, lots of good eating. I’ll be spending time with family next week, so expect the next Eaters Digest on Friday, Dec. 2.
This week, I visited the new Faultine Brewing in Scotts Valley. While the pub-style menu with a few modern twists was mostly tasty, there were some inconsistencies. Nevertheless, I’d happily return to this sports bar and restaurant to enjoy a crisp pint and watch the game. Check out my experience below.
Also this week, Sante Adairius Rustic Ales became Santa Cruz County’s first 100% woman-owned brewery, and Sam Woods, executive director of operations at Alderwood’s parent company, Santa Cruz Sky, spoke with me about several upcoming openings, including Alderwood Pacific in downtown Santa Cruz.
Coming up for the weekend, start your holiday giving early with Collective Santa Cruz’s Can Party, with canned goods, canned beer, cannoli … you get the idea.
In case you missed my newsletter Tuesday, I reported that Santa Cruz County now has its first 100% woman-owned brewery. Sante Adairius Rustic Ales co-founder Adair Paterno recently purchased former co-owner and brewer Tim Clifford’s ownership interest in the brewery, which originally opened in Capitola in 2012 and now also has locations in Santa Cruz and Oakland. While Paterno has been there from the beginning, as sole proprietor she joins just 2.9% of craft breweries in the U.S. that are entirely woman-owned. Around 40% of breweries have at least one woman proprietor, according to a 2021 survey by the Brewer’s Association.
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Alderwood, Santa Cruz’s only restaurant with a Michelin nod, is adding new branches to its family tree. Under its parent company, Santa Cruz Sky, several new culinary projects are slated to open within the next few months, including casual sibling Alderwood Pacific on Pacific Avenue in downtown Santa Cruz and two new Flashbird locations, on 41st Avenue in the Pleasure Point neighborhood in Santa Cruz and in Scotts Valley. I sat down with executive director of operations and Capitola native Sam Woods to discuss Santa Cruz Sky’s rapid expansion over the past two years. She says the company has a clear goal: to be at the forefront of revitalization in Santa Cruz, particularly in the downtown area. Read the full story here.
After much anticipation and many delays, Faultline Brewing finally opened last month at the Hangar development in Scotts Valley. This is the second location for the Sunnyvale-based brewery, and it’s the first brewery from outside the area to open a location in Santa Cruz County. While no beer is brewed on site, nine Faultline beers in a variety of styles are available on draft by the pint and in plastic growlers to go.
Before we sat down at our table, my guests and I were impressed by the modern, high-ceilinged interior, inviting bar area and open kitchen. There is seating on the first floor and a second, loft-like space above the bar. A large patio runs along two sides of the restaurant, along Skypark. Don’t be shy about bringing friends — there’s plenty of room.
And heads up, sports fans: This is the place to come if you want to watch the game. There are three large TVs above the bar, which, in addition to draft beer, offers house-crafted cocktails and wine. On the wall across from the upstairs loft, four TVs have been combined to make one enormous viewing screen.
The food is classic pub fare with some elevated twists. My friends and I dug into soft pretzel sticks and creamy, hefeweizen-infused beer cheese with crisp pints of malty Oktoberfest lager. My bourbon bacon burger was tasty, with sweet bacon and caramelized onion jam and peppery arugula tossed in a lemony vinaigrette. The nuances of the Angus, short rib and brisket mix that made up the burger itself were sadly lost when my medium-rare burger arrived well done.
Melted pepper jack cheese and spicy mayo gave the crispy chicken sandwich with bacon and pickles a kick of heat. The Brussels sprouts were a nice balance of spicy and sweet, with bits of salty lardons and crunchy sea salt, but, unfortunately, were soggy rather than crispy. The Caesar salad was disappointing and badly in need of some acid to lift it up. Next time, I’ll try the pizzas, which can be ordered in a personal size or a larger size to share. I’m particularly interested in the Buffalo mac pizza topped with Buffalo chicken and mac & cheese.
Despite some inconsistencies with the food, the service was excellent and the four beers we tried were balanced and flavorful, with no off notes that I could detect. I would gladly return to Faultline to throw back a few pints with friends over a round of cornhole — especially if I was a sports fan. See the full menu and make reservations at faultlinebrewing.com.
The quirky theme for Collective Santa Cruz’s November event is cans — as in canned food, beer cans and cannoli. Fruition Brewing in Watsonville will host the daytime shindig this Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. Fruition’s in-house kitchen, Hindsight Café, and Filipino pop-up Masarap will provide tasty, inventive food, with desserts by cannoli master Santa Cruz Bread Boy, Tiny House Chocolates and Cracked Cookies. Plus, find goods made by half a dozen local artists.
Most important, this event is a fundraiser for Second Harvest Food Bank. Guests will receive a raffle ticket for every nonperishable food item they bring to donate, and Fruition Brewing will donate $1 from every canned beer purchased at the event. Can you dig it? See all the vendors on the Collective’s Instagram page and check out my story from October to learn more about how organizers Jalen Horne and Kendall Denike are taking Santa Cruz County’s event scene to the next level.