Checking in with Humble Sea about a Felton timetable ... and why they’re purchasing another brewery
A week after opening their new Pacifica taproom up Highway 1, Humble Sea’s owners are inching closer to a Cremer House opening in their hometown and getting set to purchase the former site of Uncommon Brewers on River Street in Santa Cruz.
One brewery’s closure is opening the doors wider for another on the rise.
Uncommon Brewers closed in April, but the longtime Santa Cruz operation will see the bones of its brewery handed over to Humble Sea Brewing Co., which continues on a meteoric growth trajectory.
The popular Swift Street proprietors opened their second establishment last week in Pacifica, remain on pace to open a third called the Humble Sea Tavern in Felton by late summer, and will be better positioned to meet the growing demand for their products with the addition of Uncommon’s former facility along River Street.
“The demand is reasonably higher than we can produce,” said Humble Sea’s marketing director, Lee DeGraw. “We pretty much have maxed out our current system.”
For Uncommon — which lived up to its name with staples that included a brown ale infused with bacon, a smoked Scottish ale and a Belgian-style dubbel infused with lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and Indian coriander — it was time for a change.
“Nineteen years is enough time working in any industry. I’m definitely ready for a change,” Uncommon founder Alec Stefansky said.
Stefansky, who opened Uncommon in 2007, said the decision to close was largely a personal one.
Uncommon’s brewery and equipment, located at 303 Potrero Street, will now transfer hands to Humble Sea. Humble Sea plans to use the facility solely for production, said DeGraw.
Humble Sea produced over 6,000 barrels last year and will surpass that this year. The brewery is on pace to produce between 8,000 and 9,000 barrels this year, according to DeGraw.
The Felton location, located in the former site of the historic Cremer House, will feature 15 to 20 rotating taps and a full-service bar, a first for any of the brewery’s existing locations.
The expansion on the production side is to help ensure the brewery continues to keep up with its success including its monthly subscription boxes which are currently on a waitlist.
“Our hope is to be able to keep our Swift Street and Pacifica taprooms well stocked with as many new beers as we can,” she said.
For Stefansky, the sale offers him an opportunity to explore the next chapter of his career. He and his family have relocated to Washington and he is looking forward to finishing up a distilling project he started with Oasis, though no timetable has been set on the whiskey’s debut date.
“We’re just waiting on all the agencies to sign off,” he said. “Happy to see it go to another Santa Cruz brewery.”