On Sunday, Greater Purpose Brewing Company closed its taproom and brewery in Live Oak.
On Sunday, Greater Purpose Brewing Company closed its taproom and brewery in Live Oak.
(Via Facebook)
Food & Drink

Lily Belli on Food: Greater Purpose closes, an Otter 841-inspired brew & pesto plenitude

Welcome to Lily Belli on Food, a weekly food-focused newsletter from Lookout’s food and drink correspondent, Lily Belli. Keep reading for the latest local food news for Santa Cruz County — plus a few fun odds and ends from my own life and around the web.

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… A final cheers to Greater Purpose Brewing Company in Live Oak, which closed this past week. On July 25, the company posted to its social media pages that last Sunday would be its final day in business. “We appreciate all the time you spent with us over the last few years and look forward to what some new owners will do with the brewery space,” the post reads. The brewery opened in the East Cliff Village shopping center in 2020.

In addition to serving beer and hosting trivia, comedy nights and pop-ups, Greater Purpose was known for its inclusivity and support of the LGBTQ+ community. It held a weekly drag bingo night with drag queens Franzia Rosé and Cherry Cola and frequently held fundraisers for the Neighbor’s Pub, a queer cafe and pub in search of its own brick-and-mortar space.

No word yet on a new home for these events and who the new owners of the space might be. I’ll report back soon.

A kitchen fire broke out at the Grove Café in Felton on Saturday evening.
(Via SLV Steve)

… The Grove Cafe and Bakery in Felton sustained smoke damage from a fire on Saturday night. The fire originated in the kitchen and the cause is not suspicious. Thanks to the quick response of a bystander, the damage to the restaurant was minimal. “It’s amazing that someone caught it. That person ran over to the fire department and they were able to contain it really quickly,” says owner Jessica Yarr, who opened the plant-forward restaurant in March on Highway 9. The Grove will reopen Thursday.

… Santa Cruz’s Humble Sea Brewing Co. is set to open a new location in Alameda this month. Founded in 2015, this will be its fourth location and second in the Bay Area. Humble Sea also operates a brewery and tasting room on Swift Street in Santa Cruz; the Humble Sea Tavern restaurant in Felton; a taproom in Pacifica; and a pop-up beer garden on the Santa Cruz Wharf.

Humble Sea’s Alameda taproom joins Faction Brewing and Almanac Beer Co. on the west end of Alameda island. The area is home to several wineries, distilleries and breweries, which earned it the nickname “Spirits Alley.” East Bay sandwich pop-up The Saint will operate a food truck on site. More information at humblesea.com.

Shanty Shack Brewing released an Otter 841-themed beer, Grand Theft Otter.
Shanty Shack Brewing released an Otter 841-themed beer, Grand Theft Otter.
(Via Shanty Shack Brewing)

Otter 841’s surfboard-stealing shenanigans have Santa Cruz in the grips of otter-mania. Now, a local craft brewery is getting in on the trend. Over the weekend, Shanty Shack Brewing in Santa Cruz released Grand Theft Otter, a coconut lager with chiles and lime. Inspired by a trip to Sri Lanka, the sambal-esque light beer is made with Indian chiles, coconut and lime. “It smells like Sex Wax on a freshly stolen surfboard,” owner and brewer Nathan Van Zandt told me. The chiles give the beer a bit of a kick, he says: “Like Otter 841, Grand Theft Otter is a little sour and might bite.” The beer is available on draft for $8 and in four-packs of 16-ounce cans for $22 at the Fern Street brewery in Santa Cruz.


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Max Turigliatto inside Mission West
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

In 2019, local business owner Max Turigliatto transformed the Watering Hole, a neglected dive bar off of Mission Street in Santa Cruz, into a “five-star dive bar” for the Westside community. Now, he plans to open the Alley Oop in the former Poet & Patriot, and looks to put his stamp on downtown and a growing Cedar Street entertainment corridor. Read the story for more.


“Barbie eats a breakfast burrito, but Barbie doesn’t eat pink food that says ‘Barbie’ on it. … So the pink hummus on the table, that’s not Barbie eating that pink hummus; that’s us eating Barbie.”Helen Rosner, food writer for the New Yorker, eats at a Barbie Café in New York City with podcaster Dan Pashman on an episode of “The Sporkful”, and the duo digs deep. Listen to the whole episode for musings on and dissections of what Barbie eats, doesn’t eat and her relationship with food.


In my family, summer is pesto season, a time of year that I look forward to with joy and just a touch of anxiety. Anyone who gardens knows the pressure when something comes into season — you wait and wait, and then if you’ve done your job and the weather’s on your side, it comes in fast and abundant. There’s a moment when you think maybe you’ve planted too much of this beloved thing, be it tomatoes, zucchini or — in the case of my father-in-law, who planted 15 (!) Genovese basil plants earlier this spring — basil.

A couple of weeks ago, we were swimming in a sea of fragrant green leaves and the plants were threatening to bolt. We needed to gain control over the situation. I typically harvest the leaves by pinching the blossom ends in order to encourage bushier plants, but a week ago we decided to tear most of the plants out, leaving just the base leaves. The next day, I picked, washed and dried half a garbage bag of basil. We have been making quick batches in the food processor every few days in an effort to make it through our haul.

And you know what? Despite feeling like we had too many basil plants, we seem to be eating the pesto without a problem, slathering and dolloping big spoonfuls on everything from grilled vegetables to hot dogs to fried eggs to grilled cheese sandwiches — and, of course, on pasta. Speaking of which …


… from Santa Cruz Pasta Factory. This family-owned company is based in Scotts Valley, and their fresh pasta is my family’s current obsession. The noodles are bouncy, chewy and flavorful. I’m convinced that its linguini is the perfect pasta to toss with fresh pesto. In our family, one 12-ounce package feeds two hungry adults and one pasta-obsessed toddler. It’s widely available in the refrigerated sections of grocery stores in our area — find out more at santacruzpastafactory.com.


Eaters Digest: Birichino’s 2022 Pétillant malvasia bianca in a can (Lookout)
Anchor Brewing union asks Sapporo for fair chance to bid on company (San Francisco Standard)
Wisconsin milk dumped in sewage system; dairy industry concerned (Fox6)
Starving Orcas and the Fate of Alaska’s Disappearing King Salmon (New York Times)

Happy dining!

~ Lily