Half Moon Bay Brewing Company

Half Moon Bay Brewing CompanyHalf Moon Bay Brewing Company

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

390 Capistrano Rd
Half Moon Bay, California, 94019
United States

(650) 728-2739 | map

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Reviews: 17 | Ratings: 36
Photo of CJNAPS
3.6/5  rDev -5%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.25 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.75

Nice place beauty ocean view from the outside seating. I had a couple of their IPA's nothing special but still a good fresh IPA is always a good thing in my book.

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Photo of BMWiens
2.99/5  rDev -21.1%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 3.25 | service: 2 | selection: 3.75 | food: 2.5

Brewpub on the coast, south of San Francisco.

Beers: they try to make lower alcohol brews. Kudos for the attempt. Some end up watery, but it's better than being unable to drive after a single beer.

Food: nothing outstanding.

Service: watch your beer or the server will take it, try to push you out before you're done.

Parking can be limited especially on weekends.

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Photo of Beer21
4.09/5  rDev +7.9%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.75 | selection: 3 | food: 4

I arrived here for lunch as it opened. It was a bright sunny windless day that was perfect for sitting in their abundant outdoor area. The outdoor seating overlooks the harbor across the road. It is a nice setting for lunch. I was immediately offered a menu and ordered the fish tacos. They were above average.

The beer selection was pretty good, but I only had time for a couple of half pints. I tried the Princeton by the sea IPA first and thought is was a typical West Coast IPA. Nothing special but pretty good. Next was the session Maverick Back in the Saddle Rye IPA. This was also pretty good. I could barely tell that it was a session beer.

The service was excellent and attentive. Everyone seemed pretty happy. Overall this is a great place to visit if you are driving along the coast or staying the night in Half Moon Bay.

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Photo of emerge077
3.66/5  rDev -3.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

Stopped in recently on a coastal drive down highway 1.

Arrived to town a little before they opened at 11:30 for lunch, so we toured the town for a bit. Nice beach, a row of little shops by the boat docks, and an awesome little smokehouse right on the other side of the highway, Creekside Smokehouse (purveyor of assorted smoked fish, smoked spreads, and salmon jerky to die for).

Inside there was a carpeted dining room with an aquarium, view of the boats, and a senior lunch crowd. To the right was the bar, so we went to the bar. A little fireplace in the corner with a stained glass Greatful Dead art piece above it, and framed articles around the place. A beer distributor douche in a suit was high fiving every employee in the place, loudly rattling off corpo-speak catch phrases all the while. Ugh. "Yeah, I lost 7K on that brand last year!" No one seemed to care.

Bartender offered samples but was preoccupied with other stuff, handing us some printed sheets about the beer in lieu of answering questions. Overall the beer felt like a second fiddle novelty here, seasonals weren't clearly identified, didn't see any brewing equipment, upscale restaurant vibe, etc.

Nachos were something like $16 here, and all the appetizers were in the double digit range, so we opted for lunch from Creekside Smokehouse on the beach.

Best beers here were the IPA and "Mad Bum Bitter" which was wet hopped with Citra. Other typical seasonals were Oktoberfest and a Pumpkin Ale that were just ok. Missed the Sour Brown Ale and Citra Lager, bummer. Better luck next time...

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Photo of colonelforbin
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

Right on the coast, this brewery has an ideal location if you like hanging out by the ocean as I do. Really nice outdoor patio and a great wraparound bar as well.

The standard beers are not outstanding but pretty good, all things considered. I've probably been here 5-6 times by now and I've had some pretty good brews here but it can be hit or miss. Depends on what some of the special beers as are as these come and go. They are generally the best. Was here last weekend and had a delicious harvest pumpkin ale, a fresh hop IPA and their Oud Bruin, all delicious.

They tend to make English style ales, so a little on the maltier side and not so many hops, but the single hop IPA was a deliciously hoppy brew.

Can't go wrong with the location and ambience and the beer is generally quite enjoyable so check it out if you are in the area.

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Photo of nickd717
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4

This brewpub is in a great location north of Half Moon Bay in the pretentiously named village of Princeton-by-the-Sea, close to the famous Maverick's surfing destination. Drive from where I live in Palo Alto is about 40 minutes. If you can manage to come here on a nice day (HMB tends to be chilly and foggy), it's a really great spot to sit outside and drink some beers. There's a huge outdoor area and quite a bit of space inside too.

Service is average to a little above. The place seems to be decently well-staffed.

There's a lot of your typical pub food, very seafood-heavy since it's on the beach, with some more interesting options on the menu as well. Good quality of food. The chef here actually does my company's holiday parties, and he knows his way around the kitchen for sure.

The beers are in the average range. They have some interesting specials (including some occasional -bal aged stuff), but their standard lineup is very standard: golden ale, pale ale, amber ale, IPA, brown ale, hefeweizen when I was there. Not really catering to the beer geek crowd.

Overall though, this is a solid place. I'll be back, no question.

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Photo of htomsirveaux
3.4/5  rDev -10.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

Stopped in here mid afternoon on 3 Dec 2009.

Nice spot, right on the ocean, good views. Sat outside at one of about 20 tables. Kind of chilly with the breeze but they had gas heaters going.

About four of the tables were taken, otherwise the place was deserted. Service was attentive. Tried a couple of the samplers ($1 ea for a 4 oz pour). Beers were pretty average.

Did not try anything off the menu, claimed to be 'California Coastal Cuisine'. Seemed to be mostly pub fare with a slight emphasis on fish/shrimp.

Good place to stop in at if you are in the area but would not suggest going very far out of your way to get here.

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Photo of willjschmidt
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

A brewpub located in Princeton-by-the-Sea, about 5 miles north of Half Moon Bay. Great location, right on the water, just a few hundred yards from Pillar Point harbor where one can purchase live dungeness crabs right off the boat. Typical brew-pub food with much more emphasis on seafood. The food is also a bit on the pricey side. The beers are all pretty good, if none are outstanding. I had their wet hop IPA which I had previously sampled at the Toronado's wet hop festival. Not bad but it was one of the weaker offerings at the fest. Also had their regular IPA which was a pretty good IPA. I would definitely recommend this place.

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Photo of Genghis22
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4

I've had bombers of the amber ale, but never visited the HMB BC until this past Saturday. I was pleasantly surprised.

The amber never struck me as anything too special, so my expectations were low. The scenery was awesome, and I really liked the vibe outside with all the chairs and firepits.

We however, sat inside and enjoyed a nice meal with quick and polite service. I had their fresh hop IPA and the Brown. Both were very good.

I would go back. The beer was good, the food was tasty, and the atmosphere was great.

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Photo of bbothen
3.55/5  rDev -6.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Located right on the bay in beautiful Half Moon Bay. The place is pretty popular due to the location.

Several outside tables with firepits and an outside bar give the patio a real surf beach kinda feel. I dig it. Inisde has several tables and a big bar right in the middle of the place. Nice fireplace & couch with some Greatful Dead memorabilia.

All the beers are solid. Typically they have 8 or so brews on tap. Stout, porter, amber, Pale, Hefe, & a light. Last time I was there they had 3 different IPAs. The standard, an imperial, and another specialty. All very drinkable. Around Christmas time I remember a brown ale that was aged with sour cherries. I appreciate the experimentation. Their flagship Mavericks Amber ale is also available in bottles.

The food is solid as well. I really enjoy the clam chowder. Other favs are the snapper sandwich & burger.

I really enjoy coming here. Around sunset is great time. Grab an outside table with the pacific ocean & a nice house made brew...what's better?

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Photo of bjohnson
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Stopped in for lunch on Tuesday during our drive from SF to Carmel. Located in Princeton-by-the-sea, this brewery is situated across the street from the ocean on Capistrano Ave. As you walk up to the brewpub, you're greeted by a large patio dining area with about 30 tables for patrons. Not only are there tables, but also leather arm chairs placed around fire pits. A very nice touch, considering it gets cold at night by the ocean. The outside patio area is larger than the inside dining area. The bar is located inside to the right (dining to the left), and theres a function room in the back for private parties with birds eye views of the brewing apparatus. The place seems to be a night spot as they had multiple bands listed for weekday and weekend shows. A very nice atmosphere being right next to the ocean.

Typical pub grub fare with an emphasis on the sea. More fish options than anything else, which I gave a thumbs up to. I had the special tuna tombo tostada. Grilled tuna, lettuce, tomato, avocado, cilantro, rice, black beans, all on a crispy tortilla (2 of them). Quite a nice and refreshing lunch that left me just full enough. Emma enjoyed a bowl of clam chowder, which she poured hot sauce all over (even took a pick for GBO). Clam chowder was quite good loaded with clams and spices. A top notch west coast example of New England Clam Chowder.

On to the beers. 8 in all. Brown, light, amber, pale ale, stout, 2 ipa's, and a hefe. I sampled 3...Emma 2. English style ales. Served in 12, 16, and 20 oz. glasses ($3.75, $4.75, $5.50 respectively). Also available are 4oz. tasting glasses for a $1.

My first was the Tunnel Vision IPA (brewer's special). Good caramel malt backbones with a nice infusion of EKG's and then cascades to round out the hops. Good bitter finish, but the malt really was the big player in this one. Second came the Extra Stout with a dark brown, almost black hue. Roasted malty notes with caramel and molasses. Slight dark fruit flavors. Thick and juicy.
Maverick's Amber. Caramel malt base with a hint of fruity hops that turns minty. I noted it had a skoal mint chaw flavor, for those of you who know what that tastes like. More on this later as I took home a 22oz. bomber ($4.00)--only beer they bottle, though you can purchase kegs from them-price unknown. Growlers=$17, $12 refill. Nice stout flip-top growlers. I didn't partake. A nice little brewpub with pretty decent food in a great fucking location--beers did not wow me though.

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Photo of GeoffFromSJ
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Here with the wife to see Mavericks, which is a major big wave surfing destination. No big waves until winter. This nice establishment is very close by.

The place has a dining area, a sun room, and an outside area. We ate in the sun room. Has a bar to sit at, regular tables and high tables.

Selection: IPA, Amber, Light, Stout, Hefe, ESB. ESB was excellent. Hefe was decent.

Service: eh... Our server forgot about our water and was inattentive at times. Slow, but friendly.

Food: very tasty. Wife got the spicy calamari. I got a chicken quesidilla which came with very good guacamole. The quesedilla was very expensive for some unknown reason.

Beautiful area in an interesting town. Well worth the visit.

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Photo of Troyone
3.6/5  rDev -5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

The atmosphere is always crowded around the squared off horseshoe bar area especially today because they had a live blues band. I requested to sit in the one of the dining areas with large windows overlooking Half Moon Bay. There was a wood stove in one section of the indoor dining areas and a fireplace in the bar area. Many outdoor patios, one to the East of the bar (spacious) where the band was playing, one to the North of the bar, and one in the back West of the dining area. All of the Patios had heater lamps and the spacious one also had round stoves. The bar area has TV's and is kind of touristy (local) that includes the regulars along with people who untilize the harbor.

Brass tap nozzles; clean restrooms; wooden bar, chairs, and tables; and the kitchen is not in the open.

Service in the dining area was laid back and the service at the bar was prompt.

Has a good selection of beers with one cask (handpump) option. All the beers tasted similar and were not real risky except for the Hefe (forgot to tell the waitress - no lemon) which could be a notable, another possible notable was the Scottish Ale. The cask (handpump) was their pale and was alright.

The food was OK.


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Photo of axisjones
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I took a day trip with a friend to Half Moon Bay to see the brewpub. I had previously had a few of their beers here and there and enjoyed them much and had met Alec, the brewmaster on a few occasions.

The atmosphere of the brewpub is nice, but it is really the whole area that must be enjoyed. Half Moon Bay is beautiful. Perpetually overcast with a breeze blowing, this harbor town is Steinbeck all the way. The pub is pretty big, with a large outdoor area and space inside. Walls are adorned with surf posters and photos. This is town that thrives on surfing and it shows.

The beer menu had 9 different brews on tap including an ESB on cask and an oat stout on nitro. The food menu was very extensive with a focus on pasta dishes and american fare, all of it on the pricey side. The service was minimal. We sat at the bar and had to wait forever for them to even notice us. They are kept busy and the service suffers. Once they actually noticed us, they were really cool and friendly, but not super knowledgable about their beer. I orderend the ESB and my friend had the IPA. Both were pedestrian. We both got burgers and they were great.
I followed that up with a sampler of all the beers. None were spectacular and the Hefe was so banana i felt like a monkey drinking it. The beers were just "okay".

Alec is a great brewer and he does just what is called for, meaning simple beers in interesting styles that arent too extreme or offensive. This is a cool day trip, a little expensive but worth the trip from san francisco.

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Photo of misterscooter
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

As with their beer, I had been looking forward to going to the Brewing Company for a beer and a meal. I bet this place would be great at sunset because the views out to the water over the boats is great. We went on Friday for lunch on a nice but not an epic weather day. I'm sure there are plenty of times you'd want to bundle up out on the patio.

Anyway, the restaurant is across the street from protected area where the boats pull in. The water was calm and covered with gulls. Nothing in the way of your view if you are near a window. You walk through the patio area, which was almost full this afternoon, to enter the building. Also on the patio is an outside bar with a surfboard for the counter top. At least 6, maybe 8 taps are out there for busy summer nights.

There are two main rooms in the building. To your right, as you enter, is the lounge with fireplace. This would be the ideal room for a cold, foggy day at the brew pub. To the left is the main room with the windows looking out to the water. A large saltwater fish tank sits in the middle of the room. The inside feels old and weathered but not impersonal. The atmosphere wasn't cozy but I really do think it would be great at dusk and in the evening.

Plenty of house brewed beers to choose from in 12 and 16 oz. sizes ($3.50 and $4.50, respectively). The menu is large and includes lots of sandwiches and pub fare. The prices were a bit more than I'm used to for pub grub ($10.95 for a sandwich), thus the rating for value. The clam chowder was bacony and good, not too creamy and tasted very fresh. The turkey sandwich I had was also good with extras on it that I didn't expect but that were welcomed. Their fries are fresh, thick, seasoned and tasty. My wife wasn't overly impressed with her tuna melt, especially at the price.

I'll probably go back but I won't be in as much of a rush. I do know that it is a reliable place and would look to go back, but probably not during the day. Well, unless Mavericks is going strong.

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Photo of JISurfer
4.13/5  rDev +9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I had to give it a 5 on the atmosphere. Where else can you sit outside and drink a beer, while looking at the US's biggest, baddest wave? NOWHERE!!! Just for that, it deserves a 5. With the awesome view, there's the cool gun surfboards around the joint and nice plants and stuff outside. Also has a cool raught iron fence outside. The service was quite good as well. The waitress knew her stuff about the beers and gave good suggestions. She was also very attentive and took care of us. They had a great selection of all their beers on tap. The food was very, very, very, very expensive! I don't understand that whole thing. The cheapest thing on the menu was the basic hamburger, that I got, and it was $10!!!! WOW!!!! On the other hand, the food was really good. The burger was juicey and was very large, as a $10 burger should be. I guess the only draw back of the place was the really expensive food. Other than that, it's a cool place to hang out and drink beer.

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Photo of DerKaiser
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3

Half Moon Bay Brewing Co. is an average brew pub made great by its location. Situated right on the north shore of Half Moon Bay, the Brewing Co. is a 15 minute walk from the famous Mavericks surf break. If you have in interest in surfing, or even if you don't, this break is amazing. Nov. 2001, I saw men surfing waves with 80-90 foot faces. Unbelievable.

Anyway, the place isn't really a brewery per se, although they do apparently have plans to start brewing on site soon. Food is average. There's a nice outdoor patio with large fire pits that's great for watching the sunset over the Pacific.

If you go, try the Seabright Stout, it's chocolatey, smooth, and just plain delicious. Perfect for a cool evening on the coast.

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Half Moon Bay Brewing Company in Half Moon Bay, CA
3.61 out of 5 based on 385 ratings.
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