New Leaf market on the West side is a great store, with a fantastic selection of gourmet, orgnic, locally grown/raised grocery items. If I ever move back to Santa Cruz again (and after the weather and fantastic weekend we just spent here, man is it tempting), this is a store I'm sure I would be shopping at all the time. On the other hand, I hope to hell I can find a store with a better beer selection than what they have at New Leaf.
Upon entering the store from the front parking lot, off to the left is a good size wine selection area, right next to the community cooking demonstration classroom. Along with the wine selection, there is a fair size cold box, along with a small multi-shelf display area holding some Belgian and Belgian style beers. The selection is decent (though hardly outstanding), with some of the more interesting selections including the Bruery Mischief, Stone Ruination, NB La Folie, and a couple different beers from De Struise. Otherwise, not unlike the local Trader Joe's, this is a good place to stock up on core beers from Lagunitas, Sierra Nevada, Stone, etc., though the prices here a bit higher than what you'll find at TJ's.
Service is about what you'd expect from a grocery store. People working here are friendly, but don't expect someone to come up to you and ask if you need any help with the beer selection. As for prices, I guess they're OK. The La Folie was $15 for a 22 ounce bombeer, while the Union Jack IPA was $5 for a bomber.
Shrug. This is a place where I might stop by to grab a couple of bottles of SN torpedo while shopping for dinner, but it's not a place I'd go out of my way for, hoping to find some elusive, limited bottle of Deschutes or Firestone Walker. It's better than the local TJ's, but as already mentioned and noted, that's really not a very high bar.
Located not far off the 1 north of Santa Cruz and a short walk from Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing and several small wineries. This is a new building from the ground up-the beer section is located in the corner-somewhat out of the way. The 6-pack selection is pretty mundane-with the usual selection of SNA, Lost Coast, and North Coast, with a few imports. The strength here is the bombers which include the entire range of Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing, Santa Cruz AleWorks, and a few Stone. There is also an amazing selection of off beat imports from Nogne, Miikeller, and a number of Dieu de Ciel. When I was there last week they still had some Abyss. Service is pretty standard grocery-the selection is by far the best of any New Leaf Markets. Prices are not bad.