Seabright Brewery

Seabright BrewerySeabright Brewery
Seabright BrewerySeabright Brewery
Brewery, Bar, Eatery

519 Seabright Avenue
Santa Cruz, California, 95062
United States

(831) 426-2739 | map

Notes: Cat Wiest took over as brewmaster May 2016.
View: Beers | Place Reviews
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Rated: 3.53 by Spaceman_Jer from Colorado

Jul 30, 2018
Rated: 3.46 by gr8fulbeerhead from California

Nov 28, 2017
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Reviewed by Scrap from California

4.48/5  rDev +28.4%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4
In the summer of 2016, a new brewer took over all brewing operations here, and has since been breathing life back into the brands and styles available.
I encourage those who left mediocre beer reviews in the past to come back, and those reading these reviews for the first time to know that things are changing.

Full disclosure: I work here (-:
Mar 10, 2017
Rated: 3.58 by Keananmichael5 from California

Nov 19, 2016
Rated: 3.59 by JDoHo from Michigan

May 31, 2015
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Reviewed by MikeyGCAP from California

3.61/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.5
This place has been around since the 1980's, and has doubled in size since it first opened. Service is inconsistent, but you can always grab your own pitcher or pints at the bar. A great place to hang outside on a sunny afternoon. Kid friendly. The beer isn't what it was, so don't come here looking for taste testing opportunities. This is more of a bring a group of friends and drink pitchers place.
Feb 09, 2015
Rated: 3.93 by xJMFCx from West Virginia

Jan 27, 2015
Rated: 3 by twb0392 from Wisconsin

Nov 21, 2014
Rated: 3.75 by AWA from California

Oct 29, 2014
Rated: 3.5 by brywhite from California

Sep 25, 2014
Rated: 3.75 by mctizzz from California

Jun 13, 2014
Rated: 3 by BeerisUber from Washington

Oct 21, 2013
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Reviewed by paddlenaked from Oregon

3.15/5  rDev -9.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 2 | food: 4
Stopped by for an early dinner and beers on a gorgeous, warm October Sunday. The place was crowded inside and out, but not overwhelmingly so. Inside, there are several large flatscreen tv's. Definitely a sports bar, for better or worse. Plenty of seating on the patio as well -- much more of a beach-town vibe outdoors.

The menu is solid, predictable, West Coast brewpub. Prices don't stray too far from the ten-dollar mark. Food was quite good, if not terribly exciting. We had the Pub Salad and the Salmon Fish & Chips.

Servers were plentiful, friendly, and prompt. No complaints.

Beer, I admit, was unimpressive. Not only were three of the listed selections unavailable, but the two that we tried did not take our breath away. The Wet Weasel, a fresh-hopped American wheat, was relatively thin on the palette, with uninspired hop flavors, contrary to its description. The Columbus-hopped Sacrilicious red was equally disappointing, again falling short of its description as a bold, hoppy, style-expanding beer. In short, a nice place with totally drinkable beer, but really nothing to see here, folks.
Oct 24, 2011
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Reviewed by DoubleJ from Wisconsin

3.45/5  rDev -1.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5
It turns out my brother has friends in Santa Cruz. That was the key to come down to Santa Cruz once again and taste the outstanding selection of beers that this city has to offer. I had passed opportunities to visit Seabright Brewery, but I made sure to put it on my list this time.

A lot of pale colored wood makes up the seating and tables inside the restaurant. The bar was smaller than expected, maybe enough for 7-8 people. The large outdoor patio was where it was at, thanks to the clear, warm day.

While there were 8-9 house beers listed on the menu, I was informed that 4 of them were tapped out. Bummer. What remained were an amber ale, two pale ales, and oatmeal stout, and an IPA. I went for the "lighter" pale ale and the oatmeal stout, which provided satisfactory results. Just plain shaker pint glasses were used to serve the beer. Pints go for $5, but pitchers can be bought as well.

There isn't much of a variety of foodstuffs on the menu. Sandwiches and appetizers make much of the menu, so don't come with the expectation of ordering a steak. That said, the Gilory burger which I ordered, with garlic and gorgonzola, was a delight.

Most of Santa Cruz's beery destinations are on the west side of town, but here's a place on its east that's worth stopping by. Just don't forget to bring sunscreen if you plan to sit on the patio.
Sep 21, 2011
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Reviewed by Billolick from New York

3.83/5  rDev +9.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4
During a summer visit to foggy and chilly Santa Cruz, this place was visited for a tasty dinner, washed down by a few tasty pints. Nice outdoor seating/eating are, spacious and confortable. A jammy kinda band was playing indoors. Enjoyable athmosphere indeed. The service was cheerful and quick, my salad was large and tasty. The beer we sampled was fresh tasting and quite enjoyable. I enjoyed the hoppy IPA. Nothing amazing going on here, but it's worth a visit for a casual,relaxed and tasty meal. Quality beer always a bonus.
Sep 20, 2011
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Reviewed by Lothore from California

3.86/5  rDev +10.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5
Last time I went I had an old okole barleywine which was excellent. My friend and I discussed what we were going to get next and before we even asked the woman behind the bar gave us samplers of the beer we were talking about. Pretty standard brewpub type atmosphere. When I asked for a growler of barleywine they wouldn't sell it to me stating it was against ABC regulations and I could get anything else in a growler just not barleywine (If there is some regulation on growler fills based on abv let me know ... I have never experienced this before). All in all a good place to hit in SC.
Jan 11, 2011
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Reviewed by bret27 from California

3.15/5  rDev -9.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 2 | food: 4
Kind of a standard west coast brewpub. Servers have always been nice and also family-friendly and accomodating. The real downside is the beer, which is what this website is really more centered around. I'll just list some positives and negatives...

+Pretty tasty pub fare
+Pretty reasonable pricing
+Close to the ocean, yacht harbor, beaches
+Have enough average beers to satisfy average non-beer geek

-Only about 6-8 beers at any given time
-Only had one beer ever here I was impressed with at all (oatmeal stout)
-Occasionally creepy drunks hanging out but mostly clean
-Porn in men's bathroom (wouldn't bother most, but definitely a surprise when you bring your 3&6yr old to go pee ;)
Jan 22, 2010
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Reviewed by doho95fu from California

3.15/5  rDev -9.7%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 2.5
Located in a strip mall that Crockett and Tubbs may have designed. Santa Cruz is a great city/town and when I was headed to a brewery there I was expecting a bit more as far as atmosphere. Like I said strip mall exterior with an interior that was just basic bar, bit bright, bit worn. Everyone was very friendly and the server was great, not too sure how his beer knowledge was but he was a cool enough guy. The beer was fine, I has only had the Blur which was fair. Selection is the usual suspects, there was a seasonal as well. Food was average. People were great however and that alone may bring me back. Worth a visit I guess.
Dec 03, 2009
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Reviewed by number1bum from Pennsylvania

3.6/5  rDev +3.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4
Stopped here while staying in Santa Cruz for the night after a wedding in Ben Lomond. It was a big place with lots of booths and outside seating as well; sort of a sports bar feel to it, nothing really distinctive. They only had about 6 or 7 beers on tap, of which I tried their Oatmeal Stout and Double Wide IPA. Their regular IPA also sounded good but was kicked. Beer was pretty good, not great, but solid. Oatmeal Stout was light and tasty, and the Double IPA was on the bitter side and slightly astringent, but not bad. I wish they had another offering or two, although I'm glad they had the Double IPA because their regular lineup seemed a bit pedestrian.

Food was pretty good, although be forewarned - the famous cheddar garlic fries are great, but they are absolutely brutal on both the palate and the body. I paid dearly for them right through the next morning. Basic pub food beyond that; my wife also had a caesar salad which was good.

Service was good, and prices were reasonable. It was a good place to stop, and if I were in Santa Cruz again (not sure why I would be; seemed like a bit of a sleepy, dumpy town) I'd stop in again.
Oct 13, 2009
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Reviewed by bulletrain76 from California

2.6/5  rDev -25.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 2 | food: 4
Seabright makes some good beers and some pretty lackluster beers, but they usually have at least one decent seasonal to try, and they sometimes put a new one on every couple of weeks which can keep thing interesting (though if they make yet another version of the same boring american wheat with a cute/clever name this summer I might just boycott). I enjoy the oatmeal stout and the pale ale. The IPA isn't bad, but it's not exactly a hopheads delight, so I never order it. As far as the other two year-rounds, the amber has never been in form when I've tried it, and the Sacrilicious Ale, though always up on the chalkboard, is always out. I'm beginning to doubt that they even brew this beer, but the description sounds so tasty that I'll keep checking back. They are also usually out of at least one other beer, so overall selection is like six house and one guest, which is always a boring macro import. I know that they could do much better than this.
The service is pretty spotty, but that would never be enough of an issue to keep me away from a place unless it was downright rude. The patio is quite nice to enjoy a beer on on a sunny summer day with prefect Santa Cruz weather, though the inside is nothing special or particularly comfortable. Tuesday nights they sell pitchers for seven dollars and the place turns into a crazy college party, which can be a blast, but stay away if you want any personal space. The food is pretty tasty for the most part. The salmon fish and chips are a favorite of mine. Being that this is the only brewpub in town (does Santa Cruz Mountain count?) I make a point to come as often as I can, which isn't often enough, though if we had another brewpub that tried a little harder to make interesting beers and keep them on more consistently, I might forget about Seabright.
Sep 02, 2008
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Reviewed by 1759Girl from California

3.53/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5
Sometimes it's noisy, sometimes its quiet. Whatever. Who cares? Sometimes it's noisy because they have a band. Can't fault brew pubs for having entertainment some nights. Even when there isn't music, there is often a buzz of noise as families gather around the tables together. I love that. Everytime I have been I've seen young kids with their folks and its rad because it reminds me of the warm family-pub vibe in the UK and Ireland.
Also, the beer is decent, and the food is pretty tasty. I can walk there from the beach. And a warm night out on the patio with friends is pretty great.
Jun 05, 2008
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Reviewed by illidurit from California

2.93/5  rDev -16%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5
A: Noisy inside, desolate outside. Another reviewer likened the vibe to that of Applebees, which I think is right on. Old timers and middle aged families are the main crowd. It's not particularly close to campus, which explains why there isn't any youth to this place.

Q: Beer quality is quite mediocre. I have to hand it to them for some of their experimentation, i.e. a weird wheatwine that sounded from the description like DFH made it. However, the standards are, well, sub-standard. The oatmeal stout and the pale ale are the best beers, weighing in at 'decent.'

S: I have had some awful service here. The last time I went, there was a sign that said to wait to be seated. I walked past it to go to the bar, but when I saw that the bar was completely full, I decided to go back and inform the hostesses at the front that I wanted a table. The only open seats were outside, no big deal. But a waiter never came. After waiting for 10 minutes, I had to go to the front again and request that the hostess send us a waiter. He finally came, took the orders, and served our food, but then never returned to the table. About 15-20 minutes after finishing, I got fed up and had to walk inside again just to request the check.

S: They always have 7 or 8 beers on tap, so there's a nice variety.

F: The food is standard American diner fare. Not great but good. Prices are pretty standard too.
Apr 28, 2008
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Reviewed by John_M from Washington

3.65/5  rDev +4.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4
I've been coming to the Seabright Brewpub since it first opened, back when I still lived in Santa Cruz. Then it was the new kid on the block, competing with Lighthouse brewing on River Street. That was many moons ago; Lighthouse brewing is long since closed, but Seabright is still going strong.

Sadly, I think in many ways Seabright's time has come and gone. Given it's great location it continues to do very well, especially on summer afternoons when people go there to soak in the beautiful Santa Cruz air and sun. However, the quality of the beer has defintely dropped, and there's something of a bit tired looking/feeling about the place these days.

The beer at Seabright is still pretty good, but IMO it is no where near as awesome as it was back in the day when they were garnering GABF medals for beers like the Banty Rooster IPA (still have a t-shirt), Delevega Red (fabulous on the hand pump) and their oatmeal stout. The current selection of beers is fine, but they're nothing special. Also, it seems like they're always running out of stuff; I can't remember how many times I've been told they were out of their Blur IPA/DIPA (which turned out not to be all that wonderful anyways when I finally got it on tap). Service is always a bit harried at Seabright, as the wait staff invariably tries to juggle the crowds and folks waiting to get a table. Still, on a warm Summer Santa Cruz day, there are few places I'd rather be then sitting on the outside back porch, with a glass of Pelican Pale.

Food at Seabright has always been pretty good, and that's one thing that never seems to change. The Sammy Super Salad is excellent, as are the bisque and fries (always get mine with cheese and garlic). Prices have slowly gone up over time, but Santa Cruz is an extremely expensive place to live (check real estate prices next time you' re in town if you don't believe me), and prices here never seem all that bad to me.

This is still a pretty good brewpub, but I confesss that I no longer look forward with excitement to dropping by whenever I'm in town any more.
Aug 28, 2007
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Reviewed by bradybeer from California

3.4/5  rDev -2.6%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5
Having lived in Santa Cruz for over year I can't say that I make it here often. However, I thought I would make another visit to Seabright.

This brewpub is located in the Seabright area of Santa Cruz which is a nice community with a focus on the beach.

The atmosphere is hard to describe since it doesn't fit into the usual brewpub mold and looks as if it were some sort of store in its prior life. I can't give the atmosphere a poor rating because of the local feel to the place-which is to say laid back beach.

The beer selection included a Red, Oatmeal Stout, IPA, and a light lager. I opted for the oatmeal stout and the IPA which were both good-not great-but good.

I sat at the bar where I received excellent service-my glass never remained empty for long-even when they were busy.

I had the Hot Wings which I thought were pretty darn good-and reasonable in price.

All in all, this visit was better than my previous ones and had made me want to go back ASAP.
Aug 06, 2006
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Reviewed by DaPeculierDane from Wisconsin

2.9/5  rDev -16.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3
Seabright attracts a very strange and diverse crowd. Sitting on the patio one gorgeous May day, my table was surrounded by Bikers (both Vietnam era leather clad bad asses and crotch rocket jocks), yuppie soccer moms, three or four families, some obnoxiously drunk punk rockers, and a few beach bunnies in bikinis. The people watching wasn’t bad but the little brats playing in the gaudy fountain and splashing water everywhere got to be a bit much. Basically this place screams California beach bar rather than brewpub. The food follows that trend too from the look of it.

Selection and quality are just ok. There were 8 beers on tap the day I was there. They also seemed to serve a couple beers in the bottle but I never managed to get my hands on a list to see what they had. The Oatmeal Stout was the standout of an otherwise dull British leaning tap list. The Amber looked great but flavor was lacking. The IPA was light and drinkable but under-hopped.

Worth a quick stop but not an entire afternoon or evening.
May 22, 2006
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Reviewed by germaniac from California

3.78/5  rDev +8.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4
I really wanted to enjoy Seabright. The food was awesome, and there was a wide range of tasty brews on tap. My main gripe- the locals have turned this great brewpub into Applebee's. I'll never understand the "hey let's pack the kids into the SUV and go have a few beers with dinner" mentality. Not that these folks were even drinking beer. White wine(?) seemed to be the beverage of choice among the assorted Dirk Squarejaws and soccer moms seated around us. Personally, way too many family units for me to enjoy myself. But, the beer WAS good. The bar area seemed to be where the younger, unattached crowd was, and I think we could have had a good time there, if we could have found seats. Service was friendly and swift, and our guy sounded like he actually had sampled the goods before, not just read them off a special board at the beginning of his shift. Worth a stop if you're ever travelling around the Central coast. Just try not to go on a Saturday around seven.
Feb 26, 2006
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Reviewed by GeoffFromSJ from New Jersey

4.03/5  rDev +15.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4
Atmosphere: "beach eatery" feel. Relaxed. Reminds me of joints I would frequent in Clearwater, FL. Outside and inside area. We chose inside due to lack of sunglasses. I believe they had umbrellas for shade by the tables outside.

Service was friendly when we had it. Fast when you asked for something. But gone for stretches of time.

Selection was more impressive on paper, but very good. ESB/barleywine listed but not present. A great Red and Chocolate Brown. Pale, IPA and guest ciders.

No watery brewpub beer here.

Garlic fries were too strong on the garlic. BBQ pork was very good. Friend had bisque and had not compaints.
Jul 26, 2005
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Reviewed by Troyone from California

3.55/5  rDev +1.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5
Located in what appeared to be a business building with a Java place in a cooresponding unit. Kind of a yuppy-ish and touristy bar area with TV's and a patio area to the West of the bar with a fountain, heater lamps, and plastic patio furniture.

Brass tap nozzles; clean auto flush restrooms; padded booths, stools, and chairs; and wooden tables, chairs, and bar. Kitchen was not in the open.

Service was good and prompt.

Good selection of beers however no cask (handpump). All the beers tasted similar and not real risky with possible notables: Stout and Red.

Had some healthy options, ordered a burger that appeared to be grilled.

May 16, 2005
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Reviewed by Crotor from California

2.88/5  rDev -17.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3 | food: 2.5
I lived just down the street from this place for two years, and it did little to entice me.

The setting was nice enough - very "California" - especially the patio seating facing the buzy but lazy oceanside thoroughfare.

Service was not beer-knowledgeable, and not particularly pleasant either. The beer menu was somewhat limited and unadventurous, and the beers themselves were, at best, average treatments of munade British styles.

The food, while entirely agreeable (they certainly have an interesting take on fish & chips), was severely over priced for the quality. If you end up here, only do your drinking here, and do your eating across the street at the Costa Brava taqueria.
Dec 14, 2004
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Reviewed by ecoboy from Rhode Island

4.03/5  rDev +15.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4
If the fog isn't blowing in, this is THE place for a beer al fresco on Monterey Bay. Of course, if the fog isn't blowing in, most people will be at the beach, so it's not too hard to get a table outside. The inside atmosphere is much less impressive. The bar is about twelve stools and will offer a nice beer-bar experience, but the rest of the indoors is marred, IMO, by an aqua color scheme. It may say "California" but it doesn't say "brewpub."

Warning: the ale listed as "Pelican pale" is not a pale at all. But other than one mislabelling, the beer was darn good. That would be the only reason I would be drinking Chocolate Porter and Oatmeal Stout on an eighty-five degree day. The stout won gold at the 2001 San Diego real ale festival, so they must do it on cask, too.

If you can get there midweek, you'll enjoy some pretty generous food and beer prices at happy hour.

Jul 02, 2003
Seabright Brewery in Santa Cruz, CA
Brewery rating: 3.5 out of 5 with 106 ratings