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
Reviews: 20 | Ratings: 30 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by GeoffFromSJ:
Photo of GeoffFromSJ
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.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Spaceman_Jer
3.53/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.25 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.5

Photo of gr8fulbeerhead
3.46/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.25 | food: 4

Photo of Scrap
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 (-:

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Photo of Keananmichael5
3.58/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.5

Photo of JDoHo
3.59/5  rDev +2.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.75

Photo of MikeyGCAP
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.

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Photo of xJMFCx
3.93/5  rDev +12.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

Photo of twb0392
3/5  rDev -14%

Photo of AWA
3.75/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of brywhite
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of mctizzz
3.75/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of BeerisUber
3/5  rDev -14%

Photo of paddlenaked
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.

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Photo of DoubleJ
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.

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Photo of Billolick
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.

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Photo of Lothore
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.

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Photo of bret27
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 ;)

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Photo of doho95fu
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.

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Photo of number1bum
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.

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Photo of bulletrain76
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.

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Photo of 1759Girl
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.

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Photo of illidurit
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.

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Photo of John_M
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.

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Photo of bradybeer
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.

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Seabright Brewery in Santa Cruz, CA
Brewery rating: 3.46 out of 5 with 105 ratings