best of santa cruz discretion brewing
Cover Stories

Best of Santa Cruz County 2019: Music & Nightlife

The best breweries, pubs, places to play pool and more

 

Best Craft Brewer (local)

Discretion Brewing

  1. A local community-oriented business, Discretion Brewing is operated by generations of the local Genco family and their brewers.
  2. Discretion Brewery uses only organic ingredients in their brews, and also has a beer-centered kitchen operation specializing in snacks and shareable comfort food.
  3. The first brewery in Santa Cruz to invest in solar power to brew its beer.
  4. One hundred percent of all the used grain goes to local pigs instead of in the trash. That adds up to 225,000 pounds diverted from landfills annually.
  5. Discretion hosts “Love Monday” each Monday, where they feature—and donate to—a local non-profit.

 

Best Live Music Venue

Moe’s Alley

  1. Moe’s features live music four or five nights a week, often from nationally or internationally prominent performers who’ve been making regular visits to Santa Cruz for years. Among those who have played Moe’s often enough to be honorary locals include Dave Wakeling of the English Beat, Jerry Garcia sideman Melvin Seals, reggae stars such as the Mighty Diamonds and Sly & Robbie, and blues greats like Chris Cain and Coco Montoya, among many others. best of santa cruz moe's alley
  2. Moe’s originally opened its doors in 1991, first as a straight blues club to showcase the surviving-but-often-overlooked masters of the mid-century blues boom, such as Pinetop Perkins, Albert Collins and Jimmy Rogers. The club also provided a stage for underappreciated local greats like Bob Lowery and Virgil Thrasher.
  3. The club soon diversified its sound and gave local audiences the opportunity to experience a number of amazing acts they could not see otherwise, like the kitschy Russian surf band the Red Elvises. It also became the home stage for such acts as SambaDa and B-Side Players.
  4. Moe’s was the organizer of the Santa Cruz Blues Festival during that festival’s 20-plus-year run in Aptos. The festival gave locals a chance to experience such giants in concert as Ray Charles, Etta James and B.B. King.
  5. Among the treats in store at Moe’s in 2019 is a two-show night with Los Lobos (pictured), a performance by Shooter (son of Waylon) Jennings, the great California roots rockers the Blasters, and back-to-back shows with Metalachi, the world’s only heavy metal mariachi band.

 


 

Bar

515 Kitchen & Cocktails

515 Cedar St., Santa Cruz, 425-5051, 515santacruz.com

RUNNERS-UP The Crow’s Nest, Red Room  

 

Bartender

Molly McVeigh @ Rush Inn

RUNNERS-UP Manny Mescalito @ Front & Cooper, Josh Youngblood @ Oswald

 

Craft Brewer (local)

Discretion Brewing

2703 41st Ave. Suite A, Soquel, 316-0662, discretionbrewing.com

RUNNERS-UP Humble Sea, Sante Adairius Rustic Ales

 

Dance Club

Motiv

1209 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz, 429-8070, motivsc.com

RUNNERS-UP Blue Lagoon, Moe’s Alley

 

Fancy Cocktails

515 Kitchen & Cocktails

515 Cedar St., Santa Cruz, 425-5051, 515santacruz.com

RUNNERS-UP Front & Cooper, Oswald

 

Happy Hour

Hula’s Island Grill  

221 Cathcart St., Santa Cruz, 426-4852, hulastiki.com

RUNNERS-UP The Crow’s Nest, Shadowbrook

 

Karaoke

Boardwalk Bowl / Coasters Bar & Grill

115 Cliff St., Santa Cruz, 423-5590, beachboardwalk.com

RUNNERS-UP Blue Lounge, I Love Sushi

 

Live Music

Moe’s Alley

1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz,

479-1854, moesalley.com

RUNNERS-UP Catalyst, Kuumbwa Jazz

 

Local Band

Extra Large

extra-large.net

RUNNERS-UP Coffis Brothers, Sambada

 

Local Musician

Jesse Daniel

jessedanielmusic.com

RUNNERS-UP Alex Lucero, Joe Ferrara, Patti Maxine

 

Margaritas

El Palomar

1336 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz,

425-7575, elpalomarsantacruz.com

RUNNERS-UP Margaritaville, Tortilla Flats

 

Place to Play Pool

Fast Eddy’s

4300 Capitola Rd., Capitola, 462-1882, fasteddysbilliards.net

RUNNERS-UP Brady’s Yacht Club, Surf City Billiards

 

Place to Play Darts

Poet & Patriot Irish Pub

320 Cedar St., Santa Cruz, 426-8620

RUNNERS-UP One Double Oh Seven Club, Surf City Billiards

 

Pub

Parish Publick House

841 Almar Ave., Santa Cruz, 426-8620, theparishpublick.com

RUNNERS-UP Poet & Patriot, Rosie McCann’s  

 

Tap Room

Beer Thirty

2504 S Main St., Soquel, 477-9967, beerthirtysantacruz.com

RUNNERS-UP Lupulo Craft Beer House, West End Tap & Kitchen

 


 

PHOTOS BY KEANA PARKER

Staff Writer at Good Times |

Wallace Baine has been an arts writer, film critic, columnist and editor in Santa Cruz for more than 25 years. He is the author of “A Light in the Midst of Darkness,” a cultural history of the independent bookseller Bookshop Santa Cruz, as well as the book “Rhymes with Vain: Belabored Humor and Attempted Profundity,” and the story collection “The Last Temptation of Lincoln.” He is a staff writer for Good Times, Metro Silicon Valley and San Benito/South Valley magazine.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Are you an earthling? Prove it with logic: *

To Top