In French, à santé, is a common toast which means “to health.” In Capitola, Sante Adairius is a craft brewery whose ales, in November, earned the People’s Choice Award at the West Coast Barrel Aged Beer Festival.
The brewery is located on the Highway 1 frontage road just where it makes its turn back toward the village. From the tap room you can peer into the brewery. On a pleasant Saturday afternoon, brewer Tim Clifford visited with patrons, while his wife Adair Paterno, for whom the brewery is also named, poured beer from behind the custom reclaimed wood bar.
We ordered a tasting flight ($7) of the three draft brews which were served in small snifters.
I noted a malty touch in the murky golden Simple: Citra (5.8 percent ABV) and found it refreshing and thirst-quenching.
The Chavez (6.8 percent ABV) is a slightly sour dark porter named for a close friend who brews at Seabright Brewery.
The aroma of Vanilla Joe (6.8 percent ABV) immediately revealed the Verve coffee with which it is flavored, along with a light touch of vanilla.
We also sampled West Ashley, a tart apricot-imbued Saison aged in a pinot barrel. Saison beers are Belgian farmhouse ales brewed in the winter with low alcohol levels and intended to hydrate the summer’s seasonal workers.
We brought home a 750 mL bottle of Saison Bernice ($15), which is fermented with brettanomyces, a type of yeast that Clifford says is typically feared by winemakers as a spoiling agent. It’s what gives lambics their wonderful tartness, and the brewery uses it to bring out funky sour and leather flavors.
Boysenberry-infused Adjunct Professor, is a Belgian-style Imperial stout aged in a syrah cask. I appreciated the friendliness of the handwritten label. Also available are refillable one-liter trollers ($12/$8) and two-liter growlers ($13). | KP
Sante Adairius Rustic Ales, 103 Kennedy Drive, Capitola. Open Thursday and Friday 4-8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 1-7 p.m. Follow the brewery on facebook, or visit rusticales.com.