Food & Drink

Farm-to-Table Menu Complements Craft Beers at Discretion Brewing

Discretion Brewing co-owner shares thoughts on business, beer, and food

Dylan Brody serves up a glass of Uncle Dave’s IPA to Kristen Pohlman at Discretion Brewery in Soquel. PHOTO: TARMO HANNULA

Hidden just off 41st Avenue in Soquel is Discretion Brewing, housed in a chic modern industrial building.

Owners Rob and Kathleen Genco opened it in 2013, saying they wanted to be a part of the brewery-and-beer market boom here in Santa Cruz, and to create a family business that was sustainable and gave back to the community. They are open for dine-in food and beer from 12-7pm Wednesday-Monday, and for beer only from 12-5pm on Tuesday. GT caught up with Rob, who shared his thoughts on the business, beer, and food.

What are some of your most popular beers?

ROB GENCO: Our flagship beer is our Uncle Dave’s IPA. It’s a well-balanced IPA with a malt-balanced flavor, a hint of peppery spice that comes from the rye, and fruity herbal hop aromas. It recently won a bronze medal in the category of English IPA at the Great American Beer Festival, which is the most prestigious beer contest in the world. We also have our Shimmer Pils, a refreshing German-style pilsner that is crisp and has a balanced hoppiness. In our barrel-aged program, one beer we feature is the Three Fawns. It’s a Belgian-style triple-aged in American bourbon barrels, and has a boozy warmth, redolent of vanilla, black pepper, and honey along with soft berry notes.

How would you characterize the menu?

Santos Majano owns the restaurant side of the business, and his menu focuses on farm-to-table, locally sourced, and exquisitely prepared gourmet meals. Every week, his menu changes—recently he has featured chili-fried rice with egg, cauliflower, roasted carrots, chives, house pickles, nori, and toasted sesame seeds, with an optional pork belly addition. He has also done a pan-roasted local halibut, with butternut squash purée, bok choy, and Calabrian chili butter sauce. Another recent dish he featured is an autumn squash risotto, with maple-glazed carrots, roasted mushrooms, arugula, toasted pecans, and Parmigiano Reggiano.

What’s the best thing about your outdoor beer garden?

From the beginning, we planted our garden with edible plants, fruits and vegetables, so it’s a living garden that changes with the seasons. We have about 12 tables out there, with sunny and shady spots, and with the soft textures of plants and redwood stumps. We have also recently more than doubled the space of the outdoor beer garden to support safe Covid-19 dining.

2703 41st Ave., Suite A, Soquel. 831-316-0662,

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