Meet the newest craft brewer on the block
Not all beers are created equal, so allow us to introduce you to the latest homegrown Santa Cruz brewer that’s certainly worth your time: Humble Sea. Their beers will be hitting the market in the coming month or two. The company is the brainchild of local Nick Pavlina; also on the Humble Sea team are Taylor West and Frank Krueger. The trio is trying to strike that perfect balance between traditional and experimental beers. Did someone say jalapeños?
Can people buy your beer at stores?
NICK PAVLINA: Not just yet. We just got our final legal approval a couple of weeks ago. Our plan is to be in a handful of restaurants around town in the next month or two. Right now we’re brewing in Ben Lomond in a small barn. We’re not allowed to have a taproom on residential property. Our plan is to open one in Santa Cruz. This is our first step to getting there. We’re small scale right now. It doesn’t make sense to package our beer in anything but kegs. I’ve been brewing beer for about eight years and have been trying to open Humble Sea for quite a few years now. I approached Frank and Taylor about a year ago to go in as business partners to help me really get this thing going. We’ve really come a long way in the past year.
What’s your specialty?
It’s mostly craft lagers, as opposed to ales, which is what everyone makes, [and] which are a little easier and take less time. We do a lot of traditional beers with a West Coast twist: a little extra hoppy, with some non-traditional ingredients here and there like coriander and lemongrass and jalapeño. We do a Mexican IPL, an India Pale Lager. We use jalapeño in it. There’s some tropical fruit and corn with the jalapeño. It’s a very interesting and different beer. It’s not overpowering. You can smell it and taste it, but it doesn’t burn.
Where did you get the name Humble Sea?
I used to live in Pleasure Point. When I really thought seriously about brewing, I was trying to think of a name that represented me. The sea has always been a big part of my life; I wanted to incorporate that somehow. And I’ve always tried to stay humble with everything that I do, especially making beer. Humble Sea just sounded cool. It sounded different, and it just kind of stuck.
BARN BREWS Frank Krueger, Nick Pavlina and Taylor West of Humble Sea Brewery, which will roll out its new line of traditional and experimental beers in the coming month or two. PHOTO: CHIP SCHEUER.