While Sonoma County typically receives Northern California’s craft beer glory, a fledgling and promising beer scene is brewing on the San Mateo County coast. While the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company has long been a Coastside favorite, 2013 marks the opening of two new seaside breweries south of San Francisco, Highway 1 Brewing Company and Hop Dogma Brewing Company.
Highway 1 Brewing Company
5720 Cabrillo Highway, Pescadero, California
Just a couple miles down the coast from the Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel, Highway 1 Brewing Company has a fantastic location in Pescadero overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It was opened in February by Montara couple Jeff and Melissa Page, and it has quickly become a go-to spot for locals and passersby alike. Along with its inventive brews, it serves up a regular menu of small plates as well as a Sunday Brunch and periodic multiple-course meals that are paired with house brews.
This brewery's emphasis is on creative beers that will present something new to tasters' palates. A standout house brew is a wheat beer infused with jalapeno flavor, playfully named the French-Mexican War. As it is a new brewery, the selection of beers will continue to grow and more unique flavors are currently in the works, including a tasty sounding vanilla and bourbon porter.
In addition to its wonderful views of the Pacific, the brewpub offers an industrial, yet cozy space to relax in after a day of driving along Highway 1. A recent addition to the brewery is a spacious beer garden outfitted with a fire pit and heat lamps that will keep you warm even after the coastal fog rolls in.
Hop Dogma Brewing Company
30 Avenida Portola, Suite 1B, El Granada, California
About four miles south of the Point Montara Lighthouse Hostel and along the way to Pigeon Point, the Hop Dogma Brewing Company opens this summer in El Granada. This nano-brewery is a labor of love by Dan Littlefield and Ethan Martini, two friends who honed their skills in their homebrewing operations and are now ready to share their beers with the public.
This pair is serious about craft brewing and in addition to gaining experience at home, their dedication led them north to Oregon where they attended a beer festival and took a tour of 12 breweries last summer. The owners' passion for and knowledge of brewing has resulted in a menu of five different beers, some of which draw inspiration from the coastal surroundings and the greater Northern California area.
Tucked away in an office building on a street off of Highway one, Hop Dogma aims to be more than just a tasting room and brewery. It will also serve as club space where homebrewers can commune and share brewing tips and methods with fellow beer aficionados.
Check out these new breweries as you cruise the Pacific Coast Highway this summer (and be sure to appoint a designated driver!).