Tuesday, April 15, 2014

"Beer people" get a new place in downtown SC {Edible Monterey Bay}

Here's a preview I wrote for Edible Monterey Bay's blog: click to read it there. It went live today, April 15, 2014. ~CMM

 By Camilla M. Mann

April 15, 2014 – The long-awaited Lúpulo Craft Beer House finally has an opening date. Beginning April 22nd, downtown Santa Cruz will have a new place for beer lovers to convene.

“The idea has been brewing for about a decade now. We just kept thinking that someone else would do it. But it never happened,” confesses Stuyvie Bearns Esteva, who owns Lúpulo Craft Beer House with his wife Noëlle Marie Antolin. “So we’re doing it. We want to provide a place where beer people love to go.”

Stuyvie has gained a lot of knowledge about beer over the years and wants to share that with the community. “I’m a little beer-obsessed,” he admits. “And I’m drawing inspiration from different places I’ve been. I’m not reinventing the wheel.”
Lúpulo Craft Beer House will have a carefully curated list of beers with a limited tap selection. “We’re focused on showcasing the talent of the brewers and will offer up some boutique brews alongside more affordable, but still small production craft beers.” And he’ll be tapping 5-gallon kegs to ensure that his beers are as fresh as possible. Some of their beers will sell out in a day; he doesn’t foresee anything sticking around longer than a couple of weeks at the most.

The artisan craft brews on tap will come from all over. To start with, the offerings will include Firestone Walker Pivo Pils, out of Paso Robles; XXX Black Double IPA by Midnight Sun Brewing Co., from Anchorage, Alaska; Oatmeal Stout by Alameda’s Faction Brewing; two beers from Fort Bragg’s North Coast Brewing; and Doble Lúpulo, a double IPA, brewed in collaboration with Sante Adairius Rustic Ales in Capitola.

In addition to the tapped beer, they will offer over 100 different bottled beers—many harder to find varieties—that may be purchased to take out or, what he anticipates more often, opened and shared among friends at the long, community tables where customers can learn about and share their passion for craft brewing. And, if you’re wondering, lúpulo means ‘hops’ in Spanish.         

The kitchen, focusing on seasonal, locally-sourced and organic products as much as possible, will offer up plates that are also meant to be shared with tablemates. Because Lúpulo is beer-centric, they aim not to pair beer with food, but to pair food with beer. They’re shaking up the basic bar fare.

Lunch will be based on grilled cheese sandwiches, running the gamut from a plain cheddar, the clásico, to more exotic combinations such as the verde—pesto, queso oaxaca, chèvre, arugula, avocado on sourdough—or  the canela—triple-cream brie, Monterey jack, chunky apple compote on cinnamon bread. You’ll have five sandwiches from which to choose and a trio of salads, two constant and one rotating.

Dinner will have a more Mediterranean and Latin-American flair. “I’m Mexican,” Stuyvie explains, “and Noëlle is French and Spanish. So our tapas with a twist will be a nod to both of those traditions with small, seasonal dishes to accentuate our beers.” Noëlle mentioned albondigas en almendra, pork and beef meatballs in almond-saffron sauce with white wine & saison, and tortilla española, traditional Spanish omelette with potatoes, onion and harissa aioli.

Lúpulo Craft Beer House is located in downtown Santa Cruz at 233 Cathcart Street, a few doors down from Hula’s Island Grill. Hours to start will be Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday 11:30AM-10PM. Friday, Saturday 11:30-10PM. Closed Tuesday.   

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