Monterey County

Craft beer booming on the Central Coast

Craft brew trend on the rise on the Central Coast

MONTEREY, Calif. - It's the depth of flavor from Alvarado Street Brewery and Grill's hoppy ipas and crisp lagers that bring people through the doors.

"It's nice to have something this good, this local," said customer David Maynard.

Just south of them, people are flocking to East Cliff Brewing Company in Santa Cruz where they're also serving up English ales with some unique characters.

"It's a major beer culture in the world that isn't very well represented in the current craft beer scene," said East Cliff Brewing Company James Hrica.

Alvarado Street Brewery opened two years ago and East Cliff is the new kid on the block. It's only been around for a little more than two months. But both places are part of a bigger movement, craft brewing, which is taking over the country and the Central Coast.

"I think people are finally starting to appreciate better ingredients in their beer," said Cristian Limon with Barel Aged Brothers.

"The consumer's just discovering this huge world that extends beyond your standard physio-yellow American lager," said Alvarado Street Brewery and Grill brew master J.C. Hill.

According to the Brewers Association, in 2015 craft brewers produced 24 million barrels, which is a 13 percent rise in volume. Retail dollar value was estimated at a little more than $22 billion.

"We just opened our production facility out in Salinas to start brewing on a little bit bigger scale and keep up with demand," said Hill.

Local breweries told KION they're even starting to appeal to families. Parents bringing in their kids has become a new thing.

"It's really nice to have locations like this where you can come and have a drink and relax," said Ian Peters-Campbell. Campbell brings his family to breweries.

Since everybody is so relaxed, parents said there is not so much judgement or snarky comments if your kid screams.

"It's not weird and people aren't looking down at you for having your kids there," said Campbell. "So I think it will probably be good for a lot of parents."

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