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Berkeley’s Gilman Brewing Is Now Pouring Hazy IPAs and Farmhouse Ales by the Beach

The East Bay brewery opened its fourth location at 817 Soquel Avenue in midtown Santa Cruz

Nader Khouri
Lauren Saria is the editor of Eater SF and has been writing about food, drinks, and restaurants for more than a decade.

For all those heading down the coast in search of warmer weather and sunnier skies, take note of a new brewery bringing hefty IPAs and crisp farmhouse ales to the beach. Berkeley’s Gilman Brewing Company debuted its fourth location at 817 Soquel Avenue in midtown Santa Cruz in December and has spent the last six months dialing things in says Gilman Brewing Company co-owner Sean Wells. Now they’re ready to more formally throw open the doors and welcome customers into the 2,500-square-foot taproom and 1,500-square-foot weather-proofed beer garden.

In terms of beer, look for the same (or a very similar) lineup of beers as is available at the West Berkeley brewhouse — that means several kinds of IPAs, three different saisons, a pilsner, a porter, and a lager.

The Santa Cruz taproom and restaurant will be the only of the brewery’s four locations to serve its own food menu however, Wells notes. “The plan is for this one to be sort of the flagship in terms of the restaurant,” he says. On the menu, look for Neapolitan-inspired pizzas, a smash burger, dogs, brats, and pretzels. But the most exciting menu item in Well’s mind is the Nashville hot chicken sandwich. “That’s really my baby,” he says. “It is as close as I’ve yet to have as what you get in Nashville.”

Meanwhile at the brewery’s other outposts in Berkeley, Daly City, and Pleasanton, Detroit-style pizza specialist Joyride Pizza will be providing food. The Berkeley and Daly City outposts are already slinging crispy-edged pizzas with pints of beer, and the Pleasanton location aims to be back online in the coming weeks following some kitchen renovations.

Eventually, Wells says the Santa Cruz location will also add weekend brunch, and yes, the menu will include that hot chicken sandwich. The expansion down towards Monterey Bay has been personal for Wells; he moved with his family down to the beach city in 2020. “It’s been nice to have something close to where I am,” he says.

Gilman Brewing Company is now open at 817 Soquel Avenue in Santa Cruz.