Crave – food & drink

Like many brewpubs, Highway 1 Brewing Company in San Mateo County was started by a homebrewer. Its slogan is “Turning Water into Something Drinkable.”

Highway 1 Brewing Company

Highway 1 Brewing Company

The indoor dining room (with its 12 windows) and the bar have views of Highway 1 and the Pacific Ocean. From the bar, if you follow the line of kegs out back, you’ll find outdoor seating as well.

I sampled the following brews and found them to be very flavorful—so flavorful, in fact, that they bordered on tasting like different styles than they actually were.

  • Rock Queen Pale Ale is a super-hoppy pale ale that’s treading perilously close to IPA territory. This beer, which has big citrus/grapefruit flavors, was throughly enjoyed by my IPA-loving friends. 5.9% ABV
  • Knuckle Down Brown is a brown ale that’s teetering into porter territory. It’s rich, dark, bitter goodness in a pint glass. 5.5% ABV
  • Peg Leg Porter  is a bourbon porter, which our server said is aged in bourbon barrels. This full-bodied dark beer, with hints of bourbon and vanilla, is poured in a 12 oz. glass rather than a pint glass. 7.8% ABV

Note: The beers on the Highway 1 Brewing Company website might not be what’s being served in the tasting room, so call ahead if you’re looking to taste something in particular.

We also sampled a few unique appetizers.

  • Fried Risotto Balls $6.95 – In this dish, balls of mushroom risotto are deep-fried, so they’re crispy on the outside and soft & creamy on the inside. The risotto had a nice mild mushroom flavor with small chunks of mushrooms. My friend, who loves the taste of mushrooms but hates the texture, found these to be delicious.
  • Spicy Buffalo Bites $8.95 – Instead of chicken, these bites feature cauliflower that’s beer-battered, deep-fried and coated in buffalo sauce. The pile of saucy veggies is served with a small side of bleu cheese dip (though I found the dip to be a bit watery and thought ranch dressing might work better here). The buffalo sauce was very spicy and, as a result, very tasty. It paired well with the IPA, softening the citrus flavors. It also brought out chocolate notes in the porter.

Highway 1 Brewing Company opened in February 2013. It’s located at 5720 Cabrillo Highway in Pescadero. For the brews, the views and the food, it’s definitely worth a stop.