Hate beer? Me too. At least I thought I did. As it turns out, , I just hate the mass market, frat party beers I choked down when I didn’t know any better, and never gave it a chance since. Apparently all it takes is a few good artisan beers to turn a person around!

I would never have thought I would enjoy spending time beer tasting. In fact, when the idea for a trip down to Santa Cruz to visit a friend of Christine and her sister Meaghan who recently gave up his (relatively) high-paying corporate job to work at a tiny brewery, I was pretty worried I was going to be an embarrassment. Especially next to Chloe, my younger sister who’s got a taste for IPAs and Asian lagers. But it really was a great experience. Sante Adairius Rustic Ales is a teeny little place with 1 bottled beer and 5 ever-changing beers on tap at a time. It really made for the perfect spot for my first foray into enjoying beer.

Meaghan and Christine’s friend, Jason, embodies a great beer connoisseur- passionate and informed, while also laid-back and inviting. He told us a little bit about each beer, and would you believe it? I wasn’t totally offended by any of them! There were a few that weren’t my favorite, like the Smoked Imperial Stout, but I really appreciated them all. I even took home a bottle of their Maiden Fields, a tart sour beer.

On a side note, it’s easy to forget what job satisfaction looks like, and it was crazy inspirational to see someone so happy doing something relatively unconventional.

And then we went for ice cream afterwards! Chloe and I shared a double cone of Dark Chocolate Sorbet and, wait for it, Orange Star Anise Sorbet. It was incredible: between that and the beer, my palette was officially rocked.

If you’ve never visited a microbrewery, I’d definitely recommend it, especially if, like me, you think you’re not a beer drinker. In the time since our trip, I’ve even tried a few other beers,  and am warming up to all of them, or, at least, making forming educated opinions of them. If you’re in the area, Sante Adairius Rustic Ales is really wonderful, ask for Jason!

And would you look at that, I’m officially a beer snob drinker!

details: green quilted jacket, Forever 21; white peplum t-shirt, ASOS; navy button down (hidden), thrifted J. Crew; houndstooth dress/worn as skirt, H&M; black tights, Hue; black oxfords, thrifted.