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Cidery, brewery celebrate anniversaries with event series

Santa Cruz Cider Company, along with neighbors The Slough Brewing Collective, are hosting a number of events this month. —contributed photo

WATSONVILLE—Two local businesses are celebrating their anniversaries by offering community events throughout the month of August.

Santa Cruz Cider Company (SCCC) and The Slough Brewing Collective are neighbors, both located off of Hangar Way in Watsonville. Since the brewery first opened in 2020, the two businesses have worked together to create a community hub, where people gather weekly to enjoy drinks, food trucks and, occasionally, live music and other events.

This month, to observe SCCC’s ninth anniversary, and Slough Brewing’s first anniversary of opening to the public, the businesses will be hosting a series of events each weekend. Things kicked off Aug. 5-7 with DJ sets, live music and a library cider tasting and cheese pairing.

“We are really stoked to have become a community meeting place,” said Nicole Todd, who owns SCCC with her sister Natalie Henze. “We love having events and bringing people together.”

Todd said it felt “unreal” to be celebrating nine years of business. 

“We hadn’t even realized, looking at the calendar, that we had landed on nine years,” she said. “When you’re this small, You don’t really think you’ve done much. But it’s amazing, looking back at how much we’ve accomplished.”

Having Slough Brewing as neighbors, she said, has been ideal. 

“More people drink beer than cider,” she said, “so having them next door has been great and brought in a lot of people. We love introducing people to cider.”

Todd said the first half of the month is dedicated to SCCC. On Aug. 12, DJ Soulciter will be performing with a special guest from Germany from 5-9pm. The Apple City Slough Band will perform on Aug. 13, 4-7pm, with Full Steam Dumpling providing food for sale. Another cider tasting/pairing will be held on Aug. 14, 4-6pm.

The Slough Brewing Collective will be celebrating with its own events in the second half of the month. Follow the business on social media @thesloughbeer for updates and announcements. 

Looking back, Todd said she felt proud of how much SCCC has grown, after humble beginnings of harvesting apples in the flatbed of a pickup truck. This year, they are making 8,000 gallons of cider—a couple thousand more than even last year—and now have six different local sources for apples.

“It’s been really nice to support the farms who are too small to sell to Martinelli’s,” she said. “We are paying more to get fruit from them, but the payoff is huge. We’re happy to be part of the local farming community.”

Santa Cruz Cider Company and The Slough Brewing Collective are located at 65 Hangar Way, Watsonville. For information visit santacruzciderco.com and thesloughbrewing.com.