Our Story

In 2009, Humble Sea Brewery began in the side yard of a seedy dwelling, located in Santa Cruz’s Pleasure Point. Nick Pavlina was in his early twenties and had recently graduated from Chico State University. He moved into the ultimate bachelor pad with his best friends in the heart of Pleasure Point. There were monthly parties, plenty of surf to be had and copious amounts of beer consumption. Nick regularly brewed, using his friends as a testing ground. 

Before long, his beer was in high demand. Seven years later, after circulating through a variety of Nick’s acquaintances, Frank & Taylor moved into the same 34th ave house. Where the original idea was planted, Nick’s dream sprung forward like a weed with just enough sunlight. Collaboration occurred. A team formed. Humble Sea Brewery ascended upwards and into clouds of soft water profiles Southern Hemispheric aromas.


Who started this thing?

Nick Pavlina

Head Brewer, Cofounder

The head brewer and soul behind the beer. Nick is a second-generation Chico State graduate, learning to homebrew from his dad back in 2008 and obsessively brewing ever since. After graduating from the American Brewers Guild with a degree in brewing and engineering he set out to make this damn dream a reality. Beyond fixing literally everything in the brewery, Nick specializes in brewing traditional European ales and lagers with artistic and distinctly American twists.


Taproom & Accounts Manager, Cofounder

Manager of our taproom and tiny restaurant. Taylor comes from a royal lineage of of beertending and managing at places like West End Tap & Kitchen, a gastro-pub voted best in Santa Cruz in 2014, Lúpulo Craft Beer House, and East End Gastropub. As we grow he'll move onto managing our sales and operations. When he's not sweating profusely in our taproom he's shredding nectar little waves, reading and/or bio-hacking his body to perform better than yours. 

Frank Scott Krueger

Creative director, cofounder

Designer, brander, and in-house pretentious hipster. Frank's background is as a creative director for design agency Good Knife that focuses on designing apps for fun brands like Spotify, Looker, Expedia and his mom. He's had strange and roller coaster-esque experiences founding startups and and making art of his own. When he's not screenprinting random shit for Humble Sea you can find him traveling, taking photos or seeking the worlds rarest and sexiest beers known to man.


The Brew Team

Shane Winkler

Barrel Program Director

Shane comes to us from the deep south. In Austin, Shane participated in Jester King’s brewing  apprenticeship program, where he cultivated a curiosity for mixed cultures and anything funky. Shane and his family moved to Santa Cruz because they couldn’t move to New Zealand.  Aside from beer, Shane loves fast cars, Ducatis, 80s punk, and the color black. He’s the father figure we all wish we had.

Jacob Luna


Jacob has always impressed the team with his ability to identify and dissect beer trends. His discerning palate, passion for drinking, and unmatched work ethic cemented his position as the backbone of the brewhouse. He and Ben live together and have one cat.

Ben Ward


A home brewer for 7 years, former manager at Companion, and veteran of Seven Bridges Organic Brewing Supply, which seems to be a factory churning out local brewers. We caught Ben considering starting his own brewery. Luckily for him, we talked him out of it. Ben currently assists Nick in brewery operations. He likes poetry, and hates spaghetti.


Taproom CREW

It's a fact, we have the greatest beertenders of all time. The best way to get to know them is to come in for a beer and ask awkward questions about dress code and carbonation levels. 

You can also get a damn good feel for them on our Instagram :) 



See our brewers do dumb things online. It's public on our Instagram