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Hop On the SLO Beer Trail

Posted March 15, 2016

Don’t get us wrong, we love our wine. But sometimes, there’s nothing better than an ice cold beer. Luckily, SLO has both! Over the past year or so, we’ve seen huge growth in the number of local, craft breweries that SLO has to offer. Each brewery offers something unique for visitors and locals alike, from small batch, specialty brews to fun events with live music and bites to eat.

Check out these SLO Breweries next time you’re in town:

Bang the Drum Brewery – 950 Orcutt Road

A few miles from Downtown SLO, Bang the Drum Brewery is a must-see on your beer tour of SLO. Hosting weekly events and performances by local musicians, Bang the Drum’s tasting room offers a fun, down-to-earth atmosphere. They even have a plethora of drums for visitors to bang on – we’ve heard drinking more beer unveils hidden musical talents. Fun fact: Bang the Drum Brewery is the smallest brewery on the Central Coast with ½ barrel batch sizes. Although their beer line-up is constantly changing, some of their creations include the “King Mate,” a yerba mate infused English IPA, a Gluten-Free IPA and “Nebula,” a bourbon barrel aged chocolate porter.

Currently on tap –

  • King Mate, Yerba Mate Infused English IPA 6.5%
  • Draca, Smoked Porter with Chipotle Peppers, 5.6%
  • Barley Wine, Bourbon Barrel Aged Barley wine, 10.7%
  • Session, Light, Hoppy American Pale Ale, 4.5%
  • Nebula, Bourbon Barrel Aged Chocolate Porter, 7.7%
  • Wild Wine, American Wild Bourbon Barrel Ale Blend, 10.5%
  • Surprise Me, White Stout blended with Slocal Lactose and Coffee, 5.3%

Bang the Drum is open Sunday – Thursday from 2 – 10 pm and Friday – Saturday from 12 pm – 12 am. If you’re visiting during the week, be sure to stop by for Trivia Night every Wednesday from 7 – 9 pm.



BarrelHouse Brewing Co. – 1033 Chorro Street

BarrelHouse Brewing Co. recently opened their Speakeasy, right in the heart of Downtown San Luis Obispo. Although the storefront’s façade seems to be a barbershop (and it actually is), visitors transcend to the prohibition era as they walk down the stairs. BarrelHouse has an array of brews from their year round series to their forager series, small batch series, reservado de robles and salvaje de robles. Aside from their great beers, you can also get a great hair cut! Just like the good ole days, you can enjoy a haircut, shave and a pint of your favorite brew.

Currently on tap –

  • Templeton, Kolsch Style Ale, 4.5%
  • Sunny Daze, Citrus Blonde Ale, 5.2%
  • Blonde, Tropical Wheat Ale, 5.0%
  • Rye IPA, 6.5%
  • IPA, 7.0%
  • Stout, Oatmeal Stout 6.0%
  • IPAngo, Mango IPA, 7.0%
  • Good Medicine, Session IPA, 5.3%
  • Horchata Blanca, 4.9%
  • Citrus Double IPA, 9.2%
  • Curly Wolf, Maple Vanilla Bourbon Stout, 10.4%
  • Pomegranate Berliner Weisse, 3.2%
  • Celebratory Ale No.3, Rum Plum Dark Sour, 8.3%
  • Wild Peacot, Barrel Select, 6.6%
  • Wild Dapple Fire, 6.9%
  • Southern Brit-ISH Brown on Nitro with Coco & Coffee, 4.5%

BarrelHouse Speakeasy is open Tuesday – Thursday from 3 – 10 pm and Friday – Sunday from 11 am – 10 pm. They also host private events on Monday if you are looking for a fun, unique event space.


Central Coast Brewing – 1422 Monterey Street

Prior to the booming craft beer movement, Central Coast Brewing made its mark on San Luis Obispo in 1998. Known as the “neighborhood brewery,” Central Coast Brewing’s laid back atmosphere makes it perfect for enjoying a flight out on the patio or sitting amongst the production barrels inside. From their Chai Ale, a spiced blonde, to their Deep Dark, a bourbon barrel-aged imperial oatmeal stout, there is something for everyone at CCB.

Currently on tap –

  • Catch 23, Black Rye IPA, 7.5%
  • Cervantez, Vienna Amber Lager, 5.0%
  • Chai Ale, Spiced Blonde, 4.9%
  • Brewing Deep Dark, Stout, 12.5%
  • General Schwarz, Black Lager, 5.3%
  • Golden Glow, Pale Ale, 5.6%
  • Head Over Peels, Belgian Wit w/ Orange Peel and Coriander, 4.8%
  • Lemon Peel Pils, German Pilsner w/ Lemon, 6.5%
  • Lucky Day, IPA, 7.2%
  • Monterey Street, Pale Ale, 5.5%
  • SLO Blonde, Munich Helles Lager, 5.2%
  • Stenner Creek, Oatmeal Stout, 6.0%
  • Terrace Hill, Double IPA 9.5%

Central Coast Brewing is open Monday – Friday from 12 – 9 pm and Saturday – Sunday from 11 am – 9 pm.



Libertine Brewing Company– 1234 Broad Street

Located in Downtown San Luis Obispo, the Libertine tasting room offers a unique environment to taste some interesting ales. Need a break from the beers? They also offer cold brew coffee, using SLO roasted coffee beans that are steeps in a bourbon barrel for two days, on tap. If that doesn’t make you want to pay them a visit, I don’t know what will (ok, maybe the beer). Come in on a Monday night from 6:30 – 7:30 pm for BOGA, a relaxing yoga class and a draft beer of your choice. The Libertine also offers a beer club, giving members 12 wild ale bottles, a custom growler, Libertine swag and so much more!

Currently on tap –

  • 1234 Broad St. Bier, 5.5%
  • Saison, 6.4%
  • Wild IPA, 5.5%
  • Saison Fonce, 4.6%
  • Nitro Coffee Stout, 5.6%
  • Table Saison, 5%
  • Boardroom 2.0, 6%
  • Passion of the Table, 5.5%
  • Jove, 6%
  • Good Vibrations, 6%

Libertine Brewing Company is open Tuesday – Thursday 4 – 10 pm, Friday – Sunday 12 – 10 pm and Monday for BOGA only.



SLO Brew

Having opened their doors back in 1988, SLO Brew is one of the longest standing brew pubs in California. Although they are currently closed, SLO Brew has lots of exciting things to come in 2016 including The Brew, The Rock and The Lofts. Located in the heart of Downtown, the Brew will feature their brand-new brewery, restaurant and intimate music venue. Visitors can also stop by the Rock to tour their expanded brewing and bottling line or enjoy a concert at their outdoor beer garden. Check out SLO Brew’s website for updates on their various projects.


Tap It Brewing Company – 675 Clarion Court

Family-owned and brewed, Tap It Brewing Company recently celebrated their 6th anniversary in SLO. Tap It offers ample space both indoors and outdoors, featuring a substantial fire pit, human-size Jenga and lots of live music (pretty much on weekly basis). Tap It also works directly with local farmers to grow their own hops through the Hops Project.

Currently on tap –

  • Special Release in March Rimfire Red, Imperial Red, 9%
  • Stop by or give ‘em a call to see what else is brewin’!

Tap It is open Sunday – Wednesday 12 – 7 pm and Thursday – Saturday 12 – 9 pm.