While most know the Central Coast for their wines and great places to dine, there are a wide variety of craft breweries in San Luis Obispo County. It truly is a beer lover’s paradise. Some breweries, like the popular SLO Brew, have restaurants and offer tap room tours. With so many things to do in San Luis Obispo, be sure to pencil in time for a cold refreshment at one of the locations below.
Local Breweries in San Luis Obispo
Being the smallest brewery on the Central Coast, with a humble batch size of ½ barrel, Bang The Drum offers many unique handcrafted beers and hosts trivia nights, weekly events and performances by local musicians on their expansive patio.
BarrelHouse Brewing Co, San Luis Obispo & Paso Robles
Started in early 2013, BarrelHouse Brewing Co is the brainchild of two lifelong friends with just as much experience in wine making as they do brewing beer, focusing on small batch beer projects. Although the main brewery, beer garden and taproom are nestled in the rolling hills of Paso Robles, BarrelHouse Brewing Co recently opened a speakeasy-themed taproom in Downtown San Luis Obispo. Although the building’s façade might look like a barbershop, you’ll have to go underground to discover the hidden brewery that awaits.
Established in 1998, Central Coast Brewery is a premier neighborhood brewery that crafts award-winning, small-batch beers with a local flavor. Located on the edge of Downtown San Luis Obispo, Central Coast Brewing features one-of-a-kind signature ales and lagers like their Chai Ale. At CCB, you can sit on the patio and enjoy one of their 12 handcrafted varieties with some delicious eats from local food trucks.
Libertine Brewing Company, San Luis Obispo & Morro Bay
The Libertine Brewing Company puts a Central Coast spin on classic beers. Using winemaking techniques combined with brewing science, this brewery utilizes fruits, local ingredients and unique yeast varieties to create one-of-a-kind ales. Focused on brewing barrel aged wild ales, the Libertine Brewing Company offers handcrafted beers, small batch spirits, and local food favorites like Morro Bay’s clam chowder. Libertine brewed beers include Coffeetine infused with Hawaiian coffee beans, the Cranberry Pumpkin Porter and many more. The Libertine Brewing Company recently opened up an expansive taproom in Downtown San Luis Obispo, too.
Out with the old, in with the new! Creekside Brewing Company was reborn in summer of 2016 as Metro Brewing Company. Overlooking the San Luis Obispo Creek, Metro Brewing Company has a state-of-the-art, seven-barrel brewing system on display inside their brewery. Serving small bites that complement their beers on tap, such as the fan-favorite chicken and waffles, Metro Brewing Company offers the perfect combination of craft beer and decadent food in Downtown San Luis Obispo.
Although widely known as a major concert venue for both local and national artists alike, SLO Brew is an active brewery on Higuera Street in the heart of Downtown San Luis Obispo. Popular among students and local residents alike, SLO Brew is home to “rockin’ good beer,” live music and a great time. With a vast array of beer choices from Blueberry Ale to Oatmeal Stout, there’s always something new to taste, hear and enjoy at SLO Brew.
If you’re looking for a SLO Brew experience outside of downtown, SLO Brew Rock is the place to visit. Featuring their 30-barrel brew house, tasting room, biergarten restaurant and concert venue, SLO Brew Rock can be found right near San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport on the outskirts of SLO.
Family-owned and brewed, Tap It Brewing Co is a laid back, pet-friendly brewery with both indoor and outdoor sitting areas. Tap It proudly hosts “Geeks Who Drink” trivia on Wednesday evenings, weekly happy hours, live music and is constantly introducing new beers on tap. What more could you ask for?
Breweries Near San Luis Obispo
Bristols Cider, Atascadero
With nine artisan hard ciders produced from locally sourced apples and yeast varieties, Bristols Cider ferments various ciders in all sorts of vessels, from white wine barrels to bourbon casks – quite a unique treat.
Cambria Beer Company, Cambria
Cambria Beer Company is a small family owned brewery with sales exclusive to the taproom. Don’t miss out on their take home growlers with brews like Slab Town, an American Pale Ale, or the Green Valley IPA.
Dunbar Brewing, Santa Margarita
Known for their dark beers such as the Scottish Heavy and Double Brown Porter, Dunbar Brewing is a local, rustic bar full of house-brewed draft beers and specialty ales.
Earth and Fire, Paso Robles
Opened in July 2016, Earth and Fire is the result of a collaboration between Nick Vega and Nolan Mott, two engineers with a genuine love of beer. Mott, a Cal Poly graduate, has taken the university’s “learn by doing” motto to heart and is always experimenting with new beer formulas. Earth and Fire offers a Belgian, IPA, Porter, Stout, Saison and a Chocolate Bonfire Stout, with more on the way. Plus, if you stop by on a weekend, you can grab some tri-tip barbeque to go with your favorite brew.
Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co, Arroyo Grande & Santa Maria
Focused on producing top tier recipes since day one, Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co brews over 15 beers, including the well-known Hoppy Poppy IPA and other taproom exclusives. Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co has taproom locations in Arroyo Grande, Buellton, Los Olivos, Santa Barbara, Santa Maria and Westlake Village. With so many choices, there’s no excuse for not trying one of these Central Coast craft beers.
Firestone Walker Brewing Company, Paso Robles
Brewing its first beer in 1996, Firestone Walker Brewing Company has seen massive success and grown drastically in distribution thanks to its famous “805” beer. Best of all, they offer guided brew house and cellar tours every day! Firestone strongly recommends reservations since space is limited, but you can always head over to their Taproom Restaurant next door, which has 16 beers on draft, as well as a vintage library of beers from past releases.
ManRock Brewing Company, Grover Beach
Located in South San Luis Obispo County, ManRock Brewing Company is dedicated to small batch brewing and experimentation on-site, including their Bag O’ Bones, which is a Honey Nut Brown Ale, and Fear the Reapers, an Amber Ale. Open seven days a week to the public and their four-legged friends, ManRock Brewing Company brings a family vibe to the taproom in addition to live music every Friday night. Stop by for one of their custom beers on tap and try out a specialty wood fired pizza. Your taste buds will surely thank you.
Pismo Brewing Company, Pismo Beach
Good for both the kids and the adults, Pismo Brewing Company features an ever-changing lineup of six custom crafted brews and mouth-watering root beer on tap in their tasting room with food specials like a Pint & Dog or the classic Pizza & Beer. The first microbrew in Pismo really does have something for everyone.
Tent City Brewing Company, Atascadero
Tent City Brewing Company was started by a group of best friends in Atascadero with the idea of sharing their love and passion for great American Beer. Brewing with only the finest ingredients, they offer five house beers including a Pale Ale, Imperial Red, IPA, Stout and Blonde Ale.
Beer Festivals & Events
Look no further than San Luis Obispo for some of the best beer festivals in California. Meet the local brewers and find a new beer to love!
- SLO Craft Beer Festival, February 25, 2017
- California Festival of Beers, May 26 – 27, 2017
- American Craft Beer Week, May 2017
- Firestone Walker Invitational Beer Festival, June 4, 2017
- Madonna Inn Oktoberfest, October 1, 2016
- Hard Core Cider Tour, October 21, 2017
- Los Osos Oktoberfest, October 25, 2016