I love a good beercation. There is something magical about stepping into a brewery for the first time, examining the atmosphere, checking out the amenities, meeting new people and, of course, sampling new beer. Most breweries achieve their own magic through an assortment of beers, but others have made a name for themselves by focusing on a specific niche, and that is exactly the case at Libertine Brewing, located at 1234 Broad Street in downtown San Luis Obispo, California.
Welcome to Our New Home
Libertine Brewing was one of several breweries I visited on a beercation tour of San Luis Obispo and I quickly noticed that Libertine was undergoing renovation. Thankfully, the beer was still flowing and I was able to sample some homemade suds plus take a tour of the new facility.
Libertine Brewing features a large interior, with a long bar, television sets, and music. There is a good deal of space so I wouldn’t worry too much about the place getting too full to seat you- with the large number of seats, it’s only a matter of waiting for a table to vacate, which shouldn’t take long. They have outdoor seating, too, perfect for enjoying the excellent weather so common to this area.
One small issue guests may have is with parking. Libertine Brewing doesn’t have its own parking lot. That means you will have to seek out street parking or head to one of the nearby public garages and park your car there, then walk over. Just be careful to make sure where you park is legal for public parking and if you park on the street, be sure to juice up the parking meter with several coins to allow plenty of time for your visit.
Try Some Beer
Libertine Brewing specializes in sour beers. They serve about 20 of their own beers on tap and have another 30 to 40 taps from other breweries. When I visited, I sampled six different Libertine beers. Here is a summary in alphabetical order, followed by the style and my Untappd rating, out of 5 stars:
- Edna Table Saison, Farmhouse Ale, 4
- Freddy Got Fingered, Wild Ale, 4
- Gary, Sour Wild Ale, 3.75
- Halter Saison, Farmhouse Ale, 4
- Shark Bubbles, Double IPA, 3.25
- Wild IPA, American IPA, 4
Beers at Libertine are sold by the taster, full glass, or growler. They also serve full bottles (wine size, 750 ml) of their own beers. And the selection is very large and rotating, so you are bound to find something new to try, whenever you visit.
Sour Brew from Libertine to You
Libertine Brewing in San Luis Obispo was one of eight different stops on my brewery tour of the California Central Coast. I did my homework before visiting so I knew that Libertine specialized in sour beer. I’m not a huge fan of sours, but I will try anything labeled as beer and I admit that I have discovered some interesting and memorable sour brews over the past few years, in spite of my resistance to the style.
I started my visit to Libertine Brewing by taking a tour of the facility. As I said, they were undergoing renovation at the time, but the construction is complete now, so don’t let this hold you back from visiting. Most importantly, don’t let the fact that Libertine Brewing specializes in sour beers hold you back, because as I can attest, Libertine has a firm grip on brewing sour brews, with some very distinct and tasty beers. As you can see from my ratings above, I awarded four of the six beers I tried with a 4 star rating. I was a little hesitant at first, but the beer won me over quickly and by the end of the first taster, I was ready to sample more.
I like what I tried at Libertine Brewing and I think most craft beer fans who visit will feel the same. Sour beers are difficult to judge and recommend and that is because, in my experience, I find that personal taste differences/preferences with sours are so great, that what one person loves another may detest. You might argue that this is true with any beer, but I find it even truer with sours. I have tried some sour beers that had 4+ star ratings from well- respected beer communities and I tipped my glass with high expectations, only to discover a beer that tasted spoiled and off- kilter, resulting in my own 2 star rating- well below the norm. I think this is true with most sour beers, but trust me when I say that Libertine has this whole sour beer thing nipped in the bud. They know what they are doing, and the craftsmanship shows in each pour.
Libertine Brewing is not just a place that brews sour beer- they are also a full service restaurant with a menu divided among sections for Bites, Soups & Greens, Plates, and Sweets. I didn’t sample any food when I visited, but I have heard good things about the salads, Libertine Burger, and Pork Nachos. The addition of food- and some tasty natural sodas and other soft drinks- makes Libertine Brewing a good place to visit for lunch or any other meal, even if you’re not in the mood for beer.
America’s craft beer scene continues to grow and evolve. With so many choices, it is becoming more and more imperative that a brewery try to distinguish itself from the competition. Libertine Brewing in San Luis Obispo has done exactly that, carving out a sour beer niche that no other brewery in the nearby vicinity can claim. It’s a nice, large, friendly place for food and drink and a brewery I recommend.