California’s Central Coast is a place of wonder and awe. Living in the flat coastal plains of the Texas Coast, I’m enamored by anything larger and taller than the man- made mounds found at local golf courses so you can imagine my reaction when I see actual mountains and other natural beauty like that found in this part of California. In the middle of this visually pleasing natural wonderland is an excellent place for beer, food, and entertainment. That place is SLO Brew, a brewery and eatery located at 736 Higeura Street in downtown San Luis Obispo, California.
Pub Food Truly Satisfies
Known locally as ‘The Brew’, SLO Brew is great place for a midday or evening meal. The restaurant serves American style food in categories such as appetizers, soups & salads, pizza, burgers, etc. House Made Hummus is a good starting point, and some might go for Calamari and Artichoke Hearts before deciding on a main course.
I looked over the menu and narrowed my choices down to three items: Aussie Meat Pie, a puff pastry loaded with chopped meat, shallots, and brown gravy, served with salad and fries; The Yard Bird 14, a pizza topped with roast chicken, asparagus, bacon, smoked gouda, and spicy barbecue sauce with added Mizuna and herbs; and the Brew Burger, a grass- fed 6 oz. beef patty topped with New York Cheddar, onions, greens, and whiskey BBQ sauce. All sounded excellent in their own way, but knowing that beer would be delivered to my table very soon, I couldn’t get my mind off that Brew Burger and that is precisely what I ordered. Served with a side of fries, the burger was cooked to perfection and I like that it wasn’t overloaded with toppings. It was more simplistic than others, and ultimately satisfying to the final bite.
Get Your Beer Here
I tried four different SLO brews during my beercation visit:
- Unfiltered Mosaic IPA
- Holidaze Winter Ale
- Feelin’ Your Oats
- Cascade Pale Ale
Each of the SLO Brew beers was memorable for different reasons and I discovered that SLO Brew primarily focuses its efforts on more sessionable beers ranging from 5 to 7 percent alcohol by volume. I was particularly drawn to the Mosaic IPA due in no small part to my love for mosaic hops, and to the Feelin’ Your Oats, a silky oatmeal stout that took home a Bronze medal at the 2016 Great American Beer Festival. All of the beers were commendable, but these two stood out as my favorites. Every beer matched well with my burger and fries combo, too, with compatible taste sensations drenching my palate with joy.
If you’re not in the mood for beer, not a problem- SLO Brew has a full service bar and can mix up just about any drink of your choosing. I recommend sampling one of the signature cocktails, many of which sound out of this world.
Takin’ it SLO
SLO Brew is a happening place and it was the focal point of my San Luis Obispo beercation visit. I was fully aware of SLO Brew, thanks in no small part to its Great American Beer Festival victory in 2016, and I was anxious to check out the city and its namesake brewery- an establishment that has called San Luis Obispo home for nearly three decades.
SLO Brew is one of this college town’s most popular hangouts and isn’t too difficult to figure out why. Yes, the food and beer are top notch, but SLO Brew is also one of the downtown’s top places for live music. Several nights each week, SLO Brew rocks the town with top musical acts, some of which require a separate ticket purchase. Walk through downtown and if you hear some tunes playing, there is a good chance a band is onstage at SLO Brew.
The atmosphere at SLO Brew is lively, with an industrial look and feel on the inside. In this regard, it reminds me of many of the bars where I used to frequent for live music and beer during my younger days. It can get very loud inside SLO Brew, but keep in mind that this was never intended as an intimate place to sit across for your special someone and whisper sweet- nothings. SLO Brew is a place that emphasizes an action- packed evening filled with food, beer, music, and great company.
SLO Brew is undergoing an expansion at the present time and beer lovers will be interested to know that a new, second facility is on the verge of opening. Christened as The Rock, it’s an expansive 30 barrel brewhouse, taproom, restaurant, and entertainment center located at 855 Aerovista Pl, near the San Luis Obispo airport. This multi- functional facility will greatly expand the brewing capabilities and will feature its own taproom, restaurant, meeting space, and more. I took a tour of The Rock when I visited and while it was still in a construction phase, I couldn’t help but envision the future and how much fun a visit to the Rock will be for San Luis Obispo residents and out of town guests.
San Luis Obispo is a picturesque city with amazing visual appeal, fascinating history, and engaging people who welcome you to the California Central Coast with open arms. SLO Brew Restaurant and Pub is one of the premier brewing and entertainment attractions in the city, a place where great food, delicious craft suds, and live entertainment collide for an unforgettable evening. Visit ‘The Brew’ the next time you’re in this attractive western town, and tell them Great Beer Now sent you.