Visiting California brings so much joy to so many of the senses. The sight of the natural beauty engulfs the imagination. The sound of the ocean waves calm the soul. The feel of the wind refreshes the body. And the scent and taste of beer from so many hundreds of craft breweries renews one’s confidence in human innovation. I have visited California many times, but on a recent beercation to the lovely city of San Luis Obispo, I got to visit each and every brewery in the city, much to the delight of the two less appreciated but extremely important human senses of smell and taste. And one brewery that my senses tell me is deserving of a repeat visit is Tap It Brewing, located at 675 Clarion Ct., right next to the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport.
Welcome to Our Taproom
Tap It Brewing is a small to medium size brewing operation located south of downtown San Luis Obispo. Founded in 2010 using a former warehouse, Tap It Brewing has quickly grown to become one of the favorite breweries among locals.
I visited Tap It Brewing one afternoon and, walking into the taproom, the first thing I noticed was the size of the place. They brew several thousand barrels of beer per year at this brewery, which isn’t small by any means, but it’s not particularly large, either. Still, the inside was more spacious than I expected. Round tables adorned with the Tap it Brewing logo greet guests and I couldn’t help but also notice the sturdy barstools surrounding the tables, for secure seating. This may sound like an odd thing of which to make mention, but it means a lot to have sturdy seats and tables when you’re drinking beer and I can think of many breweries I have visited in the past that did not give much thought to this at all, and the results were, shall we say, a little on the damp side.
Tap It Brewing has an attractive, dog- friendly patio and this is actually where most people head to when they visit. With its tables/bar stool seating, outdoor wicker furniture, live entertainment, cornhole and jenga games, and other extras, the outdoor patio is the place to be when weather permits.
Ready for Some Beer
Tap It Brewing is ready to serve all 21+ age adults who enter its doors and they offer serving sizes that include small flight samplers, pints, pitchers, and growler fills. Here is a list of Tap it Brewing beers I sampled, in alphabetical order by name, followed by the style and my Untappd rating out of a possible 5 stars:
- Ale Camino, Red Ale, 3.5
- Biere de Table, Belgian Style Table Beer, 3.25
- Café Noir, Imperial Porter 4.25
- Father Time, Old Ale 3.25
- Haze Faze IPA, India Pale Ale 4
- IPA, India Pale Ale, 4
- Pale Ale, American Pale Ale, 3.75
- Tropicali Dank IPA, India Pale Ale, 4
I found the beers at Tap It Brewing good overall, but there were definitely some standouts in the bunch. Each of the above beers was sampled in draft form, with the lone exception being Café Noir Imperial Porter, which I drank from a bottle. This beer turned out to be my favorite one of all. With its cocoa, coffee, alcohol, wine, and roasted malt notes, this was a complex palate pleaser and at 9.3 percent alcohol by volume, it was also the strongest beer that I sampled.
Come on In- the Beer is Fine
Tap It Brewing is a nice place for craft beer in a city with a surprisingly large number of craft breweries for its size. Many know San Luis Obispo as the location of Cal- Polytech University, a large, well- respected university with an enrollment exceeding 20,000 students. But San Luis Obispo also has a good thing going when it comes to beer, with several breweries located within the city limits.
Tap It Brewing is a family- owned and operated brewery and I was greeted quickly by friendly personnel when I visited. We chatted at length about the local beer scene, the craft brewing business in general, beer trends, and other things that beer geeks like to talk about. The personnel here certainly make you feel right at home and it’s not surprising at all that so many online review sites rate Tap It Brewing as highly as they do. The beer is part of the reason, yes, but the service plays a key role in the high level of customer satisfaction.
I already talked about the pleasing interior/exterior of Tap It Brewing and these are certainly two of the brewery’s greatest assets. The inside has a laid- back, come-as-you-are vibe but the outdoor is even more inviting. The seating, the flame tables, the live music, the games, and other factors just beg for your presence.
The beer is, of course, front and center at Tap It Brewing. I liked each beer I sampled and rated Café Noir the highest. This beer, and another one I tried- Father Time- are available only during specific times of the year. But one shouldn’t worry because the flagship beers are all good in their own way. Among the regular releases, Tropicali Dank IPA was my personal favorite and this one, as well as the other flagships, can be found in the Tap It Brewing taproom and in local area restaurants and taverns on an ongoing basis. I recommend a flight sampler to discover the one you like best before ordering a larger serving. Oh, and if you get the chance, go ahead and take a tour of the brewery for an up close and personal look at the fermenters, mash tuns, and other equipment that bring these tasty suds to you and other craft beer fans in the surrounding area.
California is wonderful for many reasons and a visit to the Golden State is always a feast for the senses. Yes, our eyes, ears, and hands are important extensions to the sensory world around us, but let’s not forget the contributions that scent and taste bring to our overall satisfaction as humans. Tap It Brewing knows this all too well, and they serve a good variety of California crafted suds to keep your senses alive and vigilant. Pay a visit to Tap It Brewing next time you’re here on the California Central Coast. And tell them Great Beer Now sent you.