Where to go for Craft Beer Tasting- Top 5 near Cayucos

July 26th, 2016

Probably the best-known Central Coast Brewery, Firestone is on its way to making a name for itself nationally. While a variety of their beers are distributed to 26 states, it’s nothing compared to what is available at the local level. A visit to their tasting room will allow you to sample most of their traditional beers (IPAs, Ales and stouts) along with their more rare selections. Their popular flagship beer, the DBA (double barrel ale) can be found both in an unfiltered version and in a nitro version.

The impressive compound houses a restaurant serving both comfort food and fresh California cuisine; an emporium where beer can be purchased fresh off the bottling line; and a tasting room for sampling their small batch and rare beers. *Due to construction, the main tasting room has been closed, but tastings are still being offered in the emporium.

Central Coast Brewing- San Luis Obispo

Established in 1998, Central Coast Brewing is one of the oldest breweries on our list. Still serving beer in the original downtown San Luis Obispo location, the brewery has done well to stay true to it’s roots—offering one of a kind, small batch, hand-crafted beers. Central Coast Brewing offers a diverse array of well-done brews from sours to IPAs to stouts, all depending on the season. Their Chai Ale is a stand out among others with a well-balanced blend of chai spices and light malt taste. If you like IPAs, their “Catch 23” offers an expressive hop flavor mixed with a deep, toasty malt finish, while their “Facilitator” hits the other side with a crisp clean malty flavor highlighting the bitter hops. Their Monterey Street Pale Ale was a gold medal winner at the 2015 Great American Beer Festival and makes for another delectably hoppy beer on their list.

Barrel House Brewing- Paso Robles

The location and atmosphere is what really makes Barrel House Brewing stand out, but that’s not to say the beer isn’t worth visiting for. Nestled in what’s referred to as “Tin City,” the brewery sits along side some of the most sought after boutique wineries on the Central Coast. The tasting room itself is large and gives way to an outdoor space designed with entertaining in mind and is a welcomed spot for families with children. The beer is crafted with balance and drinkability in mind and favors no one style. Their “Sunny Daze” is a favorite for its lightness and summer citrus notes. Their “Grog” brown sugar imperial ale and “curly wolf” maple vanilla imperial stout offer all the richness and complex sweetness you’d expect from a barrel aged beer. Their latest endeavor, small batch sours and wild ales have yielded some diverse and mouth wateringly creations such as their “Eleanor,” a sour made with prickly pear cactus,, that is loaded with notes of strawberries and rhubarb. Overall, there’s something for everyone at Barrel House.

Libertine Brewing Company- Morro Bay

Sitting along the waterfront in Morro Bay, this brewery has one of the best views and some of the best brews on tap, some of their own creation and some from other breweries. The pub offers 40 beers on tap and the selection includes some of the most talked about beers from some of the most talked about breweries. As far as their own creations, the brewery focuses on making wild ales (sour) using natural, local wild yeast to produce beers with what they call “true Central Coast Terroir.” If you are open to or like sour beers, theirs are a must.

Tap It Brewing- San Luis Obispo

Tap it Brewing, established in 2011, is one of the youngest breweries on our list. Started by locals, they strive to keep it local by working with farmers to grow hops. While their original flagship beers were IPAs and APAs, they now produce an additional 3 limited release beers from their hop-farming project. Most of their beers feature a strong hop note, but there are a few different options for those who prefer otherwise. Their Café Noir is an imperial coffee porter that they age in pinot noir barrels. Their “Apple Core Gose” uses apples from nearby See Canyon and salt water from Avila Beach. The result is a full-bodied gose with the flavors of a full-bodied apple cider.

927 Beer Company - Cambria

Also founded in 2011, Cambria Beer Company is an independent and family owned artisan brewery. All their own beer is brewed on location. Each beer is designed to highlight a main ingredient: malt, hops or yeast.

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