San Luis Obispo, California:
Central Coast Brewing Tasting Room
Friday 25th May 2012
Having had two Central Coast beers at the California Festival of Beers earlier that day I wanted some more and so here I was visiting their operation which is a few minutes walk from the SLO downtown area. This is a tasting room which means, in its most basic sense, that I was going for a drink in a brewery. Because of this, it is literally a room for tasters, with the beers available to drink on site in quite small glasses or to take away in much larger quantities.
The list of possibilities was quite extensive with the following available for my pleasure: Golden Glow Pale Ale; Topless Red Ale (4.6%); Topless Brew-nette (5.8%); Ginger Wit, The Single (5.7%); Stenner Creek Stout (5.8%); Lucky Day IPA (7.0%); Catch 23 (7.0%); Wee Heavy (7.3%); BAM (Bourbon Red Ale) (4.7%); Bourbon Creek Stout (6.8%) and 14 Anniversary. Please note the pleasing preponderance of ales. Where there are no abvs indicated it is because there were none displayed. Also I noticed there were a number of variations between the strengths of draught beers compared with their bottled equivalents.
I had previously sampled BAM and Bourbon Creek Stout at the Festival so I went for three different beers. This is what I thought: Golden Glow PA was lovely, well balanced with a really nice bitter aftertaste; Topless Red I also liked as it had the genuine Red Ale taste; Lucky Day IPA I thought was fantastic, very bitter and dry, an excellent example. Can't say better than that!
One thing that made me smile was their draught beer truck that at the festival earlier is officially known as the "Tactical Thirst Response Unit".
Whilst enjoying these beers I had a good look around the brewery and admired the wonderful collection of bottles with their matching beer mats from all over the world displayed on shelves clinging to the upper walls. I wondered whether there was still beer in them. I then got chatting to Aaron Swink of Central Coast who I had spoken to very briefly at the Festival. He explained that there was a very high level of take-out sales and that was not a destination pub in the normal sense.
They do not do food in the normal sense as there is no kitchen. However snacks of the packet variety were available and a number of local restaurants will deliver.
All too soon it was time to leave and I thanked Aaron for his hospitality. What a great boozer and, of course, it comes totally recommended.
Central Coast Brewing, 1422 Monterey Street, San Luis Obispo, CA. 93401.
Tel: 805 783 2839
Open: Monday to Friday 14.00-21.00; Saturday 12.00-21.00; Sunday 12.00-16.00
The pub is located around ten minutes from the downtown and is close to local bus routes. The railway station is around twenty minutes from here. It is served by Amtrak with three daily trains to Los Angeles and one to Oakland (for San Francisco) and further north. SLO is also served by long distance buses and has a regional airport.