California Coastal Beer Trip, Day 2

We explored Santa Barbara in the morning. What a great town!

STOP ONE
Our first stop was unplanned in Pismo Beach. I remembered there was a brewery, Pismo Brewing Company, there. We arrived just as they opened at 2 p.m.

Our bartender was extremely attentive and engaging. My sampler included:

  • Pismo Pale Ale
  • Roadster Red Ale
  • India Pale Ale^2
  • Bolina Brown Ale
  • Beachcomber Bock
  • Oatmeal Stout
  • Guest beer Firestone Walker 805
  • My favorite of these was, as expected, the IPA.

    No food here (well, pretzels).

    Overall, a nice discovery in a sleepy, working-class beach town.

    STOP TWO
    Next, we headed up to San Luis Obispo and SLO Brew.

    If I was a college kid, and 25 years younger, I’d be hanging out here at this beer and music venue.

    The beer was decent, but not memorable. My flight was comprised of:

  • Honey Blonde
  • Nitro IPA
  • Reggae Red
  • IPA
  • Oatmeal Stout
  • Pilsener
  • No surprise here – I liked the IPA (oddly, I thought the Nitro IPA fell flat). My wife really liked the Honey Blonde.

    The food was good. We had an order of fries (the house made catsup was great) and chili (good heat).

    The service was what I expected here…efficient, restaurant service.

    I’m sure this place rocks at night judging by their music lineup!

    STOP THREE
    There are several other beer stops in San Luis Obispo, including Creekside Brewing Company and Tap It Brewing Company, but we chose to check out Central Coast Brewing Company as Sara saw they had a Chai beer. What a great discovery!

    This small taproom, located away from the main downtown action, has been around since 1998. They bottle a small amount of beer by hand and only distribute to a few local bars, so this is the best place to enjoy their beers.

    We sampled three:

  • Chai Ale
  • Lucky Day IPA
  • Terrace Hill Double IPA
  • I loved the Lucky Day IPA. Citrusy, hoppy goodness.

    The service was outstanding. Both gentlemen were engaged with us as patrons and answered all our questions (note to self – remember to ask for names, d’oh!)

    No food here, although they were expecting a food truck in the evening.

    Check out this gem if you’re in the area. I hope they can expand enough to distribute bottles soon.

    STOP FOUR
    We headed up to Paso Robles to Firestone Walker.

    I’m familiar with their amazing selection of beers, as they are widely distributed.

    We arrived at 5 p.m. and ate dinner in their taproom bar.

    I ordered a sampler:

  • Unfiltered DBA
  • Union Jack IPA
  • Double Jack
  • Wookey Jack
  • All wonderful beers. Note: they give you a $2 gift shop token when you order a sampler.

    I had macaroni and cheese, Sara had a Cobb Salad and we shared a cheese and fruit plate. All very good.

    The servers were all very friendly.

    We ended our day by driving up Highway 1 from Cambria to Pacific Grove, a long, winding, isolated coastal road. Amazingly beautiful, but I after three hours of driving it I was relieved to get back to civilization!

    Such a nice day.

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