Craft Beer in San Luis Obispo CA

In wine country but looking for some local craft beer? Here are 5 brewery/brewpubs to consider in the San Luis Obispo County area of CA, including one that is only a month old. Craft beer and local breweries continue to grow and this area is no exception. (Image Gallery at Bottom)

5 Craft Beer Spots to Visit:


Firestone Walker Brewing Company – Probably the strongest, largest and well recognized craft brewery at this time (in the area) with the reputation and medals to back it up. If there is only one brewery you have time for I would lean towards this one – mainly for the beers but they also have a large new tap room and restaurant and are right of HWY 101 in Paso Robles (very close to Barrelhouse Brewing too if you want to do a quick 2fer). They always seem to have a few beers only available on site and have a sit down casual restaurant and bar area. ¬†Huge fan of all their beers and can’t go wrong. Brewery tours and gift shop on site as well.

Tap It Brewing – This San Luis Brewery is destined for great things after winning the American IPA category at GABF in 2012 (most competitive category at the competition) and craft beer fans should stop by check it out. They had a nice indoor/outdoor seating area with small plates last I was there but seemed to be expanding. A great American IPA and Pale Ale are around the area in 6 pack bottles. Huge fan of their APA and IPA and hear and Amber and Session Pale in bombers are coming soon.

BarrelHouse Brewing Company – This brewery just opened in Paso Robles not to far south of Firestone near the 101. A well designed outdoor area with a few tables, rock fountain and old truck turned stage sit just outside the small bar surrounded by fermentation tanks. I tried all 5 of the beers they had at the time and was impressed – big fan and not an average beer in the bunch. They said they were still playing with recipes and nothing was final but I would definitely say they know what they are doing so far when it comes to making beer. Music and event lovers may also want to keep an eye on this as the outdoor/performing space they have created looks like it might become pretty popular.

Molly Pitcher Brewing Company – Nice little brewpub in downtown Atascadero on the main drag offering a few mixed beers of their own and other craft beer on tap and limited rare or well curated bottles. A few tables out front and a modern rustic feel inside with a shuffleboard table very much fits the vibe and town. Worth stopping in if you find yourself in Atascadero. Only had their IPA on draft first time I visited but was good enough to convince me to come back as they usual have a few others. Sounded like they were expanding the brewhouse some time in the summer.

Dunbar Brewing – A cozy little brewpub in Santa Margarita with craft beer offerings brewed on site and a few other beers both on draft and in bottles. Small seating area outside in front and nice wood bar on the inside. If you are passing through Santa Margarita might be worth stopping by and checking out. Right at the north end of the main drag through town. Beers weren’t bad but nothing blew me away. I heard they were still dialing in a new brew system after a move however and will probably be back in the future to try the brews again.