Good beer is something to celebrate all year long, especially when we’re fortunate enough to see new local breweries popping up around the Central Coast more each year. But with the SLO Craft Beer Fest coming up on February 24th and 25th at the Alex Madonna Expo Center, there’s no time like the present to raise a toast to our favorite beers and try new ones. At the festival, enjoy unlimited beer samples, special beer and food pairings, live music, and even educational beer seminars. Hosted by Pouring for Good, the event is dedicated to preserving the history and culture of craft beverages—so grab a friend, grab a cold one, and get hoppy because Febrewery is only getting started. Be sure to check out the brewers listed below at the festival for a true taste of the Central Coast’s finest craft beers.
Tap It Brewing Company
A family of craft beer lovers, the Gordon family behind Tap It Brewing Company are laid-back and fun-loving. But when it comes to beer, they couldn’t be more serious. Priding themselves on being family-owned, family-brewed, and finely-crafted the Gordons started brewing in an old San Luis Obispo warehouse before gaining fast recognition for their handcrafted all-American beers. Their gold-medal winning IPA has a crisp, distinctive, full-body taste—but the ingredient that is the secret to their success is their passion for sharing delicious beer with their family of beer-loving fans. Try smooth beers like the Central Coast Style Pale Ale or Smoked Oatmeal Stout from the Flagship line or opt for something like the Father Time English-Style Old Ale from their line of limited release craft beers featuring exotic ingredients and unique hop combinations.
Central Coast Brewing
A favorite neighborhood brewery among locals, Central Coast Brewing crafts “real California beer” with love and unique Central Coast flavor. The brewery, located in downtown San Luis Obispo, opened in 1998 after master brewer Brendan Gough experimented with homebrewing in his garage during his time at Cal Poly. After winning a variety of awards and medals at local homebrew competitions, he knew his ales and lagers were destined for bigger things. Today, Central Coast Brewing is regarded as one of the Central Coast’s premier brewing facilities, offering a variety of fresh, hoppy ales, stouts, barrel-aged beers and lagers. At the festival, look for their “Tactical Thirst Response Unit,” a truck full of Central Coast Brewing’s award-winning beers on tap to quench your thirst. It’s like an ice-cream truck, only better!
Bang the Drum Brewery
Although Bang the Drum Brewery is known as the smallest brewery on the Central Coast, their craft beers offer big flavor. The brain-child of father-daughter duo Gary and Noelle DuBois, Bang the Drum was created to “provide a little bit of paradise” for locals and visitors alike. The small brewery utilizes their small batch size by creating as many different styles as they can in order to pinpoint just what our community is craving. From Gluten Free IPA and German-style Weissbier to Meads, Cysers, and Fruit Melomels, Bang the Drum offers beer-lovers a bold portfolio to taste from. To the team behind Bang the Drum, ingredients such as love, passion, and happiness are just as important as the malt, water, and yeast that goes into creating the perfect brew. However, they admit, local honey is one most important ingredients in the creation of their mead batches. Brewed at low temperatures, the nutrients and health benefits associated with the consumption of honey are retained for the perfect hand-crafted beer experience.