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Sedation Vacations

Travel Blog of a Travel Nurse

California's Central Coast Breweries

Updated: Nov 28, 2022

If you know me, you know my personal motto of "Catch Flights, Drink Flights", as it perfectly embodies my passion of traveling and trying new beer. Well, I recently had the opportunity to live on California's Central Coast, and ohhh, did I get to try new beer. California's Central Coast, usually known for their wine scene, also has some delectable beers. I didn't want to make this list too long, so I only included breweries from Solvang up to SLO (San Luis Obispo). Cheers!

Libertine Brewing Company (SLO)

Pros: Sours galore! As well as saisons, barrel-aged stuff, and gosés. Amazing beers all around. Large food menu. Lots of indoor seating and some outdoor seating. Great selection of to-go beers and merch. Also sells coffee and bakery items in the morning! They offer wine as well as mixed drinks, and have a brunch every Sunday. Large selection of guest taps as well. Right in downtown SLO.

Cons: Limited selection of IPAs and other beers that aren't "sours". Downtown street parking.

Note: You can find Libertine brewery in Morro Bay and Avila beach as well!

Must try: Pacific Ocean Blue Gosé- brewed with Morro Bay salt water

Instagram: @libertinebrew

Naughty Oak Brewing Company (Orcutt)

Pros: Decent beers, pretty good variety. Indoor and outdoor seating. Rotating food trucks. Trivia nights and such. A few unique beers on tap that rotate. Cool merch. Also have nitro cold brew coffee on tap! Good vibes, great local place to just chill.

Cons: Beers are decent, but not amazing or anything. Small selection.

Must try: Staycation - Mango blond

Instagram: @naughtyoakbrew

Pismo Brewing Company (Pismo)

Pros: Near the beach and right in downtown Pismo. Decent food menu. Indoor and outdoor seating. Old fashioned root beer on tap.

Cons: Pretty small. Only 6 beers on tap, and they're all average tasting. Street parking.

Must try: Roadside Red Ale

Instagram: @pismobrewing

Manrock Brewing Company (Grover Beach)

Pros: Great wood-fired pizza. Really nice outdoor seating area. Large selection of beers on tap, and they're actually pretty good. Family owned and operated.

Cons: Limited selection of non-IPA beers.

Must try: Sea Foam P.O.G - Berliner Weisse

Instagram: @manrockbrewing

Oak and Otter Brewing Company (SLO)

Pros: Great beer. Really large variety, including lots of IPAs, porters, stouts, ambers, and wheat beers. Very nice indoor and outdoor seating. They do have a food menu. Great vibes. New beers come out pretty frequently.

Cons: Food menu is pretty small. Street parking, but usually not an issue.

Must try: Kölsch and ESB

Instagram: @oakandotterbrewing

Bang the Drum Brewery (SLO)

Pros: Amazing vibes and decent beer. The place is huge, with tons of indoor and outdoor seating. Live music sometimes. Great menu, with homemade pot pies. They also sell coffee and bakery items that are made on site. Trivia nights, open jam nights. In addition to beer, they also serve wine, cider, hot spiked cider, and they have a rotating guest tap as well. Dog friendly, and free wifi.

Cons: Can get crowded on trivia nights. More variety of beers needed, as well as new beers.

Must try: Das Weiss - German Hefeweizen & Honey Pot- Honey blond

Instagram: @bangthedrumbrewery

There Does Not Exist (SLO)

Pros: Good beer. They host cool events sometimes, such as The Make Shift Muse (local vendor market). Rotating food trucks sometimes. Indoor and outdoor seating. Unique glassware.

Cons: Bartenders can be kind of dicks and their entire Instagram is in black and white so you can't see the color of the beer and that annoys me. (Update- looks like they decided to put some color on their Instagram! Thanks guys.)

Must try: Transit of the Binary Star - Saison

Instagram: @theredoesnotexist

Solvang Brewing Company (Solvang)

Pros: In downtown Solvang, an adorable Danish city. Large food menu (and actually tastes good). Lots of indoor and outdoor seating. Good vibes, and a variety of events throughout the year.

Cons: Beer is kind of lacking, in both taste and variety. Can get crowded.

Must try: Raspberry Wheat

Instagram: @solvangbrewingcompany

BarrelHouse Brewing-Taproom and Speakeasy (SLO)

Pros: Great beer. Cool little taproom, hidden away down a side street. Indoor and outdoor seating. Right in downtown SLO. Large selection of beers to choice from. TVs usually with some sporting event on it. They also have different table games available to play while you're drinking. Lots of cool merch. Side note: BarrelHouse has a few taprooms around California, and this is not their main brewery.

Cons: No food. Can get crowded. Street parking in downtown. Limited outdoor seating.

Must try: Strawberry Daze - Fruited Blonde Ale

Instagram: @bhbcslo

Humdinger Brewing (Arroyo Grande)

Pros: Decent beer. Good selection. Indoor and outdoor seating. Pretty decent food menu, with some unique bites. Very clean. Right in downtown Arroyo Grande. Gorgeous murals on the walls here.

Cons: Street parking. Could use more variety of beers.

Must try: Humdinger Loatus - American Lager

Instragram: @humdingerbrewing

SLO Brew Rock (SLO)

Pros: Really cool spot, good vibes. Decent beer. Good food with large menu. Outdoor games. Live music sometimes. Huge variety of beers to go. Hosts lots of different events, such as a huge Okterberfest in October as well as events such as The Make Shift Muse (local vendor market). Tons of merch.

Cons: Can get crowded. Honestly, I'm not a huge fan of their beer.

Must try: Stein Slammer - German Lager

Instagram: @slobrewrock

Central Coast Brewing (SLO)

Pros: Two locations, both neat. Good beer, good variety. Really nice outdoor seating, with a side patio shaded by trees (at both locations). Higuera St location does not have food, but the Monterey St location has a really nice food menu.

Cons: Street parking and no food at downtown location.

Must try: Raspberry Sunrise - Imperial Kettle Sour

Instragram: @centralcoastbrewing

Liquid Gravity Brewing Company (SLO)

Pros: Really cool spot, great vibes. Pretty good beers, good variety. Indoor and outdoor seating. Outdoor seating has fire pits for winter. Live music sometimes. Usually some sort of food truck available. Family owned brewery.

Cons: Could use more variety of beers. Can get very crowded during live music shows.

Must try: Goffbrau - Hefeweizen

Instragram: @liquidgravitybrewingco

Kulturhaus (Pismo)

Deep red colored beer in stem glass, with taps in background

Pros: Amazing, really unique beers on tap. Great spot, good vibes, right in downtown Pismo. Serves food, although I have not tried it yet. The chef and brewer are both very passionate about their jobs though, which I appreciate. Indoor and outdoor


Cons: Street parking in Pismo, might be difficult to find parking during peak season.

Must try: Wecken - Farmhouse flower (saison with rose, hibiscus, and lavender)

Instagram: @kulturhausbrewingcompany

Interested in seeing more beer and breweries that I go to? Follow my beer Instagram @suckerforsaisons. I take special interest in all beers that aren't IPAs, such as wheat beers, saisons, sours, gosés, pilsners, hefeweizens, etc. IPAs are okay too I guess though.

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